Case study: Cedo
Cedo closes gaps in ERP and lays the foundation for supply chain optimization

Enhancing supply chain planning amid ERP transition  

Cedo is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of consumer household products. The company has production sites in Poland, the UK, Vietnam, and the Netherlands, and a sales and distribution network supplying over 30,000 supermarkets with private-label and own-brand waste collection bags, food wraps and bags, foils, and baking paper. 

At the start of 2020, with a pandemic around the corner, Cedo had just started a group-wide ERP replacement project. While the new ERP solution offered a significant upgrade, it lacked the supply chain planning functionality required by a complex manufacturer like Cedo. This is where RELEX came in. 

Tackling scheduling and production complexity 

The project started in the spring of 2020 with the German sales and distribution organization, including over 20 warehouses. As soon as the ERP system was in place, the team turned its focus to RELEX. Grzegorz Grudzinski, Group Planning Manager at Cedo, was responsible for implementing the planning processes.  

“At the start, our main goal with RELEX was to close the functional gaps in the ERP system. Of course, we knew the potential of RELEX, but we needed to deliver working end-to-end planning processes in all locations as quickly as possible. For Germany, this meant implementing the RELEX Demand Forecasting and Supply Chain Optimization solutions. To speed things up, we didn’t include the more advanced optimization capabilities that set RELEX apart in the initial phase.” 

Following the implementation in Germany and a subsequent rollout in France, it was time to address the first manufacturing site. The factory in Poland had been unable to migrate its existing production scheduling solution to the new ERP system, and Cedo opted for RELEX production scheduling capabilities.  

Scheduling and production of plastic films and aluminium foil-based products is complex, and, there were some initial concerns from the plant managers and schedulers. However, Cedo met all the functional requirements with RELEX production scheduling capabilities. The interactive Gantt charts and on-the-fly rescheduling capabilities were a welcome addition.  

After the go-live in Poland, they implemented an almost identical solution at their factory in Telford, UK., almost entirely by themselves. The Vietnam factory was a more complex production environment due to the type of equipment used and the larger number of alternative routes to make each product. Thanks to the experience = gained from the Polish implementation and excellent support from RELEX, the Cedo team came up with a good solution. 

Automated end-to-end supply chain planning 

Today, Cedo has a company-wide, fully operational supply chain planning process. “We’ve achieved what we set out to do in this phase. We have a new ERP system in place, and with RELEX, our planners can do their jobs as required. It’s a solid foundation. However, we’ve only scratched the surface of what RELEX has to offer,” says Grzegorz. 

Before implementing RELEX demand forecasting capabilities, Cedo had never used a statistical forecasting tool.  

The demand forecasting capabilities enabled them to automate much of their demand planning process. This is vital as the company continues to grow. They have better control and can manage significantly higher volumes with the same resources. 

The sustained volatility caused by recent macro events has added pressure on supply chain planners everywhere, not least in the dynamic FMCG industry. 

“We’re in a highly dynamic market, and demand changes constantly. With RELEX, we can refresh the forecast every night and spend more time analyzing and refining our data and forecasts. This has helped us a lot,” says Grzegorz.  

Cedo has yet to take advantage of the RELEX optimization capabilities, and the production and distribution planning models are almost entirely unconstrained. However, this is all according to plan, They are currently using RELEX supply chain optimization and production scheduling tools most simplistically, and the control of inventory targets remains in the ERP system. However, as they move to the next phase and activate the optimization functionality, they expect further improvements in customer service and inventory levels. 

The pandemic and the situation on Poland’s eastern border impacted the project timeline. Grzegorz explains that the project was delivered almost exclusively over MS Teams. “The circumstances have been far from ideal. But hats off to the RELEX team and my team here at Cedo. Everyone’s taken it in their stride and been really professional.” 

Grzegorz admits that implementing RELEX together with a brand-new ERP system was challenging. “RELEX relies on good quality ERP data, so the ERP rollout determined how fast we could move forward with RELEX. It was a lot of work, but we had no choice. We needed the additional planning functionality to go live, and I’m glad we chose RELEX to deliver it. We now have a robust solution to plan and operate effectively. We’re also ready to take advantage of RELEX’s built-in optimization capabilities. This is where we will start to see the system’s real value, and my colleagues and I are looking forward to this next phase.”