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Heinz's Plans for a European Supply Chain Hub

In an effort to consolidate its procurement, manufacturing, inventory control and logistics, the HJ Heinz Company has announced a five-year strategic p...

Freddie Pierce
|May 31|magazine6 min read

In an effort to consolidate its procurement, manufacturing, inventory control and logistics, the HJ Heinz Company has announced a five-year strategic plan to set up a European supply chain hub in Zeist.

The company hopes that the new hub will increase innovation and quality in its supply chain and also lead to an increase in buying roles, as it plans to hire more staff. By accelerating investment in the productivity initiative it calls Project Keystone, Heinz expects to improve productivity and become more competitive by adding capabilities and standardizing its systems through SAP.

“Heinz delivered record sales, net income and cash flow in Fiscal 2011, fuelled by accelerating growth in key emerging markets like China, India, Indonesia and Russia and value-enhancing innovation in our core portfolio of iconic brands,” said Heinz Chairman, President and CEO William R. Johnson. “Like it or not, these are the growth markets for the 21st century.”

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Although Heinz has said it plans to hire more supply chain staff, it will be reducing its global workforce by 800 jobs and closing five of its plants worldwide, including two in Europe, one in the Pacific and two in the United States. An official announcement said that a second US facility is being evaluated for potential closure and employees will be notified when the final decision is made.