Kraft Heinz to work with Microsoft on digital twins and supply chain efficiencies

Kraft Heinz to work with Microsoft on digital twins and supply chain efficiencies

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Food manufacturing firm Kraft Heinz Co. said today it is partnering with Microsoft Corp. with an eye to improving its supply chain visibility and day-to-day operations.

Under the alliance, Kraft Heinz will adopt various cloud, artificial intelligence and digital twin technologies to advance its digital transformation strategy. The companies have signed a multiyear deal that will see Kraft Heinz migrate the bulk of its global data center assets to Microsoft Azure.

It will also move its enterprise resource planning operations to SAP on Azure. In addition, it will create what it refers to as a “supply chain control tower” that will act like an air traffic control service to oversee a complex supply chain that stretches across more than 80 different food products.

Kraft Heinz, which operates 34 manufacturing facilities in North America, will use Azure’s services to create digital twins of each one. These digital replicas of each facility will serve as a testbed for new processes and solutions to be assessed before being implemented on the actual factory floor. For instance, Kraft Heinz will use the digital twins to test ideas for reducing mechanical interruptions and other issues that hamper production.

The companies also have plans to create a joint virtual digital innovation office, where they aim to co-engineer new solutions to improve Kraft Heinz’s digital manufacturing capabilities with the aid of Microsoft’s AI, machine learning and “internet of things” technologies.

Kraft Heinz North America President and Executive Vice President Carlos Abrams-Rivera said the company is hoping to build a leading tech ecosystem that will benefit its entire value chain. “Our collaboration with Microsoft is a critical piece of our transformation strategy, providing us with the machine learning and advanced analytics to drive innovation and efficiencies across the supply chain so we can get products into the market faster, better serve our customers and, ultimately, deliver on the sustained and growing consumer demand our iconic brands continue to experience,” he said.

Kraft Heinz announced its digital transformation strategy, called Agile@Scale, about 18 months ago, saying at the time that it was aiming to transform its entire business through the adoption of agile and scalable disciplines and digital solutions.

Photo: Ivan Radic/Flickr

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