CAT Squared has partnered with UniSoma to disrupt the food-processing software industry with the launch of TacticalOps, our planning & optimization tool designed for food manufacturers. This exciting planning & optimization tool empowers food manufacturers with the ability to capture and manage real-time data from the plant floor and, using prescriptive analytics, peer into the future to make better decisions. UniSoma’s previous successes implementing planning and optimization tools based on predictive and prescriptive analytics yielded increased production efficiencies and improvements in planning accuracy. JBS reported an increase in the contribution margin of over 20% due to the use of UniSoma’s Meat Chain Optimizer. In another example, BRF reported $50 million in savings over a three-year period.

"CAT Squared's solutions already provide excellent control over the shop floor data, but the missing piece of the puzzle has always been the ability to manage and optimize the complex process of production planning and scheduling," said CAT Squared CEO Vernon Smith. "By integrating the power of CAT Squared's MES solution with Unisoma's experience delivering planning and optimization solutions for the food industry and utilizing the AIMMS prescriptive analytics capabilities, we will be able to model the complex processes within the manufacturing facility and generate an optimized production schedule, highlighting bottlenecks and surpluses and maximizing profit. This powerful tool will allow our customers to not only optimize their production scheduling and the utilization of their production facilities but also react in real-time to changes in both supply and demand."

During a recent demonstration, Luis Pinto from UniSoma provided real-world examples of the kinds of scenarios TacticalOps can address. "Let's say your plant needs to change production plan quickly due to an unforeseen event… Perhaps a flock comes in undersize, for example. This will impact the whole production for the next day because the birds won’t meet the product spec. This could impact the margins for the whole company. TacticalOps helps production managers see not just how this event will impact the cutting line, but also determine the best plan for the whole business. These new capabilities will be revolutionary for the industry."

What are the optimal product mix and best client mix for our various markets?

TacticalOps provides insight into how to maximize plant production given various scenarios by capturing and analyzing data on all inputs and outputs, production methods, product specs, and available markets. For example, given a limited supply of raw material and imbalanced demand, what is the best product mix that will deliver the best outcome for your company? If you run a poultry plant, and you receive chickens that are larger than your average standard deviation, what do you do with them? Do you machine cut or manual cut? How will this decision impact your plant’s yield? This level of insight allows management to make the best production plan for that plant.

Strategic questions addressed by TacticalOps

TacticalOps is a dynamic solution that can respond to various market changes by collecting yield data to project into the future. An analysis of this data can answer strategic questions like:

  • What is each machine's capacity and what is each plant's capacity?
  • How much does it cost to produce each line of product, how should I price it, and what's the market?
  • Should I launch a premium product or package low-price, generic brands?
  • What should I buy based on my supply plan and what should I produce?
  • What happens if the price drops dramatically for a carcass without giblets or if the market suddenly drops?
  • What revenue do I get from these products, and what is the high-low demand within the market?
  • If my plant produces beef products, which SKUs require Angus certification, European Union Certification, or halal processing standards?
Kathy Barbeire

Written by Kathy Barbeire

Throughout my career, I’ve helped organizations think of creative ways to (1) harness new technology to maximize effectiveness, (2) collect relevant data to measure and improve performance, and (3) use data to tell compelling stories to customers and stakeholders. In 2015, I became CAT Squared’s marketing manager. In this role, I monitor industry trends to (1) ensure our products are flexible enough to adapt to new industry standards and (2) prepare our customers for new technologies with the potential to disrupt the industry. I’ve represented CAT Squared as a participant in a blockchain learning group that has grown out of Blockchain for Arkansas (BC4AR), an initiative launched by Governor Asa Hutchinson to promote capacity building around blockchain technology. As my own knowledge and capacity grow, I develop new content to educate our supply chain partners and help them prepare for the transition ahead. Prior to launching my career, I graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in professional and technical writing and a double minor in sociology and information technology. I later returned to UALR and completed the MBA program. Before joining CAT Squared, I applied my passion for data-driven storytelling to help nonprofits define their goals, track program metrics, and engage donors and community stakeholders in their missions to fight hunger, poverty, and homelessness, first as a program manager for the Our House Homeless Shelter in Little Rock, and then at The Salvation Army Central Arkansas Area Command.