Famille Michaud: Better forecasting without implementation costs

Famille Michaud

For Famille Michaud, a French specialist in natural sweeteners, forecasting in Excel was becoming increasingly problematic. The company could not adequately anticipate future demand and was losing sales. Supply Chain Manager Jean-Baptiste Duguié started looking for a forecasting tool, but was put off by the prices charged by large IT vendors. Then he saw a LinkedIn post about SKU Science.

Famille Michaud Apiculteurs manufactures honey and syrup products based on natural sugars. They are sold to French retailers or exported to customers in Scandinavia, for example. The company offers a range of around 1,200 SKUs, including under the Lune de Miel label and various other brands. For its honey, the company has long-standing and close relationships with beekeepers who are mainly based around the Pyrenees in southern France. The inputs for the maple and agave syrup products come from suppliers in Quebec and Mexico, who work in accordance with the strict quality standards of the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA).

In terms of supply chain, the company faces several challenges. On the one hand, the company pursues a make-to-stock strategy, but demand is becoming increasingly difficult to predict. Meanwhile, on the purchasing side, the supply of natural products is always uncertain. “Even though we generally hold about a month’s worth of finished product in stock, at one point we still lost sales because we couldn’t supply the right items,” says Jean-Baptiste Duguié. The forecasting was done in Excel, mainly based on input from Sales. This resulted in low forecast reliability.

To improve the forecasting process, and thus achieve better availability, Duguié decided to explore professional software tools. “I was fairly familiar with the well-known software you can buy for this in France – such as Futurmaster, for example, which is used by companies like Heineken and L’Oréal. We’re a financially sound company, but the prices charged by such vendors are simply too high for us. By chance, I spotted a post on LinkedIn by one of the SKU Science co-founders, Nicolas Vandeput, talking about their pricing model.” … … …

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