Ingham implements forecasting software

Ingham’s, the largest poultry producer in Australia and New Zealand, has implemented FuturMaster’s demand planning software to help more accurately forecast how many chickens and turkeys supermarkets are likely to require over busy seasonal trading periods. Sales of turkeys increase substantially over Christmas and demand for convenient, ready-to-serve barbecue chicken tends to increase during warmer weather. Given that Ingham’s processes 200 million birds each year, the company relies on carefully planning calculations to make sure its various products arrive fresh onto supermarket shelves in the correct quantities, as and when required.

Ingham’s operates 345 facilities and farms across Australia and New Zealand and continues to invest to enhance its production and processing networks, supplying many of the region’s leading retailers and quick-service restaurant chains, including Woolworths and McDonald’s. Planning for Christmas turkey production starts early in September and relies on accurate data on forecasting retailers’ requirements two to three months ahead, including any plans for promotions or seasonal ranges. By using FuturMaster’s demand planning software, Ingham’s hopes to increase its forecast accuracy and be much more responsive to seasonal fluctuations in demand.

“We now have a sophisticated tool-set in place for matching demand plans with production,” says Chee Foong, demand planning manager at Ingham’s. “With the help of FuturMaster, we expect an uplift in service levels and increased forecast accuracy.”

He adds that the dynamics of poultry production and working with fresh produce with only a limited shelf-life means having to carefully manage inventory to avoid stock losses and wastage.

“We have to get things right first time,” says Foong. “The retail and quick-service restaurant market environment is very dynamic, so we want to be more proactive by using technology for collaborative forecasting and getting much more efficient at what we do.”

The first phase of FuturMaster’s cloud-based software implementation went live in April 2018 and Ingham’s is pleased with the results. It later intends to add more advanced promotion planning capabilities. Farthing West, a local partner and reseller, provided additional support in the sales cycle.

“We’re delighted that Ingham’s is adopting our software via the cloud,” says Bo Zhou, CEO and President of FuturMaster. “We trust it will give them the reliability and flexibility that outsourcing important IT areas of the business can bring. Our Cloud Services offer is on the rise among our clients, allowing them to minimise any up-front IT and infrastructure costs.”

Ingham Australia expansion to bring 850 new jobs to SA

Chicken producer Ingham Australia has announced a huge $275 million expansion of its South Australian business which will bring 850 new jobs to the state.

As the Weekly Times reports, the new jobs are expected to include 385 direct positions with Ingham, and 465 jobs with private contractors. On top of that, the construction phase of the expansion will bring 700 jobs to SA.

The expansion, which will double the company’s capacity, will take in 15 separate sites including Bolivar, Edinburgh Parks, Yumali, Murray Bridge and Dry Creek in Adelaide’s north.

As the ABC reports, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill welcomed the news

“Food production is a growing sector of our state’s economy and we are supplying the business conditions that make investing here a wise choice,” he said.

“This expansion will create hundreds of new direct and indirect jobs for South Australians with a focus on two key areas — northern Adelaide and the Murraylands.”

The Government is chipping in $3.7 million to the project. This includes $2.8 million from the Regional Development Fund and $900,000 from Investment Attraction South Australia.

According to AAP, Ingham chief executive Mick McMahon pointed out that workers who will lose their jobs following the upcoming closure of Holden’s plant in Elizabeth will be well placed to find work with Inghams.

“Car industry manufacturing skills are very relevant to our processing plants and some of our best and most productive employees have in fact had good training in the car industry,” McMahon said.

“Our plant manager at Bolivar has come from Holden, as one example. Many of the jobs will be processing, they’ll be trades in the plant.”