Glanbia Achieves Protection For Temperature-Sensitive ProductsEverstream Team
“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
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. As a significant revenue generator for the organization overall, the company’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 & QProducts 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 supply chain risk analytics company, and created a collaborative experience that resulted in a data driven solution powered by lane risk analysis, advanced weather forecasting (Everstream Analytics) and shipping environment temperature data from computer simulated temperature modelling (QProducts). The solution, dubbed InFull, 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 InFull. “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, InFull reduces product spoilage, reduces unnecessary spend on climate-controlled equipment and increases product quality and overall customer satisfaction.
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 Analytics, 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 Analytics: “We did work with our product development team to set up the parameters that went into the Everstream Analytics 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 Analytics filled a need for GPN by providing predictive analytics software that supplied the company with important data visualization tools.
– Continue expansion of portfolio and products while controlling costs through software use
– Mitigate temperature-sensitive shipment risks
– Decrease product loss due to temperature fluctuations
Everstream Analytics and QProducts Solution
– Increase strategic planning with advanced weather forecasting
– Integration of temperature-modeling and TMS to provide shipping equipment recommendations
– Reduce unnecessary spend on climate controlled equipment utilizing QProducts’ thermal covers and/or dry equipment
– Increased product quality and decreased product spoilage
– Identification of alternative routes and modes to overcome severe logistics disruption on global and regional transport lanes
– Reduction in overall transportation costs
– Increased customer satisfaction
– Reduced freeze event frequency to zero
– Increased data visualization
– Gained access to predictive climate-related analytics software