Kemps Commands Promotional Demand with >20% Forecast Accuracy Improvement

  • www.kemps.com
  • Consumer Goods
  • Increased forecast accuracy >20%
  • Increased fill rate from 97.7% to 98.3%
  • Reduced plant and planner overtime

Company Kemps has been delighting families throughout the upper Midwest with wholesome and delicious dairy products. From their beginnings as a small creamery in Southeastern Minnesota, Kemps has extended its roots to include the manufacture and marketing of fresh milk, premium ice cream and frozen yogurt, frozen novelties, sour cream and cottage cheese through retail supermarkets and food service channels. Headquartered today in St. Paul, Minnesota, Kemps operates five manufacturing facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has over 1,126 employees.

Challenge The rapid growth of Kemps’ ice cream was severely strained due to capacity constraints. Due to the absence of any formal demand planning process, Kemps struggled with inventory issues on key items, declines in customer service levels, and severe overtime for planning and production staff. Kemps initially chose to increase production capacity, but their promotionally-driven business meant that production remained uneven, and the overtime and customer service issues remained. Kemps also needed to deal with rapid change in their product line, including size changes on their core products, seasonality, and product introductions.

Solution Kemps chose to build a collaborative demand planning process internally, and then support that process with software. John Galt’s Atlas Planning Suite was selected from 4 vendors due to its ability to handle complex, promotionally-driven demand with little manual effort. Today, all aspects of their complex consumer-driven process are managed through a single planner. With Atlas’ Event Manager, Kemps improved forecast accuracy on promoted items and can react quickly to changes in the promotional schedule. Kemps can also use John Galt’s product lifecycle capabilities to manage changes to their product offerings, including new products, size changes on core items, and more.

Results In the first year of implementation, Atlas drove an explosive improvement in Kemps’ planning process. Forecast accuracy improved by over 20%, driving significant reductions in overtime hours. Customer service levels also reversed their downward trend, rising from 97.7% to 98.3% in the first year and recapturing at-risk sales. The improvement in accuracy allowed Kemps to pursue a project to reduce inventory further. Kemps is also evaluating Atlas Planning’s Inventory Management and Capacity Planning modules for future implementation.