Today at SAPPHIRE NOW, I enjoyed a great presentation from Lori Plate, the director of Enterprise Applications at Johnsonville Sausage, on the company’s implementation of the SAP Demand Signal Management application. Lori is responsible for providing strategy, leadership, management, and development of the Enterprise Applications team implementing and supporting Johnsonville’s SAP, business intelligence (BI), development, and electronic data interchange environments. 

In the session, Lori explained how Johnsonville Sausage “leverages real-time demand signals to improve forecasts, customer satisfaction, and profitability.”

Who Is Johnsonville Sausage?

Johnsonville Sausage is a private, family owned company with over 1,600 employees. The organization runs six manufacturing facilities in the United States and one in Singapore, as well as sales offices in France, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and China. Its products are available in all 50 states of the USA and 40 countries worldwide. The company’s leading sellers include bratwurst, Italian sausage, smoked cooked sausage links, fresh breakfast sausage links, and sausage patties.

Implementing SAP Demand Signal Management at Johnsonville Sausage

Lori explained how Johnsonville selected SAP Demand Signal Management to improve volume forecasting and customer satisfaction while increasing overall profitability.

The project started in March 2014 with an architectural plan, installation, and configuration. The go-live took place nine months later, with retailers gaining visibility into daily point of sale (POS) and stock visibility at both the distribution center and store level. The next phase kicked off in June 2015 with the expansion of reporting to the demand planning component of SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer. Three months later, in September 2015, two additional retailers went live.

In April 2016, Johnsonville began leveraging syndicated data, which will expand the scope to include visibility of competitors’ stock keeping units and full-market visibility into POS data.

Outlining Johnsonville’s project highlights

Lori discussed some of the highlights of the project to date. So far, Johnsonville has been able to:

  • Obtain a holistic view of customer demand by harmonizing customer POS, inventory, syndicated, and shipment data in one location
  • Gain a single source of truth for both internal and customer data
  • Integrate a universal planning platform that combines
  • Build on the SAP Business Warehouse application powered by the SAP HANA platform, which eliminated performance as a barrier to adoption and provided capabilities for advanced toolsets

Johnsonville is experiencing striking business benefits

Lori also highlighted some key business benefits that Johnsonville Sausage has achieved. To date, the organization has:

  • Closed the gap between sales forecasts and statistically based demand forecasts by providing access to trade promotions, customer data, and sales history
  • Improved new product launches, on-shelf availability, and overall supply chain performance through
  • Increased speed to decision by providing relevant information and insights to decision makers much more quickly using data

Given everything that Johnsonville Sausage has accomplished to date, exciting and successful times are undoubtedly ahead for the company.

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