The Dannon Company, Inc. grew rapidly after introducing fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt cups in 1947. And now, as one of the top manufacturers and distributors of yogurt in the United States, and the top-selling brand of yogurt worldwide, Dannon (sold under the Danone trademark in most countries other than the USA) produces and sells more than six million cups of yogurt a day in over 100 flavors, styles and sizes. Headquartered in White Plains, New York, Dannon has plants in Minster, Ohio, Fort Worth, Texas and West Jordan, Utah. The Minister, Ohio plant is the largest yogurt manufacturing plant in the USA.
Business Process and Problem Definition
The dairy industry is an extremely competitive market with yogurt holding the title as one of the fastest growing segments. Yogurt consumption has almost doubled every seven years, making it a very attractive marketplace. Dannon competes with other fresh dairy providers to get products on shelves as quickly and efficiently as possible. In order to stay on top of the competition, Dannon is required to track hundreds of loads a day through its three manufacturing plants, six distribution centers and numerous trucks from third-party carriers. In addition to the everyday complexity inherent in Dannon’s supply chain process, customers are requesting better service through improved scheduling options and increased on-time deliveries. The former outbound and inbound appointment scheduling process was manual and required time-consuming phone calls, faxes and emails between departments, shipping facilities and carriers. Additionally, the dock scheduler at each location was the only party with visibility to the entire transportation schedule creating a bottleneck that limited the ability to communicate any delivery changes to the customers.