Consumer goods & food

Characteristics and particularities
Industry insight

Despite significant growth in revenue, sectors like the consumer groups industry that operate close to the consumers are required to withstand global competition from companies offering large product portfolios in fragmented markets. The industry is exposed to significant cost pressure due to fierce competition in retail, and above all the purchase power of discounters. Multi-channel distribution strategies applied by retail partners, and the pronounced growth in the online and mail order sector with strong new players, present fresh challenges and are changing the market circumstances. There has been an erosion of brand loyalty at the same time, and customers are demanding discounts and promotions. The quota of promotional products is high and difficult to plan for the manufacturers. These factors, accompanied by the consumer desire for greater sustainability and product quality, necessitate permanent alignment and optimisation of procurement, production and distribution among manufacturers of consumer goods.

Moreover, the food industry is confronted with stricter freshness and health requirements. A modern food chain management system that provides precise knowledge on food, its production and packaging, and that is combined with logistics and effective marketing strategies, is necessary in order to guarantee consistent quality assurance.

Challenges to
ensure competitiveness

Specific framework conditions and special challenges that are characteristic of the consumer goods and food industries:

  • New markets and distribution channels, cross-channel, multi-channel and omni-channel distribution strategies are now established alongside brick-and-mortar retail and necessitate an adaptation of supply chain concepts
  • Globalisation of production and value chains
  • New requirements of the retail sector in regard to transport and delivery concepts (Incoterms)
  • Consistent supply chain planning, extending from volume forecasts and sales & operations planning through to procurement, is necessary in order to compare demand with capacities.
  • Efficient consumer response (ECR): optimisation of the entire value chain – distribution, procurement, production – through smart SCM approaches, especially for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).
  • High on-shelf availability with decreasing predictability of customer demand
  • Lean management in production and logistics to enhance efficiency and flexibility
  • Expansion of direct product marketing through online shops
  • Implementation of organic, carbon footprint and green logistics trends
  • Assurance of fair trade in the range of goods and the supply chain
  • Utilisation of sustainable, ecological packaging and implementation of complex product labelling requirements

Selected consulting focuses

  • End-to-end supply chain optimisation
  • Forecasting and demand planning
  • Sales & operations planning (S&OP), integrated planning and control
  • Intelligent scheduling procedures
  • Order fulfilment processes
  • Line-side presentation and replenishment strategies, e.g. vendor managed inventory (VMI)
  • Range strategies
  • Production and logistics networks
  • Procurement and logistics strategies
  • Inventory optimisation along the value chain
  • Lean SCM methods
  • Lean production
  • Warehouse and logistics optimisation
  • Warehouse planning for all levels of automation
  • Transport and freight cost optimisation
  • Outsourcing of logistics, service provider concepts
  • SCM/IT applications (e.g. SAP-APO) for forecasting, planning and control
  • Indicator systems (KPI) in the supply chain

Project examples
Customer benefits through industry expertise

A selection from our extensive range of products.

Development and implementation of a Europe-wide SCM strategy for an international consumer electronics Group:

  • Reorganisation, i.e. optimisation of the European distribution network Centralisation of inventories and closure of various regional warehouses within the framework of a new SCM strategy in product distribution.
  • Optimisation and standardisation of the processes for sales volume forecasts, demand, inventory, procurement and distribution planning, as well as order fulfilment, i.e. the order-to-cash process.
  • Alignment of returns management and repair services to match the new supply chain structure. Derivation of requirements for the ERP and SCM software Systems.

Optimisation of the current logistics and development of strategic warehouse concepts on behalf of a manufacturer of women's clothing:

  • Optimisation of the processes applied by a logistics service provider for storage, order picking, shipping and return management for finished products, with the aim of reducing logistics costs and achieving a high level of delivery service.
  • Development of the future strategic dispatch warehouse concept with due consideration of feasibility and efficiency of insourcing for the purpose of in-house operation. Consideration of the growing share in the area of online mail order and new delivery requirements imposed by the retail sector.
  • Design of processes and structures for the future warehouse following identification and selection of the location. Warehouse concept planning, including warehouse and order picking technology and requirements for construction planning.

Reorganisation of the entire supply chain planning processes for a manufacturer of herbal sweets and tea:

  • Development of a demand and inventory planning concept for finished and semi-finished goods, with integration of all available distribution information. Introduction of a systematic demand forecast system.
  • Design of the sales & operations processes and development of a new concept for production planning within the framework of end-to-and supply chain optimisation. Development of a proprietary concept for supplier relationship management. Derivation of requirements for the ERP system.
  • Optimisation of in-house material flows (commodities, semi-finished products and finished products) and material line-side presentation.