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Case Studies

Husqvarna: Streamlining Planning

Background

  • Founded in 1689
  • World-leading provider of innovative products and solutions for forest, park and garden care
  • Sold in over 100 countries through a network of over 25,000 authorised dealers
  • Brands include Husqvarna, Gardena, Flymo and McCulloch

Results

  • Excel risks removed
  • Management of all relevant constraints
  • Demand prioritised by source and season
  • Rapid calculation of a feasible plan for 18 months horizon in daily buckets (to support ERP MRP)
  • Simulation Capability
  • Robust planning data management
  • Massive reduction is planning cycle times
  • Improved customer service (internal and external)

Solutions

Husqvarna streamlines planning with sofco Supply Planning and Scheduling.

Founded in 1689, Husqvarna Group is a world-leading provider of innovative products and solutions for forest, park and garden care. The range includes robotic mowers, chainsaws, trimmers, ride-on mowers and watering solutions.  They are also a leader in equipment and diamond tools for the light construction and natural-stone processing industries.

Husqvarna UK, headquartered in County Durham, are global leaders in producing outdoor power products such as chainsaws, trimmers, brush-cutters, and blowers, along with electrical, battery powered and ride-on mowers.  These products fall under the Forest & Garden Division of Husqvarna, under brands such as Husqvarna, Gardena, Flymo and McCulloch.  Sold in over 100 countries through a network of over 25,000 authorised dealers they have been leading the way in robotics since 1995, making them world leaders in automatic lawn mowing.

why sofco?

For Husqvarna, the decisive factor in choosing sofco was the incredible flexibility of the planning platform which could be configured to sit within existing working practices and processes.  sofco’s industry standard algorithms and tight integration with the ERP system allowed Husqvarna to significantly speed up the planning cycle allowing the flow of good quality planning data to be shared both internally and with external partners.  In addition to the product itself, the flexibility and industry knowledge of sofco personnel convinced Husqvarna’s management that sofco was the right partner to support the company.

The Challenge

Husqvarna’s sales are highly seasonal due to end-user buying patterns. The majority of sales occur during the spring and summer period when most lawn care and gardening activities take place. Given the average weather patterns this means that the third quarter marks the end of the gardening season.

Spreadsheets were previously used for all planning and scheduling which were not only complex and difficult to support, but were also very slow to plan and replan – 1 week to do a new plan for a 3 month horizon.

The Solution

With sofco Planning, Husqvarna’s production planning process has greatly improved. The solution now empowers users to plan and schedule the key manufacture areas of Final Assembly, Battery Assembly and Moulding.

In Final Assembly (finished goods – lawn mowers) each line and product group (platform types) are planned out in detail. This includes the optimisation of the shift patterns of the multiple teams of personnel that carry out the assembly operations. sofco Supply Planning plans in daily buckets and by shift over a 18 month time horizon using its planning algorithm which considers all defined production constraints and rules. This completes in minutes, in contrast to the previous manual process which took days. More specifically, the algorithm is broken out into various steps which prioritise various demand channels and product groups over the current season and then repeats this for the future season once all the current season builds are completed. This provides the business with an operational plan and the key inputs into the S&OP process.

There are two key production areas that feed the assembly lines, the first of which being the battery line. Husqvarna currently manage 76 different batteries in its facility and other manufacturing sites which requires batteries to be supplied both internally and externally. sofco Supply Planning allows planners to manage this lower level of the bill of material by understanding the overall requirement versus the available battery capacity in the factory. Batteries are classed as a bottleneck in the production process and therefore all available capacity must be utilised over the next 18 months to ensure continuous supply.

The second key area feeding assembly is the Moulding Shop where a wide variety of moulded parts are produced by 70 injection moulding machines and over 1000 tools. This is scheduled by sofco down to the hour and minute considering machine and tooling availability as finite constraints.

Integrating with Husqvarna’s ERP for both inbound and outbound data flows, sofco Supply Planning data is sent to the ERP where short term works orders and longer term firm plans are loaded directly. These production requirements drive MRP processes within the ERP ensuring that assembly, battery and moulding plans are synchronised with the purchase and arrival of raw materials and bought out components.. This provides a significant saving of data entry resources previously employed.

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