21.03.2017 Food and Beverages

The improved planning has enabled us to optimize warehouse space and preservability, which in turn have resulted into significant cost savings.

John Aspnäs
Chief Information Officer
Snellman Group



The Snellman Group produces processed meat products and ready meals. Its largest factory employs approximately 900 people in the town of Pietarsaari. Meat processing is a complex and vulnerable process: among many more phases, it involves managing which animals and how many are brought in, and the order in which the meat is cut. The production should also respond to changes in demand, as it is not possible process large amounts of meat products to be stored for a long time.

It was nearly impossible to respond to market challenges with static and rigid planning that was based on ERP tools and Excel sheets.


In 2017, the Snellman Group initiated a project to renew production management at all their factories. SWDPES was chosen to fine-tune the production planning, and it will be integrated into Snellman’s existing Wonderware MES system phase by phase. Fine-tuning production processes enables production planning and optimization by minute from one department to another.

Another significant area of emphasis is the Sales & Operations Planning process, where the Snellman Group will be implementing new functionalities in 2017. Production planning is guided by sales forecasts. These forecasts may change rapidly, and therefore the production management must be able to respond to possible changes of scenario.

The cooperation between SWD and Snellman began already in 2013 with production planning: which amount of each product will be made each day, and how the different animals and the cadaver parts used should be balanced.

Shortly after the implementation of the new production planning system, the partners started to develop the purchase balance. Various ingredients and packaging materials are needed in the production of processed meat products. When the production planning is managed well, it is easier to purchase the right amount of ingredients and materials at the right time.


There has been a substantial reduction in the time spent in planning. Now the production managers can come to work at 7 am like everyone else instead of 5 am. “The planning horizon has extended essentially. Before the implementation of the system, the production could only be planned for one day ahead, now it can be planned for the entire week. In addition, it is now easier to foresee and manage the high demand of the holiday seasons.

The improved planning has enabled us to optimize warehouse space and preservability, which in turn have resulted into significant cost savings. The warehouse space used for packaging materials has diminished by 20%, and there has been a 25% reduction is waste due to expiration dates. And respectively, it is now easier to optimize the amount of ingredients more accurately”, says John Aspnäs, the Chief Information Officer at Snellman.

Change management as well as overall communication between the sales, planning and production departments have improved and become more agile. This is why the SWDPES will be implemented across the entire group to be used alongside the MES system.