Gale Pacific is a Melbourne-based manufacturer of knitted shade cloth “Coolaroo Brand”, which is used in products all over the world including outdoor shades, gazebos and window furnishings. This unique cloth is exported to China, where the consumer products are produced and then shipped to the various Gale Pacific locations worldwide for sales and distribution.
This highly seasonal business has a complex supply chain resulting in lead times of up to 30 weeks. As a result, Gale Pacific requires accurate long range forecasting capabilities to ensure manufacturing production schedules meet future demand.
Gale Pacific previously had in place a very rudimentary forecasting process based on historic sales patterns and at a very broad group class level – i.e. they were unable to forecast sales at a specific customer level. Underpinning the challenges of such a rudimentary system was the lack of understanding amongst staff of the true value of an effective fully integrated forecasting process. The interopability issues presented by the disparate ERP systems in place globally further exacerbated this.
Supply Chain Manager for Gale Pacific, Greg Roberts, knew Demand Management Systems could rise to the challenges of Gale Pacific – and at the most cost effective price.
“As a former client of Demand Solutions™ at another organisation I knew the product and I had a thorough knowledge of competitor offerings,” said Roberts. “I was completely confident the software would perform and give us the results we wanted, which was cost-effective, accurate forecasting via a user friendly system that all levels of staff could utilise.”
Demand Solutions™ Requirements Planning and Feedback software was implemented in the Gale Pacific offices in Melbourne, and all over the world, as well as being seamlessly incorporated into two new businesses acquired since the implementation.
The company now possesses unprecedented levels of supply chain visibility and dramatically increased levels of understanding amongst staff on the crucial role that forecasting plays.
“The Demand Solutions™ software has provided us with crucial links between forecasting, sales and budgets. It has provided the entire organisation with a clear understanding of the ramifications of poor forecasting and an easy-to-use tool to facilitate the detailed levels of forecasting we require for a smooth planning process and to minimise stock-outs – imperative for a company that does 70% of its sales in a three month period.
“Unlike some of the alternative forecasting software available, Demand Solutions™ also offers a level of flexibility which enables it to bridge the gap between the varying ERP systems we have in place globally.”
Today, Gale Pacific possesses the ability to create a master production schedule for both Australia and China, based on expertly forecast product requirements; the ability to sit at a laptop in Melbourne and view the status of stock in the Middle East; and reduced expenditure with suppliers as this new long range forecasting capability allows the Gale Pacific purchasing manager to more effectively manage suppliers which has also resulted in a reduction in supplier lead times.
Gale Pacific is approaching its first peak sales period since the Demand Solutions™ implementation was finalised, and believes they are in a strong position to meet demand.
“It’s a great feeling to be approaching the summer months feeling completely confident we have the tools and processes in place to satisfy market demand and capitalise on all potential sales opportunities,” said Roberts.
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