Clarkston recently partnered with a leading manufacturer in the building materials space on a supply chain planning tool vendor selection. The client manufactures and distributes building materials, such as drywall, joint compound, and ceiling tiles. They serve both retail and commercial customers from over 40 manufacturing plants across the U.S. Because of the supply chain pressures brought on by the pandemic, this client realized it was time to replace their legacy demand planning tool with a new, end-to-end supply chain planning tool.
The client’s legacy demand planning tool lacked the ability to forecast at the desired level and generated highly unreliable results. This low accuracy created distrust in the plan, while the misalignment in forecasted level and actionable data for planners led to a large manual lift. Their low forecast accuracy led to less-than optimal material inventory levels and high freight costs stemming from shipping from non-optimal plants to meet their customer needs. Supply planning was being done in offline spreadsheets, which made ad-hoc changes difficult, and not to mention time-consuming. The legacy solution was also limited in reporting and scenario planning capabilities, which meant that users relied heavily on ad-hoc requests and manual calculations. The client needed to find a supply chain planning tool that would improve their demand forecast accuracy, allow for more collaborative, agile supply planning, and support more robust reporting capabilities.
Recognizing that this client was operating under unique constraints, Clarkston prioritized understanding their business. Clarkston’s engagement began with an assessment phase, conducting interviews with key stakeholders. This provided the Clarkston team with the information necessary to deliver assessment findings, areas of opportunity, and develop a list of requirements as well as selection criteria for the vendor selection. Clarkston then led the client through a comprehensive vendor selection process including an initial market scan, a Request for Proposals (RFP), and product demonstrations. Clarkston’s approach included scoring tools and guidance from Clarkston’s subject matter experts. In addition to the initial assessment and the vendor selection, Clarkston also provided the client with an actionable implementation roadmap for their new planning tool and a business case to show the value in embarking on this implementation. Because of Clarkston’s dedication to understanding their client’s unique needs and expertise in the supply chain planning space, the client selected a planning solution that improves efficiency and reduces costs.
“Clarkston kept our project on track and on budget while delivering the results promised and educating our staff along the way. They were great partners and truly cared about our success.” – Senior Director, Supply Chain