May 17, 2020

Highland Spring Group invests in demand planning with Infor

drinks supply chain
Highland Spring
UK procurement
4 min
Infor Demand Planning to Help Achieve Double Digit Demand Forecast Accuracy Improvements
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Infor, the industry cloud company, today announced that the UKs largest supplier and producer of natur...

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.


Infor, the industry cloud company, today announced that the UK’s largest supplier and producer of naturally sourced bottled water, the Highland Spring Group, has invested in Infor Demand Planning. Currently planned to be deployed across four sites in the UK, the application is expected to be used to help Highland Spring achieve a double-digit improvement in demand forecast accuracy for brands including Highland Spring and Speyside Glenlivet, by helping Highland Spring enhance customer service and reduce costs.

As part of a business improvement program, the Highland Spring Group has developed a comprehensive sales and operations planning (S&OP) strategy to boost customer service throughout its retail, trade and export markets. Infor Demand Planning can help Highland Spring manage certain customer service improvements outlined within this strategy, for example helping to ensure the right stock is held in the right location at the right time to meet demand.

The new software can help support this initiative by helping Highland Spring provide more accurate demand forecasts as well as helping with facilitation of better resource management and improved budgeting accuracy. The new Infor application can help the Highland Spring Group move to a 24-month demand planning cycle and factor in various promotions designed to boost demand for its products.

Following a review of demand planning solutions, Infor Demand Planning was selected as it offered the scalability required to enable the Highland Spring Group to help improve customer service as it continues to grow. The Group currently uses Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine).

Chris Hatcher, Head of Supply Chain, the Highland Spring Group, said: “According to Zenith International, the domestic UK market for bottled water is forecast to grow over 20 percent in the next three years.

“As part of our strategy to capitalise on this growth by providing naturally sourced, bottled water in line with consumer demand, we have invested in a range of tools to improve our customer service. Against a baseline of our current performance, we anticipate at least 98.5 percent customer service satisfaction across our key accounts, as well as double digit improvement in our demand forecast accuracy.”

Infor builds beautiful business applications with last mile functionality and scientific insights for select industries delivered as a cloud service. With 13,000 employees and customers in more than 200 countries and territories, Infor builds software that automates critical processes for industries including healthcare, manufacturing, fashion, wholesale distribution, hospitality, retail, and public sector. Customers also include 18 out of the top 20 aerospace companies.

Nathalie Regniers, Industry and Solution Strategy Director at Infor, said: “For manufacturers such as the Highland Spring Group, demand planning is a key lever for managing the pressures of growth.

“Improved accuracy of demand and better budgeting are critical within the competitive market that the Highland Spring Group operates. That necessitates systems that are fast, agile, easy to use and above all, can support accurate, automated processes which can scale to support customers’ projected growth as well as their current position.” 

Headquartered in New York City, Infor is home to one of the largest creative agencies in Manhattan, Hook & Loop, focused solely on user experience design. Infor deploys its applications primarily on the Amazon Web Services cloud and open source platforms.

Highland Spring Group, parent company of the Highland Spring brand, is the UK’s largest supplier and producer of naturally sourced bottled water. One in every five litres of plain bottled water consumed in the UK is produced by Highland Spring Group

Bottling 460 million litres of water a year, the Highland Spring Group produces brands including Highland Spring, Speyside Glenlivet, Hydr8 and a range of private label flavoured and unflavoured waters for some of the UK’s major supermarkets and foodservice retailers

Headquartered in Blackford, Perthshire, the Group oversees four bottling plants in Scotland and Wales and employs over 400 staff. It has a current production capacity of over 700 million litres of water a year and has an available resource in excess of 2.2 billion litres a year.

To learn more about Infor, please visit

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Jun 16, 2021

EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs

3 min
Supply chains embroiled in Airbus-Boeing dispute will no longer be impacted by $11.5bn tariffs imposed on food and beverage, aircraft and tobacco

The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years. 

It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC. 

The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn. 

In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products. 

Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers  

  • The dispute began in 2004
  • Tariffs suspended for 5 years 
  • $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
  • $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date 
  • 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended

Both sides welcome end to tariffs 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.

“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.

Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”. 

The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."

This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.

Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”

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