Overview of the Client
Our client is one of the fastest-growing companies in the food industry. They produce cookies, crackers, components, and other baked foods and snacks. They are also one of the largest contract packagers of food products. The company operates in more than 24 locations, including Europe.
Business Objectives and Challenges
One of the critical challenges for Plant Coordinators is accurately tracking the labor hours on the floor, along with forecasting the direct and indirect labor requirements for production lines and the support staff.
Some of the key challenges for deriving an accurate weekly production forecast are:
- Inconsistent means of capturing labor forecast data across the plants.
- Production lines are not consistently defined across all plants.
- No standard definition of labor positions.
- Inconsistent tracking of the In and Out Times for the labor and improper data entry into the system.
The challenges can be addressed through an enterprise-wide reporting solution for reviewing and forecasting labor requirements across all plants, production lines, and labor types.
- The solution necessitated a process change by implementing an industry time-tracking system to accurately record the actual times logged in by the employees.
- Accordingly, the TekLink Team used an existing custom extractor that loaded the labor forecast data from ECC as the primary data source to service the requirement.
- The Team maintained the target labor count positions from various plants in SAP Data Warehouse.
- Thus, the team used SAP Data Warehouse Queries to extract the required information from SAP into Power BI.
- The system ensured automatic data refreshes, eliminating any manual intervention.
- The labor forecasts were made available by different parameters like the plant, shift, week, and job positions versus the set targets.
- The visualizations were also based on the standards based on the requirements of the business users.
Business Outcomes and Benefits
- The client has a one-stop shop for all their labor forecasting needs.
- The reporting solution helps the Continuous Improvement (CI) Team communicate better with the plant coordinators for more accurate forecasts and planning needs.
- Enabling an end-to-end automated solution.
- In Covid times, the client could better predict the labor requirements across different plants, resulting in significant Cost Savings.
- The solution can not pre-empt the gaps in labor forecasting, thus optimizing the production lines and increasing productivity.