Since the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world earlier this year and countries went into nationwide lockdowns, businesses (where possible) have had to quickly adapt their operations in order to accommodate employees and service customers. Different segments of the Distribution industry saw varying disruptions to their supply and demand due to lockdown restrictions. The distribution sector would need to respond, evolve and redefine itself in the slowdown times to ensure the distribution companies do not get behind the wheels!
One of the cost control measures implemented by our client to manage the Covid-19 situation was to close down two of their Distribution Centers and divert their sales and distribution operations to four other near-by operating facilities.
Some of the key challenges that our client faced include:
- A quick turn-time to divert the sales and distribution operations owing to the urgency of the situation
- Incomplete information about customers, distribution routes, and merchandisers moving to their new facilities as the business was still working on the changes. Last-minute dissemination of some key information also posed challenges
- Some sales & merchandizing routes in the closing & diverted locations had duplicate names
- Planners had to complete merchandising planning and upload the routes in Salesforce in a very short time to ensure that the merchandisers could execute these routes from the very next day and ensure minimal disruption
Our client was looking for a partner who understands the business & nuances of the beverage/bottling industry including DSD, FSV, merchandising planning, route planning and will be able to collaborate with business teams and the other vendors.
Quinnox had an already well-established relationship with the world’s largest beverage company since 2007, supporting a pre-and post-divestiture project, and emerging as their subject matter expert and “go-to” resource for their SAP technology landscape efforts. With Quinnox’s in-depth knowledge in the bottling & distribution industry business processes and association with the client since 2014, Quinnox was chosen as the partner to help the client manage the diversion of their sales and distribution operations.
- Quinnox team’s initial priority was to identify any missing information and highlight it to the business. The team identified dependencies with the sales and merchandizing execution solutions and worked with the vendors supporting them to ensure that these DC closures had minimal impact on distribution operations.
- Quinnox created duplicate routes in two of the four locations and suggested adding suffixes to the sub-routes before moving them to new locations, and coordinated with the Salesforce team to understand the impact due to the renaming of routes.
- Testing was a challenge due to the unavailability of complete information. However, the team deployed the changes in the Test environment as per the available information, which was validated by the planners.
- The Support team worked on test scripts, which were tested as soon as the missing information was made available.
- Ensured continuous monitoring of the database transactions to trace any issue, and helped fix the issue by effectively coordinating with the stakeholders.
- 100% Business continuity achieved as the merchandisers could visit their assigned customers on Saturday.
- Total 66 Merchandisers from the closing Distribution Centers were moved to new Distribution Centers.
- Around 550 customers were merged into 4 other distribution centers.