Oil-Dri Corporation of America (NYSE: ODC) is a leading manufacturer of absorbent clay products for consumer, industrial, automotive and agricultural markets. Among the company’s branded products are Cat’s Pride and Jonny Cat premium cat litter, sold through major mass merchandisers, supermarket chains, pet retailers and warehouse clubs.
Oil-Dri sought to integrate its forecast data and increase its forecasting accuracy with the goal of improving resource planning and demand planning across operations. However, the company lacked the processes and technology to make that happen. At the time, Oil-Dri had no company-wide forecast process and no PC-based data warehouse through which it could integrate and analyze data from various sales divisions and functional departments.
After evaluating various marketplace solutions, Oil-Dri selected the Demand Management Engine – a core application in John Galt Solutions’ Atlas Planning Suite. Implementation began in January 2004 and was successfully completed in just over six months.
Today, ten to 20 employees in Oil-Dri’s operations, sales and accounting areas routinely access the new forecasting system for resource and production planning. Because of its flexibility, individual users have the ability to download report templates from the Demand Management Engine and can modify them to fit their specific reporting requirements.
According to Brian Shay, Oil-Dri’s director of service and materials planning: “Although we have not yet integrated the Demand Management Engine’s forecast data with our MRP application, we have still realized many of the operational and inventory benefits that we set out to achieve. In regard to improved resource allocation through more accurate forecasting, the solution has helped us make better plant staffing decisions and more closely determine future plant capacity and fuel purchase requirements. In addition, with more accurate forecasts, we became better able to define our inventory objectives and better manage inventories at the plant level.”