Meat Processing Optimisation

We worked with Alliance Group to build a web based tool that uses quantitative analyitics at the core to modernise their approach to meat sales and production planning.

Business Need

Alliance Group is the world’s largest processor and exporter of mutton and lamb, representing over 15% of the world’s cross-border trade. Its facilities process over 87 Million lamb and sheep per annum, exporting to 65 countries, and they produce over 1,200 products. Alliance has been a leader in its industry’s adoption of advanced analytical methods, having first incorporated mathematical optimisation into its planning process in the nineteen nineties.

The team at Alliance recognised that Biarri could move their optimisation toolset to the next generation. We worked with their team to build an easy-to-use web based tool which helps them make smarter sales and production planning decisions quickly and easily.

We sent one of our optimisation consultants across to New Zealand to work closely with Alliance’s domain experts. Taking the time to work with Alliance allowed us to formulate the mathematics before the IT providing a more streamlined approach to development. When we had a proven formulation that answered their problem, we then built a cloud based strategic tool rapidly on top of the Biarri Workbench that allowed far greater control and visibility across their meat sales and production planning activities.

With our new tool Alliance was able to drill down to the smallest details and identify all the key, relevant variables needed to make smarter sales and production planning decisions quickly and easily. The tool helps Alliance optimise returns, which identify the most profitable orders and meat cutting specifications to maximise overall revenue yields.

The tool was built from the ground up leveraging AWS services toolkit as part of the solution such as AWS EC2 to run the optimisation workloads, AWS S3 to store application information, AWS PostgreSQL RDS to manage the workload data tables, AWS EKS to ensure a highly available and scalable workload, and AWS Elasticache to queue and manage tasks. Leveraging AWS toolkit we were able to create a world class platform to assist Alliance go into the world market with confidence. Biarri’s tool and algorithm has empowered Alliance to further optimise its operations across all 6 of its processing plants.

As a result of integrating our tool, Alliance has been able to operate with a greater level of transparency. The tool provides a clear line of sight around what the best option to take is at any given point in time. Their team now has a solid foundation upon which to make decisions about their product, with the tool taking into account the price of carcasses, and market prices. Alliance has seen a significant reduction in time spent planning, and effort with the ability to access their data anywhere and at any time.

Biarri’s tool has not only given Alliance’s team greater visibility but empowered them with greater control over their operation. With the tool’s inbuilt ability to conduct scenario planning, Alliance has been able to substantially increase their revenue through maximising the whole carcass. If you change the price for one item it can affect the price of the whole carcass. The team at Alliance are now better equipped to identify this value and make the correct decisions accordingly. In a volatile market place, having the data and numbers simplifies the whole decision making process.

A good example of scenario planning through the tool is every week category owners would list their prices for purchasing the cattle based on the going price. Alliances team is now able to look at the yield and price and determine the correct amount purchase to pay suppliers. All that is required is information over the course of the next 8 weeks, which gives Alliance a forward view, as they negotiate with suppliers. By utilising the tool, they are able to increase profit margins by identifying the correct market for the correct price.

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