How Agribusinesses Can Manage Demand Volatility With Throughput

July 21, 2023 · 3 minutes
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The biggest catch about being an agribusiness is you’re processing and distributing agricultural goods which are highly perishable. And that means, your entire supply chain is working against a fast-ticking clock.

Now, add to it the fact that the chaos in the agribusiness supply chain has only risen in the previous decade, thanks to all the demand volatility.

Growing customer expectations and  unpredictable world events keep surprising you with sudden demand fluctuations.

The only way to face these disruptions is by being agile and  rapidly adapting to changing demands and market conditions. Because if this demand is left unmet, you stand to lose a lot more than just a single-day sale – you will lose your competitive advantage and witness low future sales too.

So, as an agribusiness, how can you manage and adapt to demand volatility?

Church Brothers Farms case study serves as a great example.

Challenges of an Agribusiness Supply Chain

Church Brothers Farms is a leading US-based vegetable producer producing in over 40,000 acres and shipping over 50 million cartons annually. Given the unpredictable and aggressively competitive market combined with dwindling resources, Church Brothers Farms faced some significant issues.

  • Volatile Demand

Demand is in a constant flux. To enhance customer experience, Church Brothers Farms wanted to predict the demand more accurately for each product and product group. Also, the company wanted to use reliable metrics to determine and rank products for prioritized distribution and order fulfillment that would, in turn, lead to optimized resource management and efforts.

  • Lack of Granular Visibility for Better Sales Performance

Considering the seasonality of demand for products in the agribusiness, Church Brothers Farms desired complete transparency into sales, down to the SKU level to identify their best-selling products and underperforming ones.

  • Insufficient Inventory Control

Demand volatility coupled with lack of visibility meant Church Brothers Farms had limited control over their inventory. To alleviate this lack of control, they wanted to adopt a demand-driven, innovative strategy to shift from a make-to-stock strategy to a make-to-order one.

In short, the agribusiness was looking to stock, sell and distribute the right amount of products at the right time and price to fulfill consumer demands with zero waste.

How Throughput Enabled Church Brothers Farms to Manage Demand Volatility?

Using ThroughPut’s AI-led solution, Church Brothers Farms comprehensively analyzed present and historical data of more than 60 commodities, 25 value-added products and 490 product groups.

Sales volume and revenue of each commodity, product group and customer was analyzed against the backdrop of external influencing factors for granular insights on performance. The platform then generated recommendations to key questions that would help manage demand volatility.

  • Factoring in External Variables

Supply chain disruptions come in many forms, right from product perishability and demand uncertainty to safety and quality compliance and high commodity prices; the challenges are unlimited.

Using ThroughPut, Church Brothers Farms gained data-driven insights into the effect of every impacting parameter, thus, making informed decisions as per the scenario to serve their customers, shareholders, and stakeholders effectively.

  • Data-Driven Demand Sensing

ThroughPut enabled Church Brothers Farms to analyze demand by every day of the week and time of the year to know their highest and lowest sales. With ThroughPut’s AI-driven Demand Sensing capabilities, Church Brothers Farms gained real-time demand data to forecast short-term buying patterns of the customers to better manage demand.

You would be surprised that the forecasting accuracy rose to 40% very quickly for this agribusiness.

  • Inventory Management

While ThroughPut provided Church Brothers Farms the luxury to predict near-term demand, it also helped them optimize their supply chain, ensuring the right amount of stock is available at the desired time at the selected location at the correct price to meet the demands of the consumers, ensuring the highest profitability.

The Impact of Accurate Demand Forecasting for an Agribusiness

As you see, Church Brothers Farms were able to transform their supply chain and predict the best timeline, routes, and workflow to fulfill orders with enhanced accuracy.

Along with improving their demand and supply planning, ThroughPut also helped Church Brothers Farms manage their inventory effectively, with reduced carrying costs and stock maintenance expenses.

The company can now better streamline its production ability and inventory and effectively fulfill rising demands. For more information on Church Brothers Farms and how they enabled data-driven, demand-led supply chain management using ThroughPut, read the full case study here.

If you are an agribusiness and want to know how ThroughPut can help, sign up here for a one-on-one product demo.

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Anita Raj
Vice President of Product Marketing