Consumer Packaged Goods
Number of Employees
Large Global Consumer Packaged Goods Use Case – Driving for Speed, Agility, and Collaboration by Gaining an End-to-End Supply Chain Mindset
Udemy driving business outcomes
Case study details
The world’s largest food and beverage company. Whether you want delicious, plant-based foods, coffee products, chocolates, or breakthrough nutritional concepts, they are committed to their purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone. They are successful due to their innovative culture that continuously works to improve their products and streamline efficiencies internally. Starting in 2019, the company focused their efforts to improve their overall speed, agility, and collaboration. This corporate wide initiative was driven by the CEO and cascaded to all levels of the organization. The key question that needed answered was, “what do we need to do to elevate our organization.” The chief supply chain officer challenged his division to find ways to create a consistent mindset of supply chain and to seek opportunities to collaborate and breakdown silos.
Scaling Supply Chain Knowledge Company-wide:
Historically, the company offered an Introduction to Supply Chain course which was beautifully packaged in an old school binder. This program was four-to six-hours long and hosted live by an instructor. The challenge was that the supply chain division had grown considerably to include 26 distribution centers, two main headquarters and 1,100 employees. For the new program, they wanted to:
• Scale the program to all employees interested in learning about supply chain – not just the corporate teams.
• Integrate the company’s way of working, processes and tools into the program.
• Create a learning process rather than a one-time event.
• Although the program started pre pandemic, it provided for an avenue to keep employees safe during the global pandemic due to the virtual nature of the program.
Unlocking Supply Chain Excellence Through Customized Learning and Leadership Development
The company researched various options and learned about Leadership Academy from a learning award ceremony. They were impressed by the Penn State Supply Chain Content, the cohort-based delivery, and the ability to integrate this initiative with other company initiatives. Together, the company and Leadership Academy settled on leveraging Penn State’s five-week Achieving Supply Chain Excellence bundle.
• Led from the top. The chief supply chain officer for the company, as well as his senior team, supported the initiative and participated in a full two-week course that included example lessons from the five-week program under consideration. Their successful experience led to a full rollout of all 2,000 employees working in the USA supply chain.
• Leader is teacher. This concept was a key success factor for their program. Different members of the senior leadership team were chosen to facilitate each of the five weekly live events for nearly 20 cohorts with support from subject matter experts. This improved engagement among participants enabled them to interact with members of the leadership team and provide SME’s with visibility within the organization. The leaders were able to talk directly about how to apply the learned topics into daily work.
• Bite-sized, self-paced learning. The participants found it easier to allot 30 minutes each day to participate in the virtual learning instead of having to physically leave the office for upwards of two days. They were able to participate in the self-paced learning when and where it was most convenient for them.
• Steering Committee. The program was collaboratively designed by a steering committee. To expedite the process, the chief supply chain officer empowered the team to steer the design of the content and help build and review every aspect of the program. The committee ultimately shared the plan with the leadership team, which sped up the approval and implementation process.
• Committee Members. The steering committee members were selected so that they could represent different experts within the division and represent all levels of the supply chain experience. This helped build a well-rounded offering that considered and embraced different ways of thinking.
• Content Review. The committee members were broken into teams of two and three to review the content. Each group consisted of an experienced subject matter expert and a subject matter novice. The varying levels of experience was particularly helpful when reviewing the content. They addressed issues where the content was too basic or too complex, with the goal of meeting the needs of 85% of the participants.
• Tailored Content. The company’s use of legacy caricatures within the training videos helped integrate company’s style with the Penn State content. Participants expressed that they liked the external view and insights provided by the Penn State faculty, as well as the application insights provided by the company’s internal subject matter experts.
• Real-world application. The final capstone project incorporated business modifications that were changing due to automation. This helped to not only teach participants about the new process, but to also think about how it would impact their day-to-day work.
• Brokedown silos within the supply chain
• Reduced packaging and transportation costs
• Led to the standardization of technologies
• Helped align KPIs across the complete supply chain
• Identified more opportunities for automation to reduce costs
• Created awareness of the potential impact a single decision has up and down stream on other functions
• Mixed cohorts of contributors across different functions facilitated collaboration by making it easy to ask questions on a day-to-day basis
• Created a common language with common goals and shared responsibility
• Established a better production schedule