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Fragrance Oils Enjoys Sweet Smell of Success with IFS and Anthesis

IFS Deployment Helps Fragrance Leader to Optimise Lead Times, Enhance the Customer Experience, and Build Scale for the Future

Fragrance Oils International (Fragrance Oils) manufactures fragrances for a range of categories, spanning personal care, home scenting, fine fragrance, household care and fabric. Operating from a five acre site in Manchester, Fragrance Oils produces high volume orders for some of the most well-known and respected brands in the world.

Its manufacturing facilities are home to state-of-the-art equipment and generations of fragrance knowledge and expertise. Its flexible approach encompasses creative and technical support to customers’ needs, no matter how big or small.

With a global customer base spanning 100 countries, Fragrance Oils prides itself on a reputation for industry leading delivery times. Visibility and confidence are therefore key to the company’s success.

A change in direction

Having already started the investment in IFS, Fragrance Oils was acquired by Swiss Taste & Wellbeing and Fragrance & Beauty giant Givaudan in 2019.

In the wake of the acquisition, and subsequent change in management team, Fragrance Oils reviewed its software requirements and made the decision to continue with its deployment of IFS.

This decision was based on a number of factors. The first, was that there was already a significant investment in the project and new leadership gave a renewed focus on the core strengths of IFS and its deployment.

The second factor was that the existing ERP system was antiquated and the risk to the business of not migrating to IFS was significant. And the final driver was that Fragrance Oils had a strong established relationship with the Anthesis consultants who had been involved in the initial procurement and early project stages.

Insight-led performance

With a new Head of Business at the helm, Fragrance Oils worked closely with Anthesis who delivered the project successfully. In fact, Anthesis’ high level of commitment was particularly valuable in turning around some of the early challenges, having difficult discussions, and ensuring that feedback was constructive in moving the project forward.

Now live, IFS is facilitating greater visibility of the entire organisation, allowing the team access to insights from which to inform better decision-making, and ultimately, deliver a better customer experience.

“Through accessing insights from all areas of the business, we now know precisely where we are at any given point,” comments Andy Stedman, Head of Fragrance Oils. “Employees have data at their fingertips, and are empowered to make better decisions based on facts rather than intuition.

“This increased visibility and reporting has not only given us a tighter handle on our production but allowed us to reduce our overall lead times to an industry leading level. We have twice daily stock updates to ensure we have a live picture of inventory allowing a better understanding of our purchasing, helping us to continue to meet our customers’ expectations. Furthermore, the intelligence and analytics within IFS helps us to assess the specific needs of all of our customers, ensuring that we put the right emphasis on each individual customer.”

Being able to tailor lead times through understanding stock, production and matching it to customer demand means that Fragrance Oils can improve the customer experience (CX), its reputation and ultimately, the health of the overall business.

Transparency in CX

“Another crucial step change in helping to enhance our customers experience, is the increased visibility that IFS gives us, in a live situation. While we can’t change the many external factors that impact our business, access to the right type of data & insights give us a better handle on how we manage risk in the business. The improved knowledge and information we now have means that we can make better decisions on which raw materials are at risk. For example, we can hold more stock of those which are less predictable in their supply. The system flags stock issues as they happen, and this means now we have less raw material stockouts, whilst also balancing the amount of inventory we are holding.

Long term value

Fragrance Oils’ deployment of IFS has, without doubt, given the team a better understanding of the full end to end lifecycle of products, therefore greater insight from which to plan and set expectations with customers. Increased data, visibility and knowledge has expedited confidence across Fragrance Oils, and this in turn is helping us to drive the cultural change necessary to break down silos across teams and to empower individuals to make the right decisions every day. Strategically, the company is able to seek out new opportunities, whether in the market, or internally to drive greater efficiencies, or support its continual improvement ethos.

“The support of the Anthesis team has proved invaluable in this journey. Throughout the implementation, its consultants worked around the clock to help us overcome obstacles and stay focused on the core goals,” Andy surmises. “Their speed of response was important, and additional resources were deployed as and when needed. Ultimately we had a good “one team” ethos which helped immensely in overcoming challenges along the way, and reaching the point we’re at today.”

Looking ahead

“Over the next 12 months and beyond, we’re looking to continue the cultural alignment already underway in order to maximise the potential of the investment, with additional training provided by Anthesis to ensure everyone is making the best use of the system’s capabilities and we have maximised our investment in IFS,” concludes Andy.

“We are also developing a dashboard of learning which aims to measure progress in the right way. It’s crucial to have metrics from which to measure and plot improvements made.

“In reflecting on the success of the project, I would say that one of the most important lessons we have learned is not to underestimate the level of cultural change needed when undertaking a major technology deployment. It is about so much more than the technology, and as an organisation, you must be ready for change and to focus on wider organisational goals. If there was one area of the project that I would do differently it would be to have more focus on the change management and emphasise strongly the importance of training across the business.

“While we are undoubtedly enjoying a more efficient way of operating as a result of the system, the greatest return on investment has come through being able to make the best business decisions. In today’s economy, having the insights to focus resources in order to drive the most value and performance, and agility to be able to re-prioritise as things change, is everything. Supported by Anthesis and IFS we’re in a strong position to embrace the next stage of our journey and capitalise on future opportunities as they emerge.”

Pete McDermott, IFS Technical Architect at Anthesis adds, “working with Fragrance Oils to get their IFS Applications 10 investment live was an enjoyable experience for the Anthesis project delivery team. There was a substantial amount of technical work to complete and picking up any project midway through brings significant challenges – this endeavour was no exception. With the dedicated technical and functional consultants working alongside the tenacious Fragrance Oils project team, we were successful in implementing IFS and continue to support Fragrance Oils and Andy in delivering true business benefits and an effective platform for decision making.”