The Fedrigoni Group is an Italian manufacturer and a leading player in the production and sale of paper for packaging, printing and graphics as well as self-adhesive products operating in 132 countries. After I-Plan completed an implementation with the Supply Chain team of their Paper and Securities division, Chief Operating Officer Mario Naldini and Logistics Director Massimo Perbellini gave five tips for a successful project.
1. Dedicate time and people to the project
It is indisputable that introducing a supply chain planning tool to your business can bring you significant benefits but, without you as a business also committing time and people to the project, you will be inhibiting yourselves from day one (limiting opportunity and tangible benefits).”
Mario explained: “You need to dedicate yourself to properly follow the activity. We created a small, specific team. Then we began to work continuously. We had help from a consultancy company. We went really detailed, step-by-step, and we would not go on until we have closed some of the points. Since we’ve started with I-Plan, we’ve never come back to say ‘oh we forgot this particular data so we have to redesign the interface’. So, I think this is the most important thing. It has helped us to gain time. “
2. Focus on what the customer wants
Customer demand is at the core of I-Plan’s sales and operations planning processes. There is no value in planning around anything else. Not working to satisfy what the customer wants ultimately leads to waste and an inefficient process.
Mario added: “From a production perspective, what we see is an important change which is why I say it is a revolution because we are moving from a way of working where the production was at the centre. Everything was done in order to maximise the production efficiency a lot. We are now working in an environment where we put the customer at the centre. So, we are changing completely. We worked for 145 years with this logic where we have to take the maximum quantity of paper from the machine. It’s not that today we don’t have to do that, we have to do what the customer wants, not what we would like the customer to want.“
3. Manage your data properly and early
Successful S&OP relies on accurate initial data. By Day One of the project, you need to have already put the work in so that your data is a complete and true reflection of your business.
Massimo explained: ‘To prepare Fedrigoni to use I-Plan, we did a lot of changes in our databases. We changed our ways to suit the order. Everyone in the chain production was involved because everyone had seen some change.
Mario added: What is important is that you work properly with your data. So, to use the stronger expression ‘what’s in, what’s out?’. So, if you don’t get the data right you can’t expect I-Plan to solve all your problems. I-Plan will help a lot, but you have to work properly at the beginning. “
4. Find a solution that allows you to focus on strategic decisions
A good solution should take care of the smaller, day-to-day problems so that you can focus on the high-level, strategic decisions to improve your business profitability and efficiency.
Massimo explained: “I see that the planner spends more time making strategic decisions instead of calculating every day (decisions). Another thing is that the stock is much more linked to real consumption. With the same consumption, we reach a better level of service.”
5. Find a solution that is more than just a software tool
I-Plan is not a tool that aims to improve one or two aspects of the business. By choosing I-Plan you are choosing to connect all levels of the enterprise, into a single, market-reactive plan.
Mario: “I-Plan for us is not a software or a tool. I-Plan is a different way to work. With I-Plan we are changing the process inside our company. And we are working in a different way compared with what we were doing and what we are still changing step-by-step. We are changing and this is the tool we will follow in order to reach our strategic goal. But it is a long journey. “
Massimo added: “Right now, I-Plan helps us with ‘how’ we produce. In the future, it will be ‘where’ we produce as well. I-Plan is not a mere software, but an organisational tool. If you think it is mere software, you haven’t understood anything.”