Data-driven Expansion at Conestoga Wood Specialties
COMPANY: Conestoga Wood Specialties
INDUSTRY: Consumer Durables and Wholesale Distribution
COMPANY TYPE: Privately Held
JOHN GALT SOLUTION: Atlas Planning Platform
Conestoga Wood Specialties manufactures the highest quality cabinet doors and wood components for both residential and commercial projects, and has done so for more than 50 years. Their on-time shipment record stands at 99%, with thousands of deliveries each month nation-wide, setting a high standard to maintain.
With consumer preferences shifting in recent years, Conestoga recognized the need to expand their line to include wood alternatives. As a make-to-order (MTO) company, this meant aligning their supply chain and inventory management to maintain their high on-time shipment record.
With this in mind, Conestoga Wood Specialties partnered with John Galt Solutions to leverage the Atlas Planning Platform to streamline inventory management and remove planning bottlenecks to help meet or exceed customer expectations. By leveraging Atlas’ AI-driven planning platform, Conestoga reaped the following benefits:
- Reduced inventory costs by $1.4 million
- Established an automated demand planning process
- Improved visibility and accuracy of daily demand forecast
- Modernized and automated their S&OP process
Challenges of Growth
Consumer trends have been moving away from wood to more sustainable options for some time. Recognizing this, Conestoga saw the need to expand their offerings. They needed to branch out to non-wood alternatives, add options for additional product offerings, color selections, and more. Their business model as an MTO producer meant that a streamlined, accurate, and agile planning system was a requirement for this pivot to be a success.
One of the biggest challenges Conestoga faced was that with over 30,000 parts available for customization, they could not use traditional SKUs. This means that traditional inventory management systems would not be sufficient. Further complicating things is the fact that some alternative wood products require long lead times due to being shipped in from overseas. With a customer base accustomed to fast turnarounds, maintaining their reputation of on-time deliveries was a top priority. And they needed to do it all while not incurring stockouts, delays, or inventory overages.
Modern Solutions for Accurate Planning
To overcome these challenges and continue growing at the projected rate, Conestoga Wood Specialties reached out to John Galt Solutions. Bob Dudek, Sr. Supply Chain Manager at Conestoga says, “We realized that we needed something more than our existing ERP system to match our business demands. Ultimately it came down to the fact that we weren’t just looking for a piece of software but the right partner to implement it and get it going. On that front, John Galt outshined all the other planning solutions.”
“Ultimately it came down to the fact that we weren’t just looking for a piece of software but the right partner to implement it and get it going.
On that front, John Galt outshined all the other planning solutions.”
Bob Dudek, Sr. Supply Chain Manager, Conestoga Wood Specialties
Determining What to Buy and When
Speed, agility, and maintaining customer service metrics were Conestoga’s main concerns, and Atlas was the solution. As an AI-driven, highly scalable, and flexible end-to-end planning platform, Atlas could be configured and deployed in short order. Inventory management was populated with the variables necessary (30,000+ parts, 100’s of product types, manufacturing processes, functionality, users, and more). Conestoga also built the right foundations for their S&OP process and moved away from manual spreadsheet-based processes to automate their planning activities.
Automating Processes for Greater Efficiency
Conestoga also leveraged the AI capabilities built into the core of Atlas to automate myriad forecasting processes that were previously manual. This led to significant improvements in productivity, and the elimination of human error, allowing Conestoga to reassign valuable manpower to other areas.
Laying the Foundation for the Future
Conestoga initially planned to use Atlas solely to drive their inventory management and improve the execution of inventory-related tasks. However, inventory management is just one of the many capabilities of Atlas and as Conestoga recognized what was possible with Atlas—they began expanding. The original project, inventory management, saw incredible results (savings upwards of $1.4 million USD) and was a key driver for expanding the scope to support their S&OP processes for their OEM wood products division. In addition to S&OP, the expanded scope also included rough cut capacity planning to support raw materials and labor management needs.
"Starting out with Atlas, we were focusing on managing our purchase orders, but we always knew we can use this platform for so much more. In the last year alone, we have tripled the things we are trying to do with Atlas and we were able to go through these tasks fairly easily.”
Standardize Forecasting Processes
By linking their demand planning to their inventory planning in Atlas, Conestoga is able to manage all their planning activities using a single unified solution. Now, rather than having multiple departments and teams siloed in their planning process, everything is consolidated in one place and each team can access the data they need from that single source. This “single source of truth” approach signals Conestoga’s digital transformation into a truly data-driven enterprise.
About Atlas Planning Platform
Flexible End-to-End Planning Platform
Atlas Planning is an integrated, simple to use, and AI-enabled platform that streamlines your supply chain management to serve as your real-time planning system of record.
The Atlas Planning Platform is agile enough to fill your unique planning requirements; and built to give your company a competitive edge by improving forecast accuracy, optimizing inventory levels, and continuously maximizing multi-enterprise supply chain performance.
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