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In a Panel discussion at SAPPHIRENOW today, Dustin Demmin, the Director of Business Solutions for North American from Nature's Way Brands discussed their journey with integrated business planning processes.

Nature’s Way have been America’s leader in herbal medicine for over 40 years with brands such as Nature’s Way, Enzymatic Therapy and Integrative Therapeutics. As one of the most technologically advanced dietary supplement manufacturers in the U.S., Nature’s Way focuses on product innovation, pushing the boundaries on quality research and testing. As of today, they offer over 500 premium nutritional products, including single herbs and herbal extracts, homeopathic remedies, vitamins, minerals and specialty formulas.

The Nature’s Way Journey

In November of 2013 the company kicked off an S&OP project by

defining the planning cycle and process, the key players and the level of detail they planned to model. This resulted in an initial pilot that focused on the “demand side”, which went live for a subset of products in the consumer business in May of 2014. The pilot was “very successful” and was quickly followed with a roll out to all products and business units in July of 2014.   The next phase was to attack the supply side of the business. This was kicked off in September of 2014 with a focus on defining the supply network and the rules and roll out of the Heuristic model. This phase went live in December, delivering heuristic, unconstrained planning across the supply network.

Dustin discussed some of the highlights of the implementation being:

  • Process Management & Collaboration enabling clear visibility to monthly planning process and collaboration utilizing SAP JAM.
  • Harmonized Data Model for Demand and Supply enabling the company to quickly react to changes in demand while balancing inventory, rough cut capacity, and revenue.
  • Multi-Level Supply Planning for internal and external production and procurement enabling planners to view demand and sourcing changes and their impact on costs, inventory and capacity in real time.
  • Real time updates to plan

Dustin went on to explain some of the benefits that Nature’s Way have achieved due to the implementation:

  • Acceleration of Nature’s Way’s S&OP Process Maturity through defined collaboration and process cadence with measurable tasks.
  • Visibility to Demand & Supply in a single solution incorporating sales, marketing, operations and finance working from a single plan.
  • Real Time Scenarios anywhere in Supply Network through real time what-if scenarios in Supply Planning enabling quick insight to adjustments required to meet demand.
  • Real time analytics support key decisions gives management access to key decision making data with defined & add-hoc analytics and planning views

It was grate to hear about the success of the S&OP roll out at Natures Way and was appreciated by the “standing room only” audience.