ML to help Heineken hedge demand swings

ML to help Heineken hedge swings in demand

With demand rapidly changing during the Covid-19 pandemic, beverage producers need more accurate forecasting capabilities to stay ahead of the thirsty consumer. Heineken, the world’s leading international brewer and developer of premium beer and cider brands, was looking for a solution that would expand its digital capabilities to allow for more accurate, integrated and automated forecasting.

With a portfolio of more than 300 international, regional, local and speciality beers and ciders, Heineken has expanded its demand-planning capabilities by tying up with Blue Yonder, a world leader in digital supply chain and omni-channel commerce fulfilment.

Blue Yonder’s Luminate planning leverages a powerful digital twin foundation to intelligently predict potential problems and opportunities, offer machine learning-based recommendations for action, and pivot production, inventory and labour engagement plans to minimise risk and deliver with confidence.

Heineken will implement Blue Yonder’s machine-learning (ML) powered demand planning solution to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer demand patterns and provide a  solution that would expand its digital capabilities for more accurate, integrated and automated forecasting.

The improved demand signal will feed into the Luminate platform, powered by a fast optimisation engine that will translate into even greater supply chain performance.

A long-time Blue Yonder customer, Heineken already utilises the company’s end-to-end supply chain planning solutions in many of its operating companies to optimise and orchestrate decisions across sales, supply chain, operations and finance.

Going forward, Heineken will deploy the new demand planning solution in five of its largest operating companies worldwide.

Powered by Microsoft Azure, Blue Yonder’s solution continuously provides insights into a customer’s supply chain to allow for smarter, more profitable business decisions using artificial intelligence and ML. The solution can ingest hundreds of internal and external influencing factors that drive demand to provide a unique demand projection with calculated business impact and risk.

This will allow Heineken realise better inventory management and an improved understanding of demand drivers and consumer behaviour.

“The introduction of ML as part of building an integrated cross-functional planning capability across our business is a critical component of this journey. The solution will assist us in continued growth and meet the changing demands of our customers and consumers,” said Mr Marc Bekkers, Director of Global Supply Chain Planning at Heineken.

According to Mr Johan Reventberg, President (Europe, West Asia & Asia) at Blue Yonder, “We are looking to helping Heineken develop highly accurate forecasts with our AI- and ML-driven demand planning solutions. This capability will help them continue to meet consumer demand while solidifying its position as a leading global beverage producer.”