WILMINGTON, Del., Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Arkieva, a leading provider of Advanced Planning and Scheduling software tools for manufacturing companies, today announced that Lush has selected the Arkieva Supply Chain Planning Software Suite to improve current planning initiatives.
With over 250 locations, the Lush North American division is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The 21-year old vegetarian and organic hand-made cosmetics company – differentiates itself in the marketplace by focusing on sustainable business practices and products that are manufactured using natural ingredients.
"The Lush culture is unique. We are committed to delivering fresh, quality products that are sourced ethically and produced using environmentally sustainable and handmade manufacturing practices. This is all aimed at delivering a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. As Lush continues to grow, it was evident that there was the need to implement a planning tool that was efficient and easy-to-use. The Arkieva implementation will provide the Lush planning team with the tools to cumulate and analyze large volumes of data for manufacturing and sales using one unified tool," said Heidi Wuthrich, Merchandising Manager at Lush.
Outgrowing Excel Calls for a More Robust Demand Planning Solution
The beauty products retailer has been experiencing year-over-year growth in various regions throughout North America. And as such, Wuthrich noticed the need for a robust planning tool that would give the planning team more flexibility, collaboration, and the ability to quickly and easily analyze data.
Wuthrich mentioned, "As the manager of the planning team at Lush, I saw a really talented group of people spending most of their time doing manual updating of data rather than just analyzing the data. The sheer volume of data and number of files we have was becoming too cumbersome. I thought that was a real shame. I wanted a tool that would allow the team to get down to the nitty-gritty analyst work. Additionally, our manual Excel sheets were error-prone and made it difficult to maintain data integrity all throughout the planning process."
"We have a sales plan for the retail stores and one for manufacturing which is then used to create the supply, material, and production plan. So just translating that into our manufacturing plan was always a challenge because there are so many variables with lead times for our store. We also have a brand philosophy of having freshest product available for our customers so having an efficient tool was something of great need," said Wuthrich.
'Rolling with the Punches' and Selecting an Agile Solution
While the global cosmetic industry represents one of the fast-growing markets, with an estimated $429.8 billion in 2022 according to Allied Market Research, the industry is also highly competitive and volatile. This makes it critical for cosmetic companies like Lush to create planning processes that are agile and nimble, within a fast-moving industry.
"The cosmetics industry is quite volatile. Most of the products are fast-moving so; you have to 'roll with the punches.' Consumers are always looking for the best next thing. For us, agility is important, and it's difficult to do that in Excel in a timely fashion. The Arkieva tools show great flexibility; our business is growing so quickly; we needed something that can move and evolve with us. From what we've seen the Arkieva solution is very powerful." noted Wuthrich.
On-The-Fly Reporting – Nothing Like the Good Ol' Excel Sheets
The Arkieva Supply Chain Planning Suite presents users with the flexibility to slice and dice the data at different aggregates and hierarchies, making it easy to generate reports quickly. The ease-of-use and the feature-rich S&OP features of the Arkieva tools, aligned Lush's business needs.
"One of the most exciting features about Arkieva is the fact that the reporting interface makes it easy to look at information in various ways. Our team has to present several management reports in various ways, the advantage with Arkieva is that we can do anything on the fly — it's relatively easy to pull information. Mostly these are reports that would have taken a couple of days to generate. It's a big game-changer for us," Wuthrich highlighted.
Finding the Right Culture Fit and Supply Chain Domain Expertise
For a company like Lush with a unique culture, it was essential not to just find a supply chain solution provider, but also a company that took the time to understand the business, and differentiated itself as a long-term strategic partner.
"We started out evaluating about 15 vendors, Arkieva understood the manufacturing side of planning which was important to us because we are a manufacturing business. Additionally, Arkieva differentiated itself from other vendors because the company is consistently investing in product enhancement initiatives. The people at Arkieva know their stuff! We asked some hard-hitting questions during the demos about formulas and the logic. All the answers were extremely impressive! We also felt there was a better culture fit compared to other vendors," said Wuthrich.
Rapid Iterative Implementation Plan
The integrated planning solution from Arkieva includes the Arkieva demand planner, Inventory planner, the financial planner.
Jelle Clement, Supply Chain Practice Director at Arkieva, noted, "Partnering with Lush has been exciting. We are particularly thrilled to be working with an organization that takes pride in ethical business practices. The fact that we get to provide planning solutions to help in the areas of demand, inventory and financial planning is just the cherry on the cake."
Supply Chain Planning Projects Include:
Automated forecasting for products at a detailed product level and improved demand planning for materials planning.
Better data integration and visibility of inventory to create optimal inventory levels
Financial integration and planning to help determine how an increase in product family demand affects production and revenue.
Access to a unified tool and repository for manufacturing and sales planning.
Data integration and migration from manual spreadsheets.
Detailed reporting and analytics for improved supply chain visibility.
Best practice planning and Arkieva solution training to ensure higher user adoption and process improvement.
"We truly believe Arkieva is what we need. We are excited to see what else Arkieva can do for us," mentioned Wuthrich.
About Lush Cosmetics
Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics are purveyors of good, clean fun. Lush offers luxurious and ethical skincare, haircare and bath indulgences, as well as unique gifts filled with fragrant and effective products. 2015 marked Lush's 20th anniversary of creating innovative cosmetics using fresh fruits and vegetables, the finest essential oils and ingredients that are ethically and sustainably sourced. Never tested on animals, every single Lush product is vegetarian, and about 85 percent are vegan, 40 percent preservative-free and 35 percent unpackaged. Lush supports Fair Trade, Community Trade, and charitable initiatives and follows the simple policy: have the least possible impact on the environment while still producing beautiful and effective products. Lush has 250 locations across North America. Learn more at www.lushusa.com.
About Arkieva Supply Chain Software Arkieva is more than a supply chain software technology company. We are a team of dedicated supply chain consultants helping global and national manufacturers transform supply chain complexities into a competitive advantage — one supply chain link at a time. With over 15,000 users worldwide using Arkieva in 250 unique applications, the Arkieva Supply Chain Planning Software Suite offers a robust solution supporting a full range of needs for Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP). The Advanced S&OP management features of Arkieva include a Collaborative Demand Manager, Inventory Planner, Inventory Analyzer, Supply Planner (full optimization), Replenishment Planner, S&OP Central, and Finite Scheduler. Arkieva is used in some of the world's largest corporations, including Driscoll's, Sunsweet Growers, Gates, AkzoNobel, Linde, Owens Corning, Momentive, SPI Pharma, Cytec, Linxens, Cardone, Federal Mogul, Wonderful brands, and Ontex.