Food Supply

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More SmartOps (now part of SAP) customers are in the news.

This WSJ article caught my attention yesterday (my Operations Research Paper has the algorithms and description of software architecture and implementation for those interested):

Coronavirus Stockpiling Pushes Up Conagra’s Sales

Food maker has raised production streamlined operations to meet demand during health crisis

Yup. Cut out some product variety, stop making certain sizes and delay new product launches so one can reduce the time spent in changeovers. This will free up a lot of capacity right away.

Straight out of my MBA OM Core Class Lecture Slides!

..said Tuesday that its sales ballooned in March as consumers stock up on its Slim Jim snacks, Healthy Choice frozen meals and Chef Boyardee pastas to help them ride out the health crisis. “The priority right now is producing the maximum amount of food that we could possibly produce,” Mr. Connolly, CEO,  said.

Conagra is operating its factories at near capacity and delaying some internal projects to focus on getting food to stores faster. That means cutting back on the sizes and varieties of its products, as well as delaying some new food launches and promotional plans, Mr. Connolly said. 

Conagra said it is also paying factory workers more and making efforts to minimize the risk of the new coronavirus spreading within its facilities, including by checking employees’ temperatures.

Not just ConAgra. 

Campbell Sees More Demand from Soup Stockpiling

The soup giant, which also sells crackers, cookies, nuts and other dry goods, said Wednesday that retailers are also buying more of its less popular items such as SpaghettiOs and Swanson canned chicken.

“We made the decision last week to produce more where we had the flexibility, to strengthen inventory levels,” Chief Executive Mark Clouse said in an interview.

Campbell has also expanded its snack business following a 2018 acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance pretzels and nuts.


1 comment

  1. The core concept applies to so many industries. The challenge I have seen is having leaders acknowledge that is the right step and making that step happen. Nice post, professor.

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