The consumer goods and retail industries represent the backbone of Germany's economy. Both sectors are marked by a high level of competition and cost pressures and are highly customer-oriented. End consumers demand product variety, delivery times, and service. Almost nowhere else have value chains changed as radically because of the internet as in consumer goods and retail.
In order to stay competitive, retailers have to meet the needs of their customers. Multi-channel sales, a high degree of flexibility, and excellent customer service are practically must-haves for businesses today. The supply chain can provide key leverage to fulfill high service requirements and seize opportunities to save costs.
The consumer goods and retail sectors are often pioneers of innovative concepts in supply chain management. Concepts such as VMI (vendor-managed inventory), ECR (efficient consumer response) and CPFR (collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment) aim to improve supply chain performance.
4flow combines best practices with innovative approaches
4flow has comprehensive expertise and applies best practices to meet the special requirements in consumer goods and retail. With our three business lines, 4flow is the ideal partner for end-to-end optimization of sophisticated supply networks and transportation. With an innovative approach, 4flow takes over the strategic redesign of networks along with tactical transportation optimization. 4flow even manages networks long-term to ensure solutions costs and services are optimized continuously.
With software solutions developed specifically for consumer goods and retail, 4flow creates cost visibility throughout the entire supply chain. With flow type simulation in 4flow vista® distribution costs from suppliers to the point of sale (POS) can be reduced. 4flow also optimizes warehouse locations or supplier management thereby establishing the conditions for optimal supply chain processes in consumer goods and retail.
4flow is also a trailblazer when it comes to developing innovative methods for the consumer goods and retail industries. Commissioned by the German logistics association, BVL International, 4flow is investigating current requirements and trends in retail logistics; we are also participating in the SEAK project (decision support for companies to overcome bottlenecks in food supply). And 4flow is also part of the ECR Europe initiative in which food producers and retailers work together to develop methods that help the industry respond better to consumer needs.
“The traffic concept 4flow developed for BSH exceeded our expectations: Instead of the number of appliances planned for each year, 4flow looked at the maximum capacity of the park. This ensures the scalability of the traffic concept as the production volume rises.”
Michael Fuchs, Director Projects, BSH
“With end-to-end supply chain simulation in 4flow vista®, we've been able to look at our supply chain costs from our suppliers to our stores to help us choose our distribution strategy.”
Eberhard Braun, Chief Consultant Supply Chain Engineering, METRO Cash & Carry
Against a backdrop of increasing demand volatility, dynamic market developments and growing competition, businesses in FMCG need to focus on reducing costs today to remain competitive tomorrow.
HelloFresh, the world's leading supplier of meal kits, selected 4flow to rapidly increase distribution center output and stabilize production and supply chain processes. By working together with the 4flow consulting team, the necessary process restructuring was quickly achieved. In just four weeks, throughput increased by 25% and efficiency by 10%.
Together with BSH Home Appliances (BSH), 4flow developed a traffic concept to consider future production capacities and the corresponding supply chain volume for BSH’s Home Appliance Park in Chuzhou, China.