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Consumer Goods Technology Features Enterra Webinar

October 24, 2011


Earlier this month, Enterra Solutions® sponsored a webinar entitled “Building a Learning Supply Chain: New Success at Newell Rubbermaid and Conair.” The webinar involved a panel discussion moderated by Kara Romanow, Executive Editor of Consumer Goods Technology (CGT) magazine. Included on the panel were Lora Cecere, from the Altimeter Group, John Mayorek, from Conair, and, from Newell Rubbermaid, Bill Shipman, and Nikki Van Dyke. I joined the panel after the formal presentations for the question and answer session. In a short article about the webinar, CGT wrote:

“Today’s supply chain is challenged by increasing variability, uncertainty, and complexity. There is a need to plan globally and execute locally, but the intricacies are daunting. Multiple technologies, complex large data sets, supply chains, and geographies need to be aligned and synchronized in real time. The question is how? The answer drives the need for a new approach.

“On October 12, 2011, during a CGT web seminar sponsored by Enterra Solutions, LLC, Newell Rubbermaid revealed how it is able to look out five days in advance and foresee what retail compliance related challenges it may face. Conair also explained how it extended visibility 21 days out into the future to see what shipping and manufacturing delays can affect inventory and delivery obligations to retailers. Below are some more highlights from the web event:

— Lora Cecere, a partner in the Altimeter Group, shared how new approaches for supply chain management are redefining the business problem. For example, she talked about how the rules of supply chains have changed when it comes to instances such as natural disasters, mergers and acquisitions, market shifts and commodity price pressure. Cecere brings up the question: ‘What if we could have systems that were more adaptive; systems that could learn as situations change?’

— John Mayorek, senior vice president at Conair Corporation, explained how his company is using Enterra proprietary technology to drive a dynamic response in international sourcing. ‘Every customer has different guidelines, requirements, procedures, and to follow these manually is very difficult,’ Mayorek explained. Conair now sees late or delayed shipments on ships, railways, and trucks to help prioritize and allocate limited inventory on high-demand products to optimize fill rates for high value customers, and thereby reduce compliance penalties and increase customer satisfaction.

— Bill Shipman, group program manager, Newell Rubbermaid – Home and Family IT, and Nikki Van Dyke, group business process owner at Newell Rubbermaid – Home and Family, explained how they are using Enterra’s new approach to sense compliance rule changes by the retailer and adapt customer order requirements to improve customer service and reduce deductions. The challenge for Newell Rubbermaid was that it was difficult to proactively monitor and prioritize possible ‘at risk’ orders, resulting in unnecessary violation of requirements and credits issued. ‘We were trying to identify potential process improvements by implementing a standard solution across multiple business units, across multiple departments, where everybody was using the same language about why these orders were at risk and how to eliminate those deductions,’ said Shipman.”

[“Newell Rubbermaid, Conair Boost Supply Chain Visibility,” 19 October 2011]

The entire hour-long webinar is available for viewing at the following link.

Last year Conair Corporation received an Outstanding Achievement Award in Supply Chain Excellence at the annual Consumer Goods Technology (CGT) Business & Technology Leadership Conference. This prestigious award is presented annually to three consumer goods firms that demonstrate outstanding achievement in executing supply chain improvements. Conair received the runner-up award and was honored for its participation in the development and implementation of Enterra’s Retailer Compliance Module. Earlier this year, Enterra Solutions was selected as one of 25 companies featured in the Editors’ Pick section of CGT’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Issue.


Although unrelated to its work with Enterra®, Newell Rubbermaid was also recently recognized by CGT. The company received “the Most Innovative Company Award,” which “honors the consumer goods company that has continually driven growth through product and/or process innovation in 2010/2011.” [“CGT Reveals 2011 Innovation Award Winners,” 26 September 2011] The article explains why it honored Newell Rubbermaid:

“Over the past five years, Newell Rubbermaid has successfully transformed its business model from a manufacturing and product focus to one that is consumer centric and built on marketing, branding and consumer-driven innovation. To do this in part, the company implemented a strategic, company-wide approach to uncovering insights and unmet consumer needs to drive new product innovations and put the consumer at the heart of the business. Today, through consumer-driven innovation Newell Rubbermaid delivers products that surprise and delight consumers — like the Calphalon Unison Nonstick Egg Poacher and Parker Ingenuity pen — creating an emotional bond with its brands over time.”

I offer my heartiest congratulations to the folks at Newell Rubbermaid. The company is on a streak. Last year the company won CGT‘s Dick Clark Supply Chain Award, which is “named in honor of the supply chain visionary.” The “award is presented to a consumer goods firm for excellence in executing improvements in supply or demand planning, warehouse management, transportation management, S&OP processes or supply chain network design.” [“CGT Reveals Business & Technology Leadership Award Winners,” 27 October 2010] Concerning Newell Rubbermaid, the article stated:

“Early in 2008, improving S&OP was identified as a key priority for Newell Rubbermaid. Inventory growth had outpaced sales over the previous 3 years, inventory turns were down by 25 percent, forecast accuracy was well below best-in-class levels, and working capital as a percentage of sales ranked at the bottom of its peer group. In response, a global S&OP improvement initiative was launched. The initiative has delivered double-digit decreases in inventory, significant increases in forecast accuracy, higher inventory turns and various other benefits throughout the business. The improved S&OP process also helped cash flow, generating 30 percent more cash in 2009 for a total of $603M despite one of the most challenging business environments in a generation. Now entering its second major phase, the S&OP improvement initiative at Newell Rubbermaid will take advantage of the strong foundation built so far to enable rapid improvements in related areas such as forecasting, inventory optimization, and overall supply chain responsiveness.”

Enterra Solutions is honored to be working with companies that are being recognized for their foresight, innovation, and achievement. If you want to learn more about the supply chain solutions they are working on with Enterra, I recommend listening to the webinar.

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