Kraft wants to solve supply chain problems – inside the Metaverse

Last month, the company announced an agreement with Microsoft to help secure its supply chain by using automation, among other things, to speed up operations and replicate the company’s facilities online.

Kraft has created “digital twins” in the metaverse that allow the company to solve problems virtually. This tactic should help Kraft get its products to grocery stores faster and ensure factories are running as efficiently as possible.

“We are truly committed to supporting our customers in…what we call the industrial metaverse,” said Lauren Bardeen, chief technology officer of Microsoft Industry Solutions. “This means that Kraft Heinz will be able to get its products … into the hands of consumers much faster.”

Although the real metaverse is a virtual world not quite ready for prime time, the term “metaverse” has become an umbrella term for all things virtual, including logistical solutions offered by companies like Kraft Heinz and Microsoft searches for files.

Carlos Abrams Rivera, president of Kraft Heinz North America, said the deal, which Kraft says is one of its largest investments in technology, “increases our reliability,” adding that it should help make sure we’re there when you need us. Whatever situation the world is going through.”

Companies like Kraft saw their supply chains tested at the start of the pandemic, when restaurants closed and consumers began panicking in supermarkets. To keep up with the increase in demand, they had to make many rapid changes, such as prioritizing popular products over niche products and certain package sizes over others.

to Kraft Heinz (KHC) This means, among other things, increased production of ready-made ketchup packets. “We handled that really well,” Abrams Rivera said.

But there were other areas where “inventory [was] trapped in the system.”

Kraft can anticipate increased demand for ketchup packets as they pay attention to international trends. But when demand suddenly changed in certain cities or states because the surge in Covid cases, for example, kept school-age children at home, Kraft couldn’t respond as quickly.

It’s bad for customers, who may have encountered empty shelves, and it’s bad for Kraft, because those customers may have switched to a competitor instead.

Kraft believes that new technology should help prevent shortages.

In the right place at the right time

So how can automation and virtual manufacturing facilities help get products to shelves?

Abrams-Rivera gave this example: A West Coast retailer decided to run a promotion on Lunchables, which increases demand for that product.

Usually, it takes a lot of employees to pull a lot of levers. After the retailer places the order, the Kraft team member must see the order, alert warehouses, etc. but with the help Microsoft (MSFT)Kraft can automate more of these steps to speed up the process.

Then there are those digital twins. Virtual versions of Kraft’s manufacturing facilities can give company management a better view of how they are operating and what needs improvement.

A single kraft factory can make different things, like ketchup, sauces, and vinegar, Abrams said to Rivera. Digital mapping of these utilities helps Kraft better understand design flaws and increase efficiency.

Abrams Rivera explained that Kraft does not currently have “a system that would allow us to map the entire plant to see the best flow.” Digital twins will change that.

The default option can also allow Kraft to detect errors in advance by allowing it to simulate production. “Normally you wouldn’t know unless the product was launched on the line,” Abrams-Rivera said. Online testing can help speed up the process of bringing a new product to market.

Companies are turning to the metaverse

As the idea of ​​the metaverse gains traction, more companies are looking for ways to connect with consumers virtually.

For its part, Kraft doesn’t just use technology to find behind-the-scenes solutions to logistical challenges. It also announces more to players. PepsiCo (dynamics) and Coca-Cola, is also exploring ways to reach customers in new virtual arenas. For PepsiCo, that includes games. And coca cola (KO) Introduces a limited edition “Pixel” flavored soda to the Fortnite video game.

“I really see gaming as a springboard to this new phenomenon that we’re calling the metaverse,” Adam Harter, PepsiCo’s senior vice president of media, sports and entertainment, told CNN Business. “As people live their lives in the metaverse on a more daily basis over the next few years…it is critical that brands like ours make sure we are where these consumers live their lives.”

Leave a Comment