Kraft Heinz and Microsoft join forces to accelerate supply chain innovation as part of broader digital transformation
Multiyear cloud and AI agreement will focus on joint innovations across Kraft Heinz operations and product portfolio, representing one of the company's largest technology investments to date
PITTSBURGH and CHICAGO and REDMOND, Wash. , April 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, The Kraft Heinz Company ("Kraft Heinz" or the "company") and Microsoft Corp. announced they are joining forces to develop solutions designed to accelerate the consumer goods giant's transformation and enable a more resilient supply chain. The initiative is one of Kraft Heinz's largest technology investments to date and a key driver of the company's ambitious AGILE@SCALE approach.
With Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform, Kraft Heinz will migrate the majority of its global datacenter assets to Azure and its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to SAP on Azure. Through this transformation, Kraft Heinz expects to reimagine its day-to-day operations, create a more collaborative supply chain, and enhance consumer experiences by using real-time predictive analytics to improve inventory transparency and anticipate consumer and channel demand. At the same time, the efficiencies created through the adoption of digital tools from Microsoft are expected to allow the food and beverage leader to continually reinvest into its business.
Extreme pressures on end-to-end supply chains during the past two years have exposed the need for more connected and collaborative networks between suppliers, buyers, retailers and other parties along the value chain. As part of its desire to better address supply chain disruptions, Kraft Heinz is leaning heavily into a digitized approach to shift the company to a more predictive strategy and rapid response model.
"As part of our AGILE@SCALE transformation, we are building a leading tech ecosystem to benefit the entire value chain," said Carlos Abrams-Rivera, executive vice president and president, North America, Kraft Heinz. "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."
"The past two years have highlighted the urgent need for digital-first supply chain solutions across every industry," said Judson Althoff, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Microsoft. "Through this collaboration, we're working shoulder to shoulder with Kraft Heinz, applying the power of Azure, data analytics and the industrial metaverse to co-innovate and create hybrid experiences that will ultimately put goods in the hands of retailers and consumers when they need and want them."
A primary example of how the companies will collaborate is the creation of a "Supply Chain Control Tower" for Kraft Heinz. By serving as air traffic control across the company's full product portfolio, the Control Tower will provide real-time visibility into plant operations and automation of its supply chain distribution across Kraft Heinz's 85 product categories. This innovation — powered by Azure's AI, IoT and data analytics capabilities — enables the company to get its products in the hands of its more than 2,500 U.S. retailer and food service customers and millions of consumers as fast and cost-effective as possible.
Furthermore, Kraft Heinz will create "digital twins" for its 34 owned manufacturing facilities in North America to help test and perfect solutions and processes before applying them on the plant floor. For example, the technology, fueled by Azure Digital Twins, will help predict outcomes that identify optimal product capacity and reduce mechanical interruptions by proactively addressing issues before they occur, with the goal of ensuring the products that reach retail shelves and consumer hands are the highest possible quality.
Finally, as part of the collaboration, Kraft Heinz and Microsoft will create a joint Digital Innovation Office to co-engineer new solutions that will help the company reimagine digital manufacturing and drive efficiencies with the help of hybrid experiences powered by Microsoft AI, machine learning and IoT.
We are driving transformation at The Kraft Heinz Company (Nasdaq: KHC), inspired by our Purpose, Let's Make Life Delicious. Consumers are at the center of everything we do. With 2021 net sales of approximately $26 billion, we are committed to growing our iconic and emerging food and beverage brands on a global scale. We leverage our scale and agility to unleash the full power of Kraft Heinz across a portfolio of six consumer-driven product platforms. As global citizens, we're dedicated to making a sustainable, ethical impact while helping feed the world in healthy, responsible ways. Learn more about our journey by visiting www.kraftheinzcompany.com or following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
This press release contains a number of forward-looking statements. Words such as "accelerate," "build," "create," "deliver," "develop," "drive," "make," "enable," "expect," "help," "plan," "predict," "result," "serve," "shift," "solve," "transform," "will" and variations of such words and similar future or conditional expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not historical facts and are based on Kraft Heinz's current beliefs, expectations, estimates, and projections. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and beyond Kraft Heinz's control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Those factors include, but are not limited to, Kraft Heinz's ability to achieve intended benefits of the collaboration and the risk factors set forth in Kraft Heinz's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Kraft Heinz's most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K. Kraft Heinz disclaims and does not undertake any obligation to update, revise, or withdraw any forward-looking statement in this press release, except as required by applicable law or regulation.
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SOURCE Microsoft Corp.