SupplyVue helped keep Tetley tea on shelves during first wave of COVID-19 pandemic

As the UK entered lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, panic buying of essential items including tea caused a massive spike in demand.

With demand for products doubling in some instances, many companies struggled to keep up with supply, but Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL), the parent of the Tetley tea brand in the UK, Eight O Clock Coffee in the USA and Tata Tea in India, managed to keep products on shelves and customers supplied with the tea they needed.

To ensure that it could maintain supplies of tea Tetley’s UK factory in Teesside increased production by more than 40%. Their ability to adapt and respond to the unprecedented level demand owed much to their supply chain strategy on which WMG, University of Warwick had been working with them to enhance since 2015.

Professor Jan Godsell from WMG at the University of Warwick led the team that analysed Tetley’s sales and stock data to create a demand profile. Professor Jan Godsell explains:

“We identified an optimal level of utilisation that would keep TCL competitive and allow spare capacity to deal with fluctuations in demand. John Burdett, Global Operations Director for Tata Consumer Products Ltd, then used these recommendations to help set-up the supply chain strategy, which was rigorously tested during the COVID-19 pandemic as the demand for tea soared.

“It was both an exhilarating time and a frightening time. Because of the buffer management approach we had in place, we were able to deliver 35% surge capacity to supply our customers and consumers and keep the UK drinking tea. This meant we could react extremely quickly to the rapidly moving market conditions and gain competitive advantage.”

This article was published via Mirage News on 02 November 2020. A link to the original article can be found here.


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