Kraft Heinz Partners with Microsoft for Innovative Supply Chain Management Update
Microsoft is no stranger to helping companies step into the digital age using cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Food and beverage king Kraft Heinz is the latest to partner with Microsoft to modernize operations and create a stronger supply chain.
The Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) announced the partnership on Thursday. The multiyear deal will see KHC move the majority of its global data center assets to Microsoft’s Azure service and adopt various cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twin technologies to transform the company.
By using Azure to create digital twins of its 34 manufacturing facilities in North America, Kraft Heinz can use the replicas for testing processes before implementing them on the real factory floors.
The companies also have plans to create a joint virtual digital innovation office, the goal being the co-engineering of new solutions to improve Kraft Heinz’s digital manufacturing capabilities with the aid of Microsoft’s AI technologies, machine learning predictive algorithms and “internet of things” platform.
And there is also talk of producing a “Supply Chain Control Tower,” which will act as air traffic control for Kraft Heinz, giving the company live oversight of its plants and their operations.
Carlos Abrams-Rivera, North America President and Executive Vice President at Kraft Heinz, said of the partnership, “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.”
After shareholders approved the merger of Kraft Foods and H.J. Heinz in early 2015, the new Kraft Heinz Co. is now the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth largest in the world with over $26.0 billion in annual sales as of 2020.
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