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Greater efficiencies and visibility with real time supply chain system, say Amcor

By Rory Harrington , 02-Sep-2011

An innovative ordering system that gives fresh produce packers round-the-clock access to flexible packaging materials and real-time visibility of stock levels boosts efficiency throughout the supply chain, said Amcor.

The new ePlus system allows packers to make orders 24/7 through a webpage from a custom catalogue of products, Martin Dallas, marketing director for Amcor Flexibles Europe & Americas (AFEA) - Produce and Bakery, told FoodProductionDaily.com.

The webpage also shows the stock of those products currently held by the company - giving them confidence that their order can be fulfilled within the terms of the Service Level Agreement, he added.

“The next stage will allow the fruit packers to enter their stock levels which will allow Amcor to fully manage the supply chain stock levels ensuring that overall stock levels meet the ASDA forecast while preventing obsolete stock,” explained Dallas. ”If requirements exceed the forecast Amcor will be able to spot this quickly and then manufacture more packaging in the appropriate European location.”

The arrangement has been made with International Produce Limited (IPL) for fruit they pack with UK supermarket Asda - subsidiary of US retail giant Walmart.

Avoids stock imbalances

Amcor said the advantages of the system included a tracking facility- which gives packers visibility of when orders are dispatched rather than just having to wait for them to arrive.

Dallas said: “It also provides a complete view of the supply chain stock so that informed decisions can be taken on stock management rather than decisions made only on stock levels at Amcor which historically has led to either stock shortages or excesses.”

The company was already supply bags to Asda for the UK apple season but said the new supply chain system had enabled it to expand into the European top fruit season to start later this year.

IPL Purchasing manager Darren Surry hailed the real time supply chain system.

“IPL recognises the importance of fully understanding its supply chain and the development of this system in conjunction with Amcor will help to further enhance this model along with providing our business with real time data,” he said.