Syngenta AG has selected Quintiq to help solve its complex supply chain planning problems. Part of Dassault Systems Quintiq aims to solve the planning puzzles of the world’s industries in a single platform. It is for this reason that Syngenta turned to Quintiq to solve its own puzzle.
Quintiq likes a puzzle
Syngenta is a world leader in agriculture and has over 28,000 employees across 90 countries with a simple but powerful mission of “Bringing plant potential to life”. The life cycles that it deals with are slower than many manufacturing industries but this does not mean that they are any more complex.
As with most other companies Syngenta is faced with a similar challenge of growing more with less. The price of failure to do this may be far more drastic for the world, its target is to increases agricultural productivity by at least 40% within 40 years. In the next ten years alone the demand for grain is set to rise by around 30% (Source : Our industry 2014 : Syngenta) and 60% of this growth will be from feed, 30% food and 10% bio fuels.
Facing this challenge Syngenta needs to optimise the distribution of its seed crops to different regions of the globe. These seed crops are engineers to deal with local variables, the forecasting of which is not always easy. The challenge presented by global warming, increasing resistance to different pesticides, changing farming techniques means that the planning process is highly intricate.
Some of the challenges faced will be familiar to other companies though, keeping surplus inventory low, cycle times short and customer satisfaction high are three that will have a familiar ring in other industries. The introduction of Quintiq will help Syngenta to provide real time visibility of its planning capabilities across its various plant stocks and warehouses. This will enable the company to respond to mid and long term changes in forecasts. Allowing Syngenta to change crops in some of its growing fields or even altering research plans where appropriate.
Peter Vos, Global Planning Excellence Manager at Syngenta, commented: “We selected Quintiq for its agility and proven optimization technology to help us solve puzzles within our planning processes. Quintiq can be configured to our needs and will help us capitalize on master data stored in SAP, providing us with a clearer overview of our supply chain. We expect inventories of finished goods, write-offs, transportation costs and lost sales to be reduced, and asset utilization, cycle times, on-time delivery and customer satisfaction to improve.”
The Quintiq solution
Quintiq 5.0 includes the modules one would expect in supply chain planning and optimization (SCP&O) platform. It is delivered several modules including Supply Chain planning, Sales and Operations planning, Logistics planning, production and workforce planning. The modules include optimisation options but importantly Quintiq 5.0 is built on four key areas:
- Agility : The software allows planners to be agile, as customers expect supplier to be flexible and responsive so Quintiq allows plans to be updated to reflect changes in the internal and external environment.
- Mobility : The latest version of Quintiq includes a mobility server that enables workforces to engage wherever they are located. This may be important for Syngenta as employees will often be located in farmland, remote form the office and the ability to update information for central planners will save hours and possible days of timescales.
- Intelligence: Quintiq work with their customers to ensure that the planning models are realistic. Their aim is to achieve a model that maps the real world 100%. Whether this claim is realistic is a different matter. An important point on this is that models are only as realistic as the industry intelligence that is feeding in the information. While modelling can be relatively accurate it is important to realse that in the words of Helmuth von Moltke the elder “No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy”.
- The Human touch: Quintiq sensibly realises that its software is not perfect and that the human interaction to make decisions is vitally important. It allows user intervention to give planners full control and visibility of the processes.
This latest win for Quintiq is good news and Arjen Heeres, Chief Operating Officer at Quintiq will be please. On the announcement itself he commented “Helping companies cope with increasing complexity to remain efficient and responsive to customer is what we do best, and we are pleased to apply our technology and expertise in support of Syngenta … During peaks in customer demand, it is essential that companies have a platform that provides real-time solutions to handle unexpected scenarios while helping them save on costs. This is what our technology can do for Syngenta.”