Workload Automation Blog

How Control-M Helps Hershey and Colruyt Deliver Supply Chain Stability

Woman and man in warehouse looking at tablet
4 minute read
Robby Dick

If you’re anything like me, you want to get your hands on products as soon as the need (or want) arises. Collectively, we’ve lost patience with out-of-stock notices in stores or on web pages. We are an instant gratification population, so all the recent product shortages have been jarring. From furniture to refrigerators, we can’t assume the things we’re shopping for will be available anymore.

For me, it was chlorine. As pool season approached this year, I started looking for the chemicals I needed to treat my pool. My go-to website had the dreaded “not available” message—and to make matters worse, the company was unsure when (or if) the products would be available. I spent the next day going from one store to another until I finally found enough chlorine to get us through another hot summer!

So, what’s causing these shortages? Many different factors contribute, but often it comes down to supply chain disruption. If one part of the chain comes up short, the whole supply chain is disrupted and customer demand will quickly exceed supply.

Modern supply chains

Modern supply chains are often managed with a “just-in-time” strategy. The goal is to have just enough inventory to meet consumer demand with the right products at the right time. Done well, this cuts down on excess inventory.

The process can often be a highwire act, though, requiring companies to try to pinpoint the right order quantities for anything involved in the creation and distribution of their product from start to finish. In addition to raw materials, businesses also need to make sure they have packaging and labeling for their finished goods. Beyond that, there are other variables to consider, like items with a short shelf life and having enough space for materials and inventory. To manage supply chains well, executives need data—and the insights it provides—and a lot of it!

According to Deloitte’s Supply Chain Digital and Analytics Survey, 76 percent of respondents said developing digital and analytics capabilities was most/very important to delivering their overall supply chain strategy.

To help keep track of all the data required to make critical supply chain decisions, many businesses rely on the scheduling software that’s built into their business applications and systems of record to automate data workflows. Unfortunately, that requires manually written scripts or implementing workarounds to connect siloed applications, so they pass information from one technology to the next. The problem with this approach is that much like supply chains themselves, if one step in the data workflow breaks down, all the remaining steps will be affected. IT and other departments must then scramble to find and fix the problem as quickly as possible. This creates unnecessary risk for the business and can negatively impact customer satisfaction and revenue. Businesses need a smarter, more efficient way to orchestrate application and data workflows.

Enter Control-M

Control-M simplifies application and data workflow orchestration on premises or as a service. It makes it easy to build, define, schedule, manage, and monitor production workflows, ensuring visibility, reliability, and improving service level agreements (SLAs). With Control-M and BMC Helix Control-M, organizations still use all their existing, vital supply chain tools and technologies and gain a single point of control for their application workflows. By gaining visibility into workflows across the entire supply chain process, they can predict and address issues before they negatively impact the business.

Companies around the world are leveraging the Control-M platform to improve supply chain efficiency, meet their SLAs, and most importantly, keep their customers happy. Here are two customer examples.

Super(market) supply chain improvement

European supermarket chain Colruyt guarantees the lowest prices for any product at any time. With 248 stores across France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, that’s no small feat. Living up to this guarantee requires a highly efficient supply chain that gets a large volume of products to its stores on time. As Colruyt’s operation began to grow rapidly, its leadership team realized it needed to focus on optimizing the systems and services behind its key business functions to maintain that momentum.

In addition to supporting the introduction of a voice product-picking system, Control-M helped streamline workflows and leverage available data to maximize the capacity and deployment of Colruyt’s shipping trucks, identifying the volume and weight of each item so it was easy to choose exactly the right-sized truck for the job. Trucks are now filled to 95 percent capacity. That reduces transportation costs, ensures the right products are on the shelves, and helps Colruyt pass the savings to its customers.

Sweet supply chain success

With products sold around the world, The Hershey Company has candy in stores of every shape and size. Getting the right product mix to the right stores at the right time is a monumental undertaking. The company must have the correct ingredients on-hand to produce the correct product quantities, and then ship everything where it needs to go. To make it work, Hershey relies on thousands of complex, interdependent application and data workflows that expedite transaction processing, data transfers and analysis, and reporting. The company turned to Control-M to automate its supply chain processes end to end.

Control-M also enabled developers and application owners to handle tasks on their own while the workload automation team maintained control. And because the new applications involve cloud-based services, Control-M helped Hershey automate processes across on-premises and cloud-based systems.


Companies can’t afford to leave supply chain complexity unaddressed. With so many variables involved, manually maintaining silos of automation puts companies at risk of missing critical issues that can bring their supply chains to an abrupt stop. The Control-M platform orchestrates and automates supply chain workflows and keeps them on track. Do you have the right level of visibility into your supply chain application and data workflows?

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Robby Dick

Robby joined BMC Software in the summer of 1999 and has been involved with automation since 1995 in a variety of roles including: end-user, administrator, pre-sales consulting and marketing. For the past 10 years his primary responsibility is talking about the current and future state of automation and how Control-M can help deliver applications, and the business services they support, faster. Prior to 1995 Robby was a UNIX systems administrator in the Chicago area at companies in the energy, financial services and manufacturing industries. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, and resides in northwest Alabama.