June 18, 2019

Poultry producer Ingham’s implements FuturMaster software to pluck demand

Ingham’s, the largest poultry producer in Australia and New Zealand, has implemented FuturMaster’s demand planning software to help more accurately forecast how many chickens and turkeys supermarkets are likely to require over busy seasonal trading periods. Sales of turkeys increase substantially over Christmas and demand for convenient, ready-to-serve barbecue chicken tends to increase during warmer weather. Given that Ingham’s processes 200m birds each year, the company relies on carefully planning calculations to make sure its various products arrive fresh onto supermarket shelves in the correct quantities, as and when required.

Ingham’s operates 345 facilities and farms across Australia and New Zealand and continues to invest to enhance its production and processing networks, supplying many of the region’s leading retailers and quick-service restaurant chains, including Woolworths and McDonald’s. Planning for Christmas turkey production starts early in September and relies on accurate data on forecasting retailers’ requirements two to three months ahead, including any plans for promotions or seasonal ranges. By using FuturMaster’s demand planning software, Ingham’s hopes to increase its forecast accuracy and be much more responsive to seasonal fluctuations in demand.

“We now have a sophisticated tool-set in place for matching demand plans with production,” says Chee Foong, demand planning manager at Ingham’s. “With the help of FuturMaster, we expect an uplift in service levels and increased forecast accuracy.”

He adds that the dynamics of poultry production and working with fresh produce with only a limited shelf-life means having to carefully manage inventory to avoid stock losses and wastage.

“We have to get things right first time,” says Foong. “The retail and quick-service restaurant market environment is very dynamic, so we want to be more proactive by using technology for collaborative forecasting and getting much more efficient at what we do.”

The first phase of FuturMaster’s cloud-based software implementation went live in April 2018 and Ingham’s is pleased with the results. It later intends to add more advanced promotion planning capabilities. Farthing West, a local partner and reseller, provided additional support in the sales cycle.

“We’re delighted that Ingham’s is adopting our software via the cloud,” says Bo Zhou, CEO and President of FuturMaster.“We trust it will give them the reliability and flexibility that outsourcing important IT areas of the business can bring. Our Cloud Services offer is on the rise among our clients, allowing them to minimise any up-front IT and infrastructure costs.”