Can asking “what if?” help DuPont decide what’s next?
In the past two years, a series of events — starting with international trade disputes and compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic — has created a ripple effect of volatility that has Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) scrambling to stay one step ahead. For large companies that do massive volumes of business around the world, there can be millions of dollars in profit or loss on the table every day.
DuPont’s scientifically engineered products are the building blocks of thousands of common devices and machines, including cars, smartphones, medical supplies and construction materials. The 200-year-old, $25b company, which operates in 40 countries, didn’t become a legend in the chemicals, plastics and materials industry without anticipating what’s to come.
In summer 2020, as the global pandemic worsened, DuPont budgets were in flux and supply chain planning was a mounting challenge. The company needed a rapid, low-cost solution to equip planners with scenario-based insight into the business impacts of materials availability, demand fulfillment capacity, inventory, and cost.
“With the unpredictable changes in the global market, our planners were basically flying blind,” said Jared Guckenberger, DuPont Integrated Operations Continuous Improvement Director. “The systems we had relied on to anticipate what’s ahead were suddenly falling behind our business needs.”
DuPont needed a customized digital platform for the company’s $5b Mobility and Materials (M&M) division that could provide global, long-term aggregate supply plan generation, along with inventory and financial projections. The platform was configured to scan a range of supply chain factors that might impact profit performance to inform strategic decision-making for DuPont planners and leadership, minimizing disruption to consumers who need continued access to important products.
The EY supply chain planning solution offered DuPont a digital platform that could facilitate “what-if” scenario modeling to help the company make better business decisions, even in volatile environments.
A digital planning platform helps DuPont pilot multiple horizons
Working closely with DuPont leadership, the EY team created and calibrated a digital, integrated business planning system that eliminates blind spots for global supply planners and production managers by integrating demand, supply, and finance.
Dubbed the Supply Chain Cockpit, the digital platform can produce multiple possible scenarios simultaneously, using a custom algorithm built on an open-source platform. The potential outcomes are based on inputs from global supply planners to cross-check supply chain readiness against customer needs, production line capacity, inventory, alternate sourcing plants and modes of transport, fulfillment capabilities, and financial implications including cost and revenue margin.
“DuPont planners were trying to do business modeling with legacy tools and disconnected methods,” said Anna Bourne, Partner, Advanced Manufacturing, Ernst & Young LLP. “The new system lets them see everything they need within a single tool, helping them improve supply planning practices across products.”
The EY Supply Chain Cockpit integrates 15+ supply chain and financial factors that can be analyzed on a robust technology stack. With the new tool, DuPont can more precisely match aggregate supply with demand, properly plan inventory and maximize fulfillment over the sales and operation process (S&OP).
The tech platform guides informed, strategic leadership decisions around capacity planning, inventory and financial projections over a 24-month horizon. Plans are visible across product lines to optimize procurement. The Supply Chain Cockpit brings operational science to DuPont’s M&M sales and operations teams by coupling aggregate planning principles and unique business insights. One of the biggest selling points is speed, allowing supply chain planners to run multiple scenarios within minutes and make informed decisions faster – so DuPont can ensure their important products continue to reach consumers around the world.
Planning ahead keeps products available around the globe
DuPont’s new Supply Chain Cockpit supplants legacy technology and manual processes, using an algorithm that tests future scenarios for nine supply chain categories across 75 locations. The platform saves the company planning time and effort while simultaneously building efficiency, consistency and predictability – all of which improve DuPont’s ability to produce and distribute its products.
Products distributed more effectively1,000+
using enhanced prediction capabilities
An informed understanding of variable factors and possibilities across critical functions allows DuPont business leaders to plan ahead for long-term inventory management and help drive the company’s broader strategic initiatives.
“There’s no textbook that shows our planners how to predict global events and supply chain disruptions,” said Guckenberger. “But the EY Supply Chain Cockpit will better inform DuPont’s global readiness plans and help ensure that important consumer products can continue to be easily accessed worldwide."
- 1,000+ products distributed effectively using enhanced prediction capabilities
- 20+ scenario options tested every month by supply chain planners
- 75+ supply chain locations continually analyzed
- Up to 30 planners and core team members trained on the new tool
As of November 1, 2022 DuPont’s Mobility and Materials division (M&M) was acquired by Celanese Corporation.
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