Manufacturing News

Supply Chain Software Helps Meals Take Flight

March 27, 2003
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Who says airline food is no good? Not Cara Airport Services (Mississauga, ON), producer of 70,000 airline meals a day for more than 50 airlines departing from 11 Canadian terminals. Its largest plant, a 125,000 sq.-ft. facility in Toronto, produces up to 30,000 meals a day. Not only must they get the right number of meals delivered on time at the highest quality to the right carrier, the company's production facilities must deal with more than 500,000 change orders each day.

To accomplish this, the company selected SynQuest supply chain management software that optimizes production activities and resources. "Our average production run is about 150 meals," says Fred Cress, senior vice president at Cara. "We have about 7,000 menus on files and run about 1,500 of these in any week. SynQuest software's real-time execution capability tracks changing meal counts and configurations for all flights, up to five minutes before aircraft are ready to depart."

Cara has its main systems and server in its Toronto office with numerous computer terminals located at each facility. Employee access to terminals allows them to view production sheets, menu specifications and other information.

"SynQuest allows us great flexibility in purchasing, scheduling, 'what-if' scenarios and different types of optimization," notes Cress. "We maximize efficiencies by viewing a number of scenarios in each facility, then selecting the plan considered best."

"Everything is made to order and unused meals are destroyed at the end of each day. The system allows us to synchronize production between departments for greater efficiency." Cress estimates five to seven percent efficiency improvements since implementing SynQuest.

SynQuest Inc., 3500 Parkway Ln., Ste. 555, Norcross, GA 30092 Tel.: 800-844-3228 Web:

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