RELEX has helped Lumene to upgrade their sales forecasting and to improve the efficiency of the Sales and Operations planning process. As a result of our partnership, Lumene now has a comprehensive tool for sales planning, which has helped bring about a remarkable improvement in a number of areas including transparency throughout the operations and preparing for campaigns.
Lumene’s goal was to integrate their demand planning, which serves the production and supply chain, more effectively with the overall business planning. The aim was also to improve transparency throughout the supply chain, and implementing the RELEX solution was a natural part of the project.
The Starting Point and the Objectives
“Lumene wasn’t expecting all the required functionalities to be provided by the RELEX system as such. However, the system appeared to offer an excellent platform for an on-going development and Lumene quickly realised that RELEX was willing to develop the system to meet their requirements.
”We had started the development of our S&OP process in 2013 and it was running well in all of our key markets. However we had reached the point where also a planning system upgrade was necessary in order to meet the objectives we have in our planning process. The old system was at the end of its lifecycle and we felt that RELEX could offer us exactly what we needed”, says Elina Haavisto, Head of Business Control and Planning at Lumene.
To gain longer term visibility and to manage the lengthy lead times in production and supply chain, Lumene plans their sales 16 months ahead. RELEX solution gives Lumene more flexibility and it is now e.g. possible to define product and/or customer specific parameters and time frames for planning. Sales forecasts can be modified and managed in a more flexible and coordinated way, product lead-times and stock availability allowing.
In the new solution, customer-specific assortment management and managing the products in different lifecycle phases were improved significantly. Also the integration of the sales plans to the production planning and MRP (in SAP R/3) was developed and automated during the project.
RELEX Fulfilled the Objectives
The first phase of the project began in September 2014, with the focus on Lumene operations in Finland, Sweden, USA and the distributor markets. Lumene implemented the project together with Cutrin, a professional hair care company within the same Group. Lumene and Cutrin have similar operating models and system architectures.
The agile RELEX system and project model enabled a smooth implementation of two separate organisations in one project. As a result, both organisations have their own solutions based on the same key principles, but each configured to reflect the business specific requirements, where needed.
Lumene project required a lot of bespoke system development and creation of new functionalities. At the beginning of 2015, the system and integrations were ready for intensive testing and end user training. Go-live was in March 2015.
”RELEX is an incredibly flexible and user-friendly solution,” says Lumene Project manager Lispe Tammivaara. “The project was implemented in time and within budget. Our partnership with the RELEX project team worked extremely well throughout the project.”
Fast Results Surprised Lumene
Lumene now has a comprehensive sales planning tool. The files uploaded to and downloaded from RELEX are synchronized daily, ensuring that the right information is effectively transferred to the reporting system for efficient use in the demand planning and sales teams. Transparency across the whole supply chain has increased. Figures are easily obtained and all stakeholders can see the baseline and campaign forecasts both in terms of product quantities and values.
As with many FMCG manufacturers, Lumene sales are highly campaign-driven. Key account managers have a central role in planning the campaigns. In the old system planning, scheduling and making changes to campaigns were difficult to manage and prone to error.
During the project, RELEX developed the campaign-planning tool especially to meet Lumene’s particular requirements. “The continuous development of the RELEX solution to meet the specific needs of individual customers is a core part of our proposition,” says Tuomo Pesonen, COO at RELEX.
Lumene is very happy with both the RELEX solution and the agile implementation process during which it was adapted to the company’s requirements. “We had a clear vision of how we wanted to develop our planning. It helped us in decision making as well as target setting, says Elina Haavisto.
Implementation of the sales planning and warehouse replenishment tools is currently in process in their Russian subsidiary, with the intended go-live in October 2015. In the coming months, Lumene continues to improve the transparency in their business planning processes throughout the whole chain. The goal is also to automate routines and labour-intensive tasks and make processes more efficient.