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Syngenta Improves S&OP Process with John Galt

  • June 01 2004, 1:00am EDT

CATEGORY: Business Intelligence

REVIEWER: Richard Herrin, manager of NAFTA planning and forecasting for Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc.

BACKGROUND: Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. Syngenta was formed in 2000 as a result of the merger of Novartis agribusiness and Zeneca agrochemicals. The company is a leader in crop protection, ranks third in the high-value commercial seed market, and employs approximately 20,000 people in more than 90 countries. Corporate headquarters for the NAFTA Crop Protection region are in Greensboro, North Carolina. The NAFTA region consists of Canada, Mexico and the United States.


PROBLEM SOLVED: The agricultural market is highly seasonal and competitive with the potential for large changes in market demand. Syngenta needed to build a consensus and collaborative sales and operations planning (S&OP) process to meet the needs of their business units, which not only spanned different products and regions, but foreign subsidiaries as well. To achieve a successful S&OP process, collaboration is a key tool in creating accountability and confidence. Syngenta wanted to increase the integrity and responsibility of their forecast. In the past, Syngenta's forecast was actually a sales plan based on historical data pulled from their ERP system into spreadsheets then given to the business units for incorporation of actual sales data and current business plans. This centrally controlled process limited the involvement of each business unit and the marketing managers as sales to date, marketing plans and current inventory were not readily available to each business unit. Using the S&OP module and the Demand Management Engine from John Galt Solutions Atlas Planning Suite, Syngenta has been able to strengthen relationships and provide visibility to all links up and down the supply chain simultaneously, thereby removing inefficiencies such as overstocked inventory from the process. At Syngenta, approximately 200 individuals across three countries are using the S&OP portion of the Atlas Planning Suite and now have a better read on pricing, promotions and programs. Instead of producing inventory to meet budget goals, Syngenta now uses real-time collaboration to align inventory with customer demand. Syngenta can now meet sales targets by managing gaps with a more efficient S&OP process.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Utilizing Atlas Planning Suite Demand Management Engine, Syngenta can produce an accurate baseline forecast and demand plan. That, combined with real-time Web-based collaboration provided by the S&OP module, allows us to apply right-time market knowledge to manage the S&OP process and achieve targeted business goals. Each business unit in the NAFTA division now has real-time access and visibility over the entire supply chain.

STRENGTHS: Strengths of the Atlas Planning Suite include collaboration and gap management. It allows for managing forecasts, sales plans and sales goals as different sets of numbers.

WEAKNESSES: Documentation for the administrative module of the software can be a little confusing. Although it adequately explains the mechanics of the process, information on how to set it up more efficiently would be helpful. John Galt will address this issue in the near future.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The Atlas Planning Suite represented a cost-competitive solution with rapid implementation. We especially liked the customizable features which enabled us to incorporate it into our S&OP process without reinventing our reporting capability.

DELIVERABLES: After implementing the S&OP Module of the Atlas Planning Suite, Syngenta saw immediate improvement in our sales and operations planning process, which has already reduced inventories and provided return on investment. Recently adding the Demand Management Engine module to produce a more accurate forecast and demand planning capability, Syngenta recognizes the value of having a scalable enterprise solution that can be implemented in segments as the business processes grow and improve. The NAFTA team at Syngenta now has access to critical business information to better manage and plan production activities and ensure their business objectives are met.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The support from John Galt Solutions has been top-notch from day one. John Galt's services team actually took on the role of project manager during the implementation to ensure we were up and running as quickly as possible.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is complete, and greatly contributes to the ease of use of the S&OP collaborative tool and the Demand Management Engine.

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