Syngenta Builds Multi-National Collaborative Sales and Operations Process
INDUSTRY: Chemical Manufacturing
COMPANY TYPE: Public
JOHN GALT SOLUTION: Atlas Planning Suite
A world-leading agribusiness, Syngenta leads the world in crop protection and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Sales in 2002 were approximately US $6.2 billion. Syngenta (NYSE: SYT*) employs 20,000 people in over 120 countries. The company is committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. Its goal is to be the leading global provider of innovative solutions and brands to growers and the food and feed chain.
The agricultural market is highly seasonal and competitive with the potential for large changes in market demand. Syngenta needed to build a consensus and collaborative Sales and Operations Planning Process to meet the needs of their business units, which not only spanned different products and regions, but foreign subsidiaries as well. To achieve a successful sales and operations planning process, collaboration is a key tool in creating accountability and confidence. Syngenta was in search of a way to increase the integrity and responsibility of their forecast. In the past Syngenta’s forecast was actually a sales plan based on historical data that was pulled from their ERP system into spreadsheets then given to the business units for incorporation of actual sales data and current business plans. This centrally controlled process limited the involvement of each business unit and the marketing managers because sales to date, marketing plans, and current inventory were not readily available to each department. In addition, the forecasts were created at a level of hierarchy too high to establish accountability.
Syngenta wanted a tool that would help them design a collaborative sales and operations process across their enterprise. They needed a web-enabled collaborative solution that would give all the users of the forecast input and visibility of the entire supply chain. It had to allow for multiple languages, currencies, and give the business units the ability to manage market changes as they happened through dynamic pricing, promotion, and adjusting production levels. Syngenta also required an automated web based solution that would eliminate the need to email spreadsheets back and forth and give everyone in the sales and operations team immediate access to the sales and operations plan. A core function important to Syngenta was the ability to link their financial targets to market demand and their operational capabilities. Key to this process was having a solution that would allow them to manage the gaps between each of these pillars of the S&OP plan.
At Syngenta, approximately 200 individuals across three countries are using the S&OP portion of the Atlas Planning Suite and now have a better read on pricing, promotions, and programs. Instead of producing inventory to meet budget goals, they now use real-time collaboration to align inventory with customer demand. Syngenta can now meet sales targets by managing gaps with a more efficient S&OP process. Instead of monthly updates to the forecast and demand plan the forecast is now “live” because the process is web-enabled. Syngenta recently added the Demand Management Engine module of the Atlas Planning Suite to their process. The automation the demand management engine brings to the forecasting process eliminates the workload that forecasting with spreadsheets presents. Syngenta will now be able to track the value added to the forecast at every level by different business units as they apply their business knowledge to the forecast results. “By tracking the effects those adjustments have on our results, along with the ability to manage our product family by exception, we can increase customer service through better product management.” said Richard Herrin, manager of NAFTA planning and forecasting.
“By tracking the effects those adjustments have on our results, along with the ability to manage our product family by exception, we can increase customer service through better product management”
Richard Herrin, Manager of NAFTA Planning and Forecasting, Syngenta