Lawson Software today announced the availability of the Lawson Stock Build Optimizer and the Lawson Planning Workbench for food and beverage. The new applications will help food and beverage manufacturers improve long and mid-range production planning to help them make sure the right amount of the right products are available at the right time to meet seasonal and promotional peaks in demand. Lawson made the announcement at the InterBev 2008 Conference and Exhibition this week in Las Vegas.
Lawson Stock Build Optimizer helps companies to visualize their overall plan for building and maintaining an inventory of finished products. It then offers tools that allow them to perform multiple “what if” scenarios to simulate the consequences of different long-range planning decisions. These models, which can account for a wide range of variables from production capacity to ingredient costs, help planners refine master production schedules across multiple manufacturing sites. For example, planners can use these models to evaluate the benefits of building stock in advance to support demand spikes versus using overtime or subcontractors to meet seasonal demand for products such as holiday chocolate assortments.
Lawson Planning Workbench for food and beverage helps manufacturers improve mid-range planning decisions as they balance changes in demand and supply availability during production. Companies can visualize their total coverage days for each product to guide production planning decisions for the next few weeks or months. The application then captures and provides a full view of production variables, such as changes in customer orders, delivery schedules, employee shifts and aging inventory. This allows planners to conduct “what if” modeling before deciding how to prioritize production for specific products and orders to help avoid stock-outs, inventory write-offs, or the need to temporarily open additional production lines.
Tools that help improve production planning and forecasting are a top priority for food and beverage manufacturers seeking to drive profitability through enhanced customer service. “User companies are now more interested in decision-support tools that, while still using optimization techniques, can allow them to conduct scenario planning, perform what-if analysis, and compare the trade-offs among multiple options,” wrote analysts, Noha Tohamy, John Fontanella and Greg Aimi, AMR Research, in the January 18, 2008, report, “What To Expect in the SCM and Logistics Markets in 2008: AMR Research’s Top Ten Trends.”
Lawson Stock Build Optimizer and Lawson Planning Workbench for food and beverage are configurable to users’ specific needs, and are designed to be easy to learn and use. Both applications also offer simplified installation and support through integration with the Lawson M3 enterprise management system.
“Food and beverage companies often must choose between losing sales if they don’t produce enough product to meet demand spikes or writing off perishable products if they produce too much,” said Vicki Griffith, marketing director, food and beverage, Lawson Software. “These new products will help manufacturers to analyze an increasingly complex set of supply chain variables to help them optimize production plans, lower inventory costs and enhance customer service. This is another example of how our deep focus on specific industries enables us to deliver products that address industry-specific business processes.”