Orthex Group, a leading manufacturer of household products in the Nordic, operates in a sector where the customers have high demands on short lead times and on-time delivery. When unexpected large orders are common and the company growth increases Supply Chain complexity, it puts pressure on the production planning process and the planners involved.
For Orthex, unexpected large orders are very common and usually have a short delivery time between 48 hours and a week. Such short lead times require a production flexibility and an ability for quick adaption. To ensure customer satisfaction and product availability, a streamlined production is of most importance. As Orthex has grown, also the production and factory planning has become more complex and time-consuming.
Prior to using Compass, Orthex had been using another production planning application. Since the previous software was implemented, the demand for a modern planning application had increased. Orthex now needed more functionality, a higher level of automation and the ability to plan the production for a multisite network on an operational, as well as a tactical level.
To secure sustainable growth, while keeping the same number of employees in the planning and purchasing department, Orthex took the decision to start looking for a more modern planning application. This would bring the ability to plan ahead instead of catching up on orders, and to find a partner and solution to grow together with rather than grow apart from.
Summing up we could say that:
- Company growth and increasing Supply Chain complexity
- Previous planning method was not sustainable with the resources at hand
- A planning system that would not meet the future requirements
Orthex and Optilon have a long relationship that has consisted of several previous application implementations. When Orthex started looking for a new planning application, Optilon was a natural partner and advisor. This gave Optilon the opportunity to demonstrate the competitive advantage a modern planning tool as Compass could give. Orthex evaluated other applications as well, but in the end, the decision to choose Optilon and Compass was made based on two main aspects. Partially the fit Compass had to Orthex needs, but also the trust Orthex has towards Optilon from previous projects.
The project consisted of software implementation, training of end users, and validation and refining of the master data. The projects have had a smooth implementation, which is mostly thanks to a successful cooperation between Orthex and Optilon.
“It is fantastic to work with consultants that are competent and committed to the project. The consultants of Optilon have shown a clear will to ensurethat the project outcome will reach or exceed the expectations. The consultants at Optilon understand how we operate our daily business and they have not been afraid to question weaknesses in our production planning process” says Peter Ottosson, Chief Operations Officer at Orthex Group.
Peter Ottosson also sees the value in Optilon’s role as a holistic supply chain advisor,
“In my experience, consultants tend to focus solely on assuring that the application is properly implemented and that it runs smoothly. They are, for instance, forgetting about keeping the end-user involved in the process so that the user understands, why the system is implemented and how it will affect their work. This has not been the case with Optilon. This is important considering the total “switching cost”. It determines how long it will take until the end-users have gained a sufficient level of skill and feel comfortable using the system”.
Orthex has identified many positive outcomes from the project. Working in Compass is faster and smoother. It also gives the planner more flexibility and new functionality that makes the planning easier.
“Using Compass has given me an increased sense of control, which is important for a person in my role. I also feel like I use less time for planning than before. Now I can put more time on analyzing exceptional cases like delayed orders and backlogs” says Therese Dahl, Production Planner, Orthex Group
The planner’s freed up time has also led to a more versatile workday. They can now take part in smaller projects on top of their daily jobs, which has proven to be a real contribution for the planner’s job satisfaction. Before implementing Compass, Orthex used an application that was slower to use and that was more dependent on manual control. Since Orthex receives many unexpected large orders, it was next to impossible to plan successfully. The planning process with Compass today is not depending as much on manual control and it is a lot more robust.
With Compass, Orthex has been able to take a big step towards 100% planning control.
Summing up on results:
- Faster and smoother planning process
- Time freed up for exception analysis
- Increased sense of 100% control
- Happier production planners with more versatile workdays