Hershey Recovers $7.4 Million in Inventory Using Intelligent Automation
“I challenge everybody, if you are looking at processes to develop, keep an open mind, be creative and use your imagination.”Martin Rupert Head of Business Process Automation The Hershey Company
Chocolate Manufacturer Tightens Supply Chain with a Digital Workforce
Since 1894 generations of families have savored Hershey’s chocolate either enjoying a melted Hershey chocolate bar in a s’more or a Hershey’s kiss on holidays. As one of world’s largest chocolate manufacturers, it’s no surprise that $7 billion of inventory flows through its distribution centers each year. Inevitably some inventory is miscoded, and product is wasted. So, how can Hershey avoid wasting such a tasty product? By automating intelligently.
Keeping track of inventory worth $7 billion is a complex task. As a food product, the inventory requires careful handling, special storage and has a short shelf-life. With a wide range of new products constantly being introduced, it’s easy for some products to be coded incorrectly in distribution centers. If this error is not discovered quickly, the product must be sold at distressed prices or even destroyed.
At the recommendation of partner INVOKE, Blue Prism intelligent digital workers were assigned the task of searching inventory lists each day. Each morning before the workday begins, digital workers run a process that captures every mislabeled product and informs the distribution center and supply planning personnel who can quickly and accurately correct inventory.
The benefits from this process are visible across the business. Newly discovered products are sent to store shelves for immediate sale, so rack space in warehouses has been maximized. Supply chain analysts are made aware of additional inventory and can manage production schedules more efficiently.