Traditionally, logistics would work with manufacturing on the quantity of product to make to meet the orders from the distributors. This system is totally reactive and not giving enough control to Barilla. JITD systems would allow the logistics department to plan with production increases in demand due to holidays or seasonality and replenish only what is used up at the distributors. This system reduces the emotional effect of being out of stock or having low inventory because it is backed up by data. Logistics could work with the distributors and end users to allow them to have some safety stock and still implement a smoothed delivery system without having radical swings with orders (Graph III). Depending on customer demand, the same quantity could be delivered every week and still fulfill the 2-week safety inventory requirement by the distributors.
Proposed 2 Week Inventory
Barilla needs to implement an inventory control system being managed by Barilla instead of orders coming in from downstream channels. It is these downstream channels that are the causes of the amplified fluctuations. Furthermore, by having Barilla manage inventory, movement of goods (i.e., trucking and delivery) can be more effectively controlled and trucks filled with higher density. This method subsequently reduces the number of trucks required to deliver the same quantity of product. In addition, “milk runs” can be developed as a smoother schedule will allow for better planning on departure and arrival of trucks from depots.
Another major change required is a reduction in the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) to a minimum. Although Barilla offered many pasta products in multiple package types, most retailers would only carry the product in one and, at most, two packaging option(s). Instead of having multiple packages, pack pasta in the most popular package size.
On the marketing aspect, Barilla will be able to benefit from the fact that through the JITD system, the company can provide its customers with the inventory required using a “collaborative planning” of inventory.
Technologically, Barilla should implement a paperless ordering system (e.g., Electronic Data Interchange – EDI or Point-of-Sale [POS] terminals) to facilitate the transmission of orders from end-users. Through the POS terminals, reorder quantities are automatically transmitted to the manufacturer (an electronic Kanban system) thereby eliminating the need for distributors to gather inventory information to relay to Barilla.