Church Bros. names partner for AI-powered supply chain predictions
Church Bros. Farms is partnering with ThroughPut Inc. to use AI-powered supply chain capabilities to forecast future product demand and profitability analysis.
This decision is driven by Church Bros.' initiative to leverage its data to better serve its customers, and to guide its decision making process to optimize profitability. Church Bros. grows over 40,000 acres and ships more than 50 million cartons on 60,000-plus trucks annually, across over 400 skus, presenting a complex organizational scope suited for ThroughPut’s vast capabilities.
The partnership will empower Church Bros. to plan for demand fulfillment and capacity more accurately in the near, medium and long term. It will also enable AI-powered profitability analysis based on dynamic, multivariable analysis — allowing the company to accelerate value generation, as well as margins.
Church Bros. Farms is a fully vertically integrated, family-owned and operated business that produces and processes a full range of fresh vegetables year-round. They have in-house growing and harvest programs, and state-of-the-art processing plants in the U.S. and Mexico. The company differentiates itself from competition through a legacy of product line breadth, innovation and an unerring focus on customer experience that has spanned multiple generations.
In today’s increasingly unpredictable and competitive markets, agribusinesses need to consistently deliver more value in the face of volatile resources — labor, land, inputs, time, assets and weather — while still growing shareholder value. Church Bros.’ extensive product line, while a competitive point of differentiation, adds an exponential level of complexity to its sales and operations planning process.
“At Church Brothers, customer satisfaction drives every action we take. Planning for enough production to serve our customers’ growth, while avoiding an oversupply of highly perishable crops is an elusive challenge that ultimately drives our success,” explained Rick Russo, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “A variety of pressures on the grower community has pushed our lead times for crop planning from what used to be six months, to as far out as 18 months. ThroughPut enables us to rapidly analyze an enormous amount of granular sales data, and generate a base sales forecast every week, going out a year-and-a-half. There will always be adjustments to that forecast based on known variables not captured by the data, but to have a solid starting point at our fingertips at all times is a game changer for us,” said Russo.
“Church Brothers, with its focus on community, quality, reliability, and speedy order fulfillment is already a top favored vegetable supplier in the US,” said Seth Page, COO of ThroughPut Inc. “By leveraging ThroughPut’s Supply Chain AI, Church Brothers is proactively predicting demand more accurately to prioritize order fulfillment at the right time, place, and quantity. By continually embracing innovation in their long-term vision, Church Brothers will further optimize their entire value chain for greater business, operations, financial and sustainability results,” he added.