Domtar designs, manufactures, markets and distributes a wide variety of pulp, paper, and personal care products from copy paper to baby diapers. We make our products at 29 manufacturing facilities located around the world with a focus on safety, quality, and sustainability.
Originally under the name Arquest, which was later sold to Domtar, the operations faced tremendous competitive forces in an industry that was primed for consolidation. According to Carlos Richer, a leading diaper industry expert, in 2005, the world baby diaper market was valued at more than $21-billion with more than 450-billion disposable diapers sold annually.
However, at the Diaper Industry Conference, 'Insight 2005', Richer described the market as "the bleakest ever." During these tough times, Richer predicted diaper manufacturers would fight for survival with the weakest players being forced to exit the market, correcting the overcapacity situation and easing competition. To survive, differentiation was critical.
With intense competition from branded diapers, Arquest planned to increase its differentiation by offering a breakthrough service package in the diaper industry called Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI). To launch VMI, it needed to engage retailers in a consultative partnership with the goal of managing the levels of disposable diaper inventory at retail outlets. VMI was only possible if Arquest developed a flawless merchandising support structure throughout its supply chain.
To provide the VMI service to its customers, Arquest began looking for a supply chain management technology that would deliver the following:
The company had a complicated process to track raw materials ownership in the supply chain. Raw materials enter its supply chain from multiple vendors and it does not assume ownership of the materials until they are placed into production. This 'consignment' of work-in-progress materials is one of the most important cost-containment measures in Arquest's supply chain. It is critical to have specific, accurate tracking of raw materials at the moment they are moved into production and ownership of those materials transfer to Arquest.
Arquest evaluated data collection software that was flexible enough to accurately collect complex shipment data from multiple vendors, advanced enough to seamlessly integrate with its JD Edwards database and sophisticated enough to manage the consignment process of work-in-progress materials.
Arquest implemented RFgen Mobile Foundations for JD Edwards due to its open architecture and how easily it integrated with Arquest's supply chain requirements. Prior to putting RFgen into operation, collected data was uploaded using a batch system which took a minimum of 8-hours to upload. RFgen provided a real-time solution that uploaded transactions seamlessly into the JD Edwards database but also verified the accuracy of the data collected prior to uploading. This significantly improved the productivity and accuracy of the Arquest supply chain.
The RFgen implementation achieved the following:
With a more efficient supply chain, the company had gained the real-time information necessary to implement the VMI service package.
RFgen is the easiest software to use. We went from idea to reality in less than a week. Prior to RFgen, those ideas remained in fantasy-land. It is easy to implement, it's scalable and allows us to update our JD Edwards database in real time. I've never second-guessed the decision to go with RFgen. - Kenny Frachiseur, Manager of Program & Development