By Tom DeJuneas
Our company, nestled here in heart of Charlotte, N.C., is the largest independent producer and distributor of Coca-Cola Company products in the United States.
We roll out 18,000 cases of beverage products every hour from 47 distribution centers to customers across the Southeastern region of the U.S. To do that, we run manufacturing 24/7.
So for us, the ability to accurately anticipate customer demand is vital. Demand forecasts need to be refreshed early every morning to ensure that the optimal amount of each product is produced and that those products can be transported to the correct distribution center in time to fill the anticipated customer orders.
As you might expect, the data we generate and analyze daily is not only growing exponentially but was becoming ever more critical to our ability to stock products on store shelves at the right time. Increasingly, we needed faster access to our Big Data.
To do it, we turned to IBM. Working with the IBM Flash Centers of Competency (CoC), we ran onsite a proof-of-concept (POC) exercise and we were both extremely impressed with the results. Using IBM FlashSystem, CCBCC saw a significant drop in the time it took to run things like batch workloads. Processing jobs that used to take 45 minutes were reduced to just six.
Today, IBM’s newest FlashSystem is being used to process data and draw key insights even faster, so demand forecasting can be further improved in order to get products on the right shelves at the right time.
But Flash storage delivers more than just speed. It gives us a way to extract deeper demand insights at least four times faster than traditional storage systems. It helps match manufacturing output with demand to reduce the risk of over- or under-stocking, and it enables earlier logistics planning to increase profitability.
In a world of escalating data volumes, velocity, and variety, Flash memory storage is proving essential in deriving meaning from data and improving business.