The Absolut Company
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The Absolut company’s complex production made more efficient

Alis Hinrichsen
Alis Sindbjerg
Hinrichsen
Thought Leader & Strategic Advisor

An increased production complexity made The Absolut Company look for a better and more efficient way to manage the production of the most exported food and beverage product in Sweden. With the purchase of the company from the Swedish government in 2008, Pernod Ricard initiated a transformation of the brand. This had a large impact on the manufacturing process.

The Challenge
For five years, the number of SKU’s rose by 19% as the number of core flavors increased from 11 to 18 and the number of limited editions went from 2 to 12, an increase by 600%. In contrast to the highly automated production process, production planning process was a manual task. Forecasting and production planning was performed by only one planner, with the help of spreadsheets. But as complexity rose, a change was necessary, and The Absolut Company started to look at alternative set-ups.

Peter Neiderud, Director Supply Chain and QE, understood that this was a major project, necessary in order to move to a new era of Absolut Vodka while honoring traditions and continuing the manufacturing in Åhus.

Summing up:

  • Increased production complexity
  • Limited resources for planning tasks
  • Pressure to secure availability towards the Pernod Ricard market companies
  • A need to ensure lean principles in production, minimizing environmental impact

The Journey
The Absolut Company chose Optilon as a partner after a thorough evaluation of several candidates. A key factor was Optilon’s ability to integrate best-of-breed solutions for production planning, demand forecasting, inventory optimization, and replenishment into a seamless process. Along with this, a key criterion for a new way of working was the ability to automate business processes.

Also, The Absolut Company had clear targets regarding service levels towards its parent company. Optilon proposed a solution that can guarantee product availability according to targets, with minimal investments in finished goods.

“Quality is paramount for us, especially when it comes to production as we leave nothing to chance. We have carried out a thorough evaluation of alternatives and view Optilon as an exceptional solution provider when it comes to improving our logistics and production processes.”

Peter Neiderud, Director Supply Chain and QE, The Absolut Company

The Results
Through a high level of automation in planning, proactive decision making, and optimized production sequences, challenges were resolved.

Summing up on results:

  • Optimized production sequences
  • Increased overall production efficiency
  • Increased product availability
  • Highly automated end-to-end processes

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