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ASCM Insights

Mars Wrigley Sweetens Its Supply Chain via Digital Transformation


Global confectionery, food and beverage, and pet food and care company Mars Wrigley this week reported some very impressive digital transformation results. The organization has overhauled its approaches to supply chain demand planning, asset usage, transportation management and visibility, sustainability, and customer service. But most importantly, employees believe in the system, understand it and are excited by its capabilities.

Will Beery, Mars Wrigley vice president and the executive tasked with leading the digital supply chain transformation, tells Forbes: “I'll be frank, it was hard to get humans to understand what we were trying to do. The change management was difficult.” But in the end, he says employees saw the whole picture and recognized the many benefits of building this “digital muscle.”

Mars Wrigley chose Aera Technology to create a digital twin that would help rebalance and optimize inventory of its famous confections, which include M&Ms, Skittles and Snickers. It also collaborated with Accenture to reduce instances of over-filling packages, a frequent problem in the food industry. The digital twin offers a bird’s-eye view of production lines, then feeds sensor data from manufacturing machinery into a predictive analytics model, which allows factory line operators to monitor events in real-time and adjust filling processes.

The Financial Times adds that Mars Wrigley plans to continue accelerating its digital investments, including registering invoices with robots and using artificial intelligence to improve sales forecast accuracy. The article also notes that digital optimization of its logistics network is significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain.

Digital supply chain know-how

Undoubtedly, the process of transitioning from an analogue supply chain to a digital one requires expertise throughout the organization. People must understand the technical aspects involved in executing a digital supply chain while keeping in mind risk, cost and reward. I recently had the opportunity to meet with the Mars team in New Zealand and can attest to the commitment for ongoing professional development for their supply chain team.

You can join them in becoming your company’s go-to expert with ASCM’s APICS Certified Supply Chain Certification (CSCP). The comprehensive program covers everything you need to know across the global supply chain, from suppliers to customers and back again, including demand management and forecasting, sourcing products and services, internal operations, inventory management, and much more. Obtaining your CSCP designation shows that you have the skills to prepare for and overcome disruption and manage risk, whether your supply chain is just setting out on its digital transformation journey or well on the way to advanced capabilities.

Earning your CSCP can earn you more money, too. The 2023 ASCM Supply Chain Salary and Career Report finds that professionals who hold a CSCP increased their salary by 40% over their peers, and half of survey respondents with a CSCP make more than $100k per year. When you bundle the learning system and the exam, you’ll save up to $1,136. Plus, tap into our summer savings event and get an extra 15% off with promo code SUMMER23. Get started today!

About the Author

Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE CEO, ASCM

Abe Eshkenazi is chief executive officer of the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the largest organization for supply chain and the global pacesetter of organizational transformation, talent development and supply chain innovation. During his tenure, ASCM has significantly expanded its services to corporations, individuals and communities. Its revenue has more than doubled, and the association successfully completed three mergers in response to both heightened industry awareness and the vast and ongoing global impact driven by supply chains. Previously, Eshkenazi was the managing director of the Operations Consulting Group of American Express Tax and Business Services. He may be contacted through

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