Atria Suomi

The PES system by Pinja offered a solution to Atria's key information needs — to facilitate the daily operational functions and to collect data easily for the needs of internal accounting.

Project information

around 30% estimated time savings in meat control process

up to year 2025 strategic planning and need assessments carried out

I would estimate that we have now achieved time savings of around 30 per cent in our meat control process.

Pekka Korpeinen, Director of Steering and Planning, Atria Suomi

Lack of up-to-date data on raw materials and production capacity

When Atria Finland first started the collaboration with Pinja with the aim of boosting Atria’s production planning, the production planners were struggling daily with constantly changing factors, and the practical planning work was challenging. For example, getting up-to-date data on raw materials and production capacity often required several phone calls and Excel files. The introduction of PES made most of Atria’s production planning automated.

The PES system to facilitate the management of operational functions and meat balance and data collection for internal accounting and budgeting needs

In a corporation the size of Atria, there is an immense number of product labels, which means that planning and decision-making must be based on reliable data. Pekka Korpeinen, Director of Steering and Planning at Atria Finland, is in charge of, for example, managing the meat balance, implementation of meat control, procurement of meat raw materials, and industrial sales of poultry.

– To put it shortly, managing the meat balance means that there is demand at one end and supply at the other – including also primary production and its potential for growth. Constant calculations and coordination are needed between these two ends, with the aim of finding as good a balance as possible, of course, explains Korpeinen.

In addition to Korpeinen, the steering group that led the development project on ideal meat balance included Atria’s Project Manager Jari Koljonen, IT management, information systems manager, business controller, and the management group of the order and supply chain. It was essential to kick off the project by determining the exact questions for which Atria wanted answers.

– A major challenge in controlling the meat balance was that we have so many changing factors, such as different product types, cutting and packaging prescriptions, animal species, and related internal demands. An alteration in one sector creates a need for changes in several other areas, and all this data transfer used to rely heavily on human factors, Korpeinen explains.

The need for information was ultimately crystallised into two key issues: on one hand, the goal was to facilitate the daily operational functions and the management of the meat balance, while on the other hand, Atria wanted to collect data easily for the needs of internal accounting and budgeting. The solution was implemented based on this dichotomy and integrated into other systems according to Atria’s needs. At the moment, PES is used to plan the meat requirements of the entire Atria Finland.

After the system was commissioned, many things have changed in the everyday life of Atria employees. PES automatised most of the calculations related to the management of the meat balance, and the impacts of easier access to data are visible in all other Atria operations, as well. Moreover, the company got rid of personified positions and Excel files in the process, and the received silent data is now stored in the system for all employees to use. As a result, communication between different functions and persons has also become significantly easier.

Short and long time frame

The world of food design involves many different time frames all at once. For example, strategic planning and need assessments are currently being carried out far into the future. In addition, annual plans are made in view of, for example, production facilities, periodic plans drawn up with the trade sector, and, of course, practical production planning is carried out on a weekly, daily, and hourly basis.

– It is truly a significant change for us that we can, for example, update our demand projections on the go – even for the same day, if need be. The preparation of calculations and plans used to require feeding in several parameters and comparing them in different files. I would estimate that we have now achieved time savings of around 30 per cent in our meat control process. This means that we have more operational working hours to spend on other tasks, including more productive planning and data analysis, Korpeinen sums up.

The accuracy of production planning has also improved after Atria traded the Excels for PES. Previously, there was time only for coarse, more rudimentary planning, whereas now the company can address all the necessary production levels – including individual products. With successful planning, it is possible to ensure the optimised use of raw materials and to minimise waste, for example. Consequently, the planning process does not only have financial impacts, but it also plays a substantial role in view of the environmental effects and responsibility of the operation.

Moreover, the everyday use of PES also facilitates the process of annual budgeting, as the data now accumulates straight into the system over the year. The solution provides excellent support for decision-making in the current hectic pace of the industry, where quick decisions on the quantity and schedule of deliveries are often required.

At Atria, PES is used for daily meat balance control and budgeting by a certain core group of people, but the positive impacts are visible throughout the organisation and also for key stakeholders all the way from customers to subcontractors. Atria employees have found the PES user interface easy to use – once they became accustomed to the new views and possibilities.

– With PES, we have now made the transition to genuinely information-based leadership. The available data is up-to-date and reliable, which makes it also easier to stand behind the decisions you make. I believe that the end result was essentially shaped by the way we defined the system at the beginning. We are happy to see that all our efforts have paid off, and that we got what we asked for, says Korpeinen.

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