To support these goals, the supply chain group needed to improve the overall efficiency of each step of its operations while reducing the total costs. The team chose to leverage the ASCM Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model to help them outline the work ahead.
Within the SCOR framework, the Univar Solutions team came up with a strategy to achieve its goals:
Implement a single planning process to align executive sales and operations planning, individual and customer forecasts, and material requirements planning.
Strategically source direct and indirect procurement categories with improved supply assurance, order execution, spend management, as well as reduced costs.
Optimize the distribution network and eliminate redundancies.
Improve the efficiency of the transportation group, including the company’s own fleet as well as its partner carriers.
Implement a company-wide transformation office and change management organization to guide the implementation and adoption of all initiatives, efficiently deploy talent, offer shared services, review assets to eliminate those that are obsolete or redundant, and measure results.
The supply chain team’s success in each of these areas was only possible because most supply chain team members already were familiar with the APICS body of knowledge and other ASCM best practices. Univar Solutions employees regularly seek APICS certifications to grow in their supply chain disciplines. In addition, ASCM’s programs are a cornerstone in Univar Solutions’ supply chain education in order to show employees industry best practices that can be applied to their work.
The transformation also gave Univar Solutions an opportunity to adjust its operations to match with the latest industry best practices. “We have taken legacy supply and demand planning processes — informed by APICS in the early 2000s — and supplemented them with the latest thinking and best practices to truly elevate our organization’s abilities in order to redefine what being a chemicals distributor means,” says Ian Fontaine, supply chain strategy and transformation manager. “Now, we have had suppliers tell us that our supply chain planning practices are leaps and bounds ahead of our competitors in the marketplace.”
With this knowledge base, Univar Solutions’ supply chain team was able to plan and execute its transformation in just 14 months. The company credits the SCOR model as “a true North Star” for helping the organization develop objectives; measure results; and ultimately transform into a single, efficient entity.
Through the transformation efforts, Univar Solutions was able to achieve the following results in specific SCOR areas:
The transformation office and talent strategies implemented by the human resources team supported all of these outcomes. In addition, the sale of 20 real estate properties generated more than $73 million in revenue, which was used to fund the transformation.