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Managing A Bountiful Harvest


Supply Chain Planning Food Industry

Effectively managing a bountiful harvest requires a planning process that combines long-term visibility of future demands and manufacturing constraints with near-term production scheduling and execution. Seasonal harvests impose a significant constraint on manufacturing, especially with short-shelf-life ingredients, because a full year's supply for an entire product family may need to be produced in a few short weeks during the harvest season. To effectively determine the proper mix and quantities of products to be produced, a long-term demand forecast is required.
Efficient utilization of capital equipment may require that the same processing lines be scheduled to produce multiple product families with different seasonality. To effectively use existing manufacturing capacity, a constraint-based production planning and scheduling solution is necessary to predict and minimize the impacts of equipment and material constraints and changeovers. Plant consolidation, coupled with product portfolio expansion to meet new consumer demands for low carbohydrate foods, have served to make these challenges more complex. This paper describes the characteristics of these planning and scheduling problems, and summarizes the requirements for a successful supply chain planning solution to address them.

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