A current French leader in the segment of disposable culinary items, CGMP is the outcome of a family expertise handed down for 60 years.
“We were pioneers and innovators and have never stopped being that way, while stamping this “trademark” that has always distinguished us in the marketplace”, reads the Group’s definition on its official website.
The French manufacturer of paper napkins, tablecloths and placemats for restaurant professionals has led the evolution of its processes by relying on Colibri VISION the collaborative sales forecasting tool.
The “table decorator”, based in Tuffé (France’s Sarthe Department), employs a staff of 140 and generated a yearly sales revenue of €35 million for 2015. CGMP is a family-run small business that sells to wholesalers, who in turn sell to restaurant owners and group catering facilities.
Why choose Colibri?
Every year, CGMP handles several thousand articles, hundreds of thousands of online orders and maintains a portfolio of 1,000 clients.
For the manufacturer, it was essential to draw the correlation between forecasts from management control, those from the commercial team (per product family), and those from the supply chain (code compliance).
Prior to implementing Colibri, in September 2015, CGMP was experiencing difficulties with inter-departmental communication while adopting the budget. “We were missing out on opportunities for discussion by not benefiting from this kind of information circulation”, in the view of Raphaël Braun, CGMP’s Financial Director.
Another important point according to Mr. Braun: data integration into the ERP system in order to oversee and automate both scheduling and procurement.
He explains: “Our Supply Chain Department had been accustomed to using Excel for its forecasts; however, the data were not being inserted into the ERP, thus necessitating many manual calculations. Moreover, an Industrial and Commercial Plan meeting had to be set up, combining Production/Supply/Commercial and Finance in order to produce a monthly summary and discuss the deviations between forecasts and actual results, plus the tradeoffs and recruitment needed, or the machines to be opened.”
Moreover, Colibri offers our clientele two new features: for one thing, information sharing on client forecasts and on announcements of the end of a product’s life cycle. The other feature would be the ability to detect aberrant orders (i.e. a level much higher or lower than expectations).
How is Colibri used at CGMP?
CGMP’s forecasting process is thus being guided by the supply chain. The starting point is a monthly export of sales to Colibri.
At the beginning of each month, data from SAP’s Business One ERP system are integrated, then Colibri compares the forecast with actual outcomes and issues a projection for the weeks and months ahead.
Many interactions are held with other departments during this analysis phase. As an example, the Commercial Department is involved to inform whether new products have reached the end of their useful life.
This input serves to integrate all information that the tool cannot be familiar with on its own in order to produce a relatively reliable forecast.
Inter-departmental meetings are organized in order both to examine the main discrepancies existing between the forecast and the actual result per product family and to determine the origin of these discrepancies (market, competition). “In a smaller firm, circulating this information back to the top is critical; it now reaches its destination more quickly than before“ indicates Mr. Braun.
Next, the Colibri data are integrated into the ERP system in order to calculate supply needs, load projections and inventory levels, as well as to make a tradeoff involving human resources and the machines to roll out. From a financial standpoint, this step yields a clearer vision and hence a more reactive response when seizing opportunities.
“The entire basis for running forecasts is available in a single tool, whose consistency is ensured, rather than in each department’s Excel spreadsheets”, points out Raphaël Braun.
What are CGMP’s successes and ambitions in using Colibri?
“I see Colibri as our essential tool for designing and implementing a new process. Without sales forecasts, we could not have automated our internal processes”, acknowledges Mr. Braun.
Thanks to Colibri, CGMP has in fact: lowered its inventory by 10%, more effectively managed its stock depletion than before, improved its servicing rate, instituted a shared vision, streamlined its decision-making (better planned hiring and team staffing forecasts, etc.), optimized its use of SAP’s Business One ERP system, and lastly built cross departmental consensus and more widely shared its budgetary outlook.
In the near future, CGMP would like for Commercial Division staff to contribute more to the tool, in improving connectivity between the two tools and enhancing the level of automation during the various import/export steps.