Case Study

Glanbia protects temperature sensitive products

We want to perfect what we’re doing with Everstream Analytics ‒ using the technology for forecasting, for controlling costs. It’s all about using the data and managing wisely, and using the technology that’s available to do that.

– Kurt Hepker, Director of Logistics, Glanbia

Glanbia PLC is a global nutrition group as well as a leading cheese manufacturer in the United States. With a corporate office for global operations in Downers Grove, Illinois and European offices in Dublin, Ireland, Glanbia Performance Nutrition (GPN) is a major division within Glanbia PLC, producing the full range of performance nutrition products with broad consumer appeal and are a market leader in innovation and new product development.

Customer Objectives

As a significant revenue generator for the organization overall, the GPN’s goal is to continue expanding by employing and using 3rd party logistics, including current partnerships with DHL and Transplace. As the company has experienced growth in both portfolio and products offered, a need for new technologies arose to protect temperature sensitive products in transit. “We started experiencing some loss of product with freezing during the infamous polar vortex winter of 2013-14. As our portfolio has grown, our volumes are increasing — a lot more volume, a lot more sales, a lot more product at risk,” says Kurt Hepker, Director of Logistics. In 2019, the company was also hit with rail embargos and supply chain disruptions, which resulted in some product loss, sparking a need for change. In addition to freeze issues, GPN was also experiencing melting when shipping during hotter months.

Everstream Analytics Solution

Through talks with Transplace, a third-party logistics provider, GPN was introduced to QProducts, a passive thermal solution provider, due to the company’s desire to save on transportation costs and reduce the frequency of utilizing temperature-controlled equipment. During successful tests to prevent GPN product from both freezing and melting, QProducts made the introduction to Everstream Analytics, a predictive analytics company, and created a collaborative experience that resulted in a data-driven solution powered by lane risk analysis, advanced weather forecasting, and shipping environment temperature data from computer simulated temperature modelling (QProducts).

The Everstream solution, dubbed In Full, integrates directly into GPN’s TMS to provide an equipment recommendation given the exterior ambient temperatures that a planned shipment will encounter along its route. Orders received by Transplace with notations for “protect from freeze” or “protect from melt” are now automatically run through Everstream’s In Full solution. “The companies look at each order to determine if we should use thermal pallet covers or if we should use reefer equipment based on the level of risk and length of time,” explains Hepker. By advising when to use thermal pallet covers, a dry van, or climate-controlled equipment, In Full reduces product spoilage, reduces unnecessary spend on climate-controlled equipment, and increases product quality and overall customer satisfaction.

Customer Benefits

This past winter season, the process to protect product from freeze was put to the test. “We had cold enough weather to have freezing issues, and we had none,” says Hepker, “It was a good project, it went well, and we appreciate all the help and support that we received from Everstream, QProducts, and everyone involved.”

In addition to praising predictive climate analytics and temperature protection, GPN noted the importance of gaining access to existing data from QProducts and Everstream: “We did work with our product development team to set up the parameters that went into the Everstream software. We had no data, no history, no tests that we’d been doing all along, or years of ongoing tests to help us out. We were looking for useful information that other companies already had.” Hepker states that the support and help from QProducts and Everstream filled a need for GPN by providing predictive analytics solutions that supplied the company with important data visualization tools.

Customer Objectives
• Continue expansion of portfolio and products while controlling costs through software use
• Mitigate risks for temperature sensitive shipments
• Decrease product loss due to temperature fluctuations

Everstream Analytics Solution
• Everstream Analytics In Full integration of temperature modeling and TMS to provide shipping equipment recommendations
• Everstream Analytics Incident Monitoring delivers near real time information on events
• QProducts’ thermal cover and/or dry equipment usage to reduce unnecessary spend on climate controlled equipment, increasing product quality and

Customer Benefits
• Reduced overall transportation costs
• Increased customer satisfaction
• Reduced freeze event frequency to zero
• Increased data visualization