The pet market is booming. With a 19% increase in global sales of pet food and accessories last year alone and a 54% increase in demand anticipated by 2030, the outlook for the pet industry looks positive.
However, as new brands emerge, the competitive landscape is evolving rapidly. How did one of the world’s leading names in the pet care industry capitalise on this enormous growth opportunity?
Whitebridge Pet Brands, the result of the merger between the Italian company Agras Pet Foods and the American company Whitebridge Pet Brands, is present in over 50 countries with a global positioning driven by the Schesir and Tiki brands.
With ambitions to become one of the world’s leading pet players, the pet care specialist’s brands are stocked throughout major retailers, online channels, and an extensive network of over 8,000 pet stores around the world.
As the business pursues further growth, its dedication to helping customers bring health and happiness to their pets through improved nutrition remains steadfast. However, to unify its global end-to-end operation, Whitebridge Pet Brands adopted a revolutionary approach to supply chain planning.
Challenges and goals
According to the vision that “Pets and People are better together because they both will be happier and healthier”, Whitebridge Pet Brands has redefined the quality standards by focusing on minimally processed foods which are grounded on three pillars: nutrition, solutions and lifestyle treats.
Faced with unprecedented supply chain disruption and increasingly erratic supplier lead times, balancing flawless product availability while minimising waste became a growing concern.
To combat these supply chain challenges, Whitebridge Pet Brands launched a digital supply chain transformation project.
Focused on improving visibility throughout the entire network, enhancing supplier collaboration, and improving customer experience, the business joined forces with the supply chain experts at Slimstock.
By adopting Slimstock’s supply chain planning platform, Slim4, Whitebridge Pet Brands has leveraged impressive performance improvements throughout its supply chain:
- 10% increase in service levels while reducing the inventory value by 27%
- Improved efficiency through automation of routine tasks
- Enhanced visibility throughout the end-to-end network
Stefano Sitia, Supply Chain at Whitebridge Pet Brands highlights: “In today’s FMCG market, there is increasing focus on maximising the shelf life of products both from a consumer and commercial perspective.
Therefore, to remain competitive, we must take proactive steps to eliminate the risk of out-of-stock issues due to products that are about to expire without holding high inventories despite long supply lead times.”
Following the successful implementation of the Slim4 platform, Whitebridge Pet Brands has created greater forward visibility. By taking advantage of Slimstock’s AI-enabled forecasting algorithms, the planning team can create accurate demand forecasts to plan its inventory requirements with greater precision.
With the incorporation of an AI-enabled supply chain planning tool, Whitebridge Pet Brands has established a more agile replenishment process. “Our team is now empowered to make data-driven decisions, ensuring more accurate and faster replenishment.
A critical factor in helping us to attain a 10% increase in service level while simultaneously reducing the inventory value by 27%”, says Sitia.
Sitia goes on to highlight how the transformation project has helped the business to remain resilient amidst market changes:”In the event of disruptions, we can now respond strategically to lead time fluctuations.
By helping us to automate routine planning tasks, Slim4 has helped us reduce firefighting, resulting in a remarkable reduction in the number of urgent and out-of-stock items.”
Maintaining the businesses’ sustained growth trajectory remains a top priority for Stefano Sitia. The team at Whitebridge Pet Brands is therefore actively pursuing further enhancements.