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Customer Story

ConAgra Foods Finds Recipe for Supply Chain Optimization with Help from Automate Studio

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies. Its balanced portfolio includes consumer brands found in 97 percent of America’s households, the largest private brand packaged food business in North America, and a strong commercial and foodservice business.

It’s no small task to produce some of America’s most popular foods. In fact, it’s a logistical challenge just to get that chicken in your frozen chicken potpie. ConAgra Foods receives hundreds of truckloads of raw poultry every year. Until very recently, each of those truckloads would require ConAgra Foods personnel to manually enter shipment data multiple times prior to paying the supplier.

“Our plant personnel would enter data into a spreadsheet, either in Excel or on a pad of paper,” says Matt Evans, Manager of Enterprise Procurement COE at ConAgra Foods. “Then they would re-enter much of the same data in SAP. After that, another individual at our corporate office in Omaha would process the supplier’s invoice and create a credit voucher to account for any difference between the amount invoiced and the goods received. Because much of the data entry consisted of the same information, there was a lot of redundant work taking place.” The process was also extremely time-consuming, with each truckload requiring over 45 minutes of data entry by multiple people at various points of the process. These inefficiencies had serious consequences, as they sometimes resulted in untimely payment of suppliers’ invoices. “In the poultry industry, payment terms are relatively short,” explains Evans. “We typically have a matter of days, not weeks, to pay our invoices. We at times found ourselves running a few days late, largely because of inefficiencies in our process. That left our colleagues in Omaha in a poor position for negotiating favorable prices with the poultry suppliers. It was obviously time to find a better way of doing things.”

Read more about ConAgra Foods and how their complex processes increased potential for late payment, which impacted supplier relationships and negotiating leverage.