The forecast stakes of an international company
Wirquin a leader in the sanitary equipment industry since 1977, owns 10 subsidiaries including 6 production sites across the globe, in Russia, Romania, South Africa, England, China and Carquefou (historical site in France). Specialized in the plastic injection and the production
of syphons, draining systems and other sanitary accessories, Wirquin totalizes 130 million euros in annual revenue. This company that reinvests 5% of its revenue in R&D is experiencing a robust growth and is regularly releasing new products.
The sales forecasts are important for the group at two levels:
- At a stock level: the company is organized in a way that 50% of its replenishments are produced between plants, a large part coming from Asia. With restocking delays that can last up to 3 to 4 months, it is essential to anticipate the demand to avoid high inventory levels
- At a data aggregation level: « With 6 plants functioning at full capacity it was necessary to have a performing tool in order to aggregate the data and restitute with time a global vision on the charge level » explains Jonathan David, Supply Chain Project Manager at Wirquin.
With subsidiaries at various levels of maturity and using different tools (Excel files, specific tool) it was difficult for Wirquin to obtain an aggregate view and a proficient level of collaboration between the different interlocutors. The necessity to implement a simple sales forecasting tool for all the subsidiaries became obvious.
The choice of Colibri
The price has been the main criteria when choosing the solution. «As Supplier Project Manager, and Demand Planner at the group level, I chose Colibri based on simple criteria: the price, as Colibri is one of the most affordable solution on the market, and its accessibility in terms of usage. Colibri is ergonomic and collaborative and avoids the complexity of some solutions, by offering clear and efficient functionalities.»
The implementation of Colibri
A first Colibri core-model has been implemented in Russia in early 2016, followed by roll-outs in Romania and England. China and South Africa are
planned for this year. Colibri has been well received by the teams, who liked the design of the solutions and the presence of graphs, making the utilization more pleasant and easy. «The solution, because of its usability, allowed us to launch the project and create an initial “buzz”, but, of course, some efforts need to be invested to animate and follow the process for optimum results.» explains Jonathan David.
The use of Colibri
At Wirquin, the sales & marketing and Supply Chain departments work together to generate the sales forecasts for each subsidiary. Then, a central user makes sure that the data is coherent.
The sales team enriches Colibri with collaborative data (new products, sales, referencing, opening and closing of stores). The Supply Chain/plant team makes some verifications on the articles with a lower level of reliability while managing the different inter-plant flows at the articles forecasts level. At a central level, the job will be to integrate aggregated data the best way possible with the best granularity and make sure the whole thing makes sense.
« One of the main benefits of the solution is to be able to take actions on different screens dedicated to each step of the process and track changes made by the collaborators. It allows to easily check the impact in preparatory phase during our monthly S&OP meetings. Another crucial point is to be able to instantly convert our data in revenue and modifications made at an aggregate level in quantities at the lowest level in the hierarchy (article x clients) ».
The benefits of Colibri
Since the implementation of Colibri, the stocks better match the clients’ requests, which, in a context of rapid growth and frequent new projects is important. Colibri also answers the need of collaboration and aggregation of the company and facilitates the decision making at the local or group level. « Globally the tool has been well received, especially among our less mature subsidiaries: we realized that Colibri was particularly adapted to our group in which we have a large disparity in term of experiences and skills on the forecasts subject » explains Jonathan David. « Another competitive advantage of the solution is its “start-up” side: being supported by VISEO, the solution is dynamic with regular releases and upgrades
that allow great flexibility »
Several bets for the future
Currently the solution is being implemented in the different production sites. The goal is to have all the plants on one unique tool by the end of 2018.
« Once we have integrated Colibri in the complete grid of our sites, we will be able to constitute a strong database and continue our process of remodeling our S&OP: to get aggregated data in an efficient way to facilitate the decision making locally but also at the steering comittee level » explains Jonathan David. « To summarize, Colibri is a simple, agile, collaborative and accessible tool, that has the merit to reinvent itself regularly and be reactive. The challenge is now to make it a performing tool also for our more mature subsidiaries/production sites and we believe that it’s possible! » concludes Jonathan David.