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Kraft Heinz taps Microsoft to digitise supply chains and create 34 digital twins

The food giant is set to digitise its operations after experiencing extreme pressures on its supply chains over the past two years

The US multinational food company Kraft Heinz has agreed on a deal with Microsoft to power its digital transformation efforts through its Azure public cloud platform.

The food company said it's experienced extreme pressures on its end-to-end supply chain over the past two years. This has exposed the need for more connected and collaborative networks between suppliers, buyers, retailers, and other relevant parties. To address these disruptions, Kraft Heinz is aiming to pursue a more digitised approach.

The company will migrate the majority of its global data centre assets to Azure and its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to SAP on Azure. The company hopes to change its day-to-day operations through the new partnership by creating a more collaborative supply chain.

Microsoft is set to help the company get real-time visibility into plant operations and automation of its supply chain distribution across Kraft Heinz’s 85 product categories. It'll be powered by Azure’s artificial intelligence (AI), IoT, and data analytic capabilities and help the company get its products to its customers faster.

Kraft Heinz also aims to help its customers by using real-time predictive analytics to improve inventory transparency and anticipate consumer and channel demand. It predicts that by adopting Microsoft’s digital tools, it'll be able to continually reinvest into its business.

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“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 at 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.”

The food company said the new partnership is one of its largest technology investments to date, although it didn’t reveal how much the deal is worth.

Kraft Heinz will also 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. The company hopes that by using Azure Digital Twins, it can predict outcomes that identify, for example, optimal product capacity and reduce mechanical interruptions by addressing issues before they occur.

The two companies will also create a joint digital innovation office to help Kraft Heinz drive efficiencies through digital manufacturing.

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