Food manufacturing giant Kraft Heinz has announced it is looking to improve supply chain visibility and day-to-day operations through the adoption of cloud, AI, and digital twins under a new digital transformation partnership it has signed with Microsoft.
Under a multi-year deal, Kraft Heinz will migrate the majority of its global datacentre assets to Azure and its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to SAP on Azure, and create a so-called supply chain control tower that will serve as an "air traffic control" across Kraft Heinz's supply chain of its 85 product categories.
Kraft Heinz also plans to develop digital twins of its 34 manufacturing facilities in North America so it can test solutions and processes before applying them on the plant floor, such as looking at methods to reduce mechanical interruptions and address issues before they occur.
At the same time, the pair will create a joint virtual digital innovation office to co-engineer new solutions to help Kraft Heinz lift its digital manufacturing capabilities using Microsoft AI, machine learning, and IoT technologies
"As part of our Agile@Scale transformation, we are building a leading tech ecosystem to benefit the entire value chain," Kraft Heinz North America president and executive vice president Carlos Abrams-Rivera said.
"Our collaboration with Microsoft is a critical piece of our transformation strategy, providing us with the machine learning and advanced analytics to drive innovation and efficiencies across the supply chain so we can get products into the market faster, better serve our customers and, ultimately, deliver on the sustained and growing consumer demand our iconic brands continue to experience."
Kraft Heinz kicked off its digital transformation strategy 18 months ago, which has resulted in the company adopting agile disciplines and digital solutions across its entire business
"Agile@Scale will build on the efficiency and effectiveness of our transformation to date. We are creating a cycle between how we run and transform the business to fundamentally shift how we work, collaborate and go to market going forward," Abrams-Rivera said during the company's update of its transformation plans in February.
"To scale our new solutions, we have flattened the organization to reduce layers and increase the span of control of our managers, empowering them to remove roadblocks and focus on driving results."