How General Mills optimized grain delivery to focus on specialty products.
One key element of industrial sustainability is to look upstream and downstream of the business along the full supply chain. Materials are an integral element of any manufacturing production operation, and optimizing the transport, storage and delivery of materials can inspire foundational operational changes. This case study looks at how a giant of the grain industry changed its market and processes for the better by using technology to track raw materials to end product. These process changes reduced nearly 20% of vehicle miles covered delivering materials and vastly improved plant efficiency, achieving $40 million in operational savings over 24 months.
General Mills ups its gluten-free game
To support the industrial grain market, a complex supply chain delivers the wheat, barley, oats and other grains that make up breakfast cereals, baked goods and many other grain products. General Mills facilities process about a third of all the oats grown in North America, and more than 60% of those oats go through one General Mills cleaning house in Fridley, MN.
“This is the lynch pin of our work with General Mills’ gluten-free oats,” says Doug Lawson, CEO of ThinkIQ, which considers itself part automation player, part IoT platform, part supply chain management system. The technology operates at the supply chain level with materials—farm to fork, mine to metal or rump to stump, depending on the industry.