Executive Update

General Mills: Optimized Shelf-to-Shipment Journey: Case Study

General Mills’ Kevin Schoen, vice president of supply chain and David Wurm, vice president of integrated customer solutions discussed the unique customer capabilities General Mills is developing to drive end-to-end supply chain optimization from their plants to retail shelves.

Many factors are affecting today’s industry, including volatility in the marketplace and changing shopper behavior, which means that industry collaborations need to change as well.

“Supply chain can be a basis for a different kind of enabler, but the collaboration needs to evolve,” said Wurn. “We need to think about each supply chain as one supply chain or network, this is the opportunity we need to go after.”

In an effort drive this supply chain network, General Mills has introduced GEOS:  the new General Mills End-to-End Optimization Solution which is a dedicated process that creates one supply chain among all parties and results in mutual value by focusing on four modules - optimizing inventory, maximizing the network, driving in-store efficiency and leveraging strategic advisorship.

To achieve these valued results, General Mills has set objectives for the modules, which include reducing inventory and labor and increasing collaborative replenishment; touching across the network and reducing miles for network optimization; reducing store labor and improving on-site analysis and top-line sales;  and reducing store and DC labor and improving in-store execution.

To achieve these desired objectives, true collaboration is necessary. Being sure your companies are aligned, committed, and transparent is the number one goal in supply chain optimization.

 “For a truly collaborative partnership, you should expect as many ideas from your trading partners as you give,” said Schoen. “It’s an equal partnership.”