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o9 Solutions, a leading enterprise AI software platform provider for transforming planning and decision making, and research firm Supply Chain Insights has jointly announced that LKQ Europe was selected to participate in a pilot program to test outside-in planning concepts by Project Zebra, an open-source think tank driving supply chain improvement.
Project Zebra was co-founded by o9 Solutions and Supply Chain Insights. LKQ Europe was awarded the opportunity to participate in Project Zebra research following a reverse RFP process that began in March 2022. During that time, a panel of business leaders, academics and o9 leaders evaluated proposals from companies to participate in the research.
LKQ Europe is the industry-leading distributor of spare parts for cars, vans and industrial vehicles in Europe. It is a subsidiary of LKQ Corporation, the world’s largest car recycler, currently reusing more than 90% of materials from end-of-life vehicles.
With more than 1,000 branches in 20 countries and 26,000 employees, LKQ has been supplying products to more than 100,000 independent garages in Europe since 2011. The company is a main driver of transformation in the automotive aftermarket in Europe. LKQ Europe is leading the way in terms of digitalization and electrification and by that, enabling its business and its customers to ensure sustainable, safe and affordable mobility for everyone, today and in the future.
The Project Zebra pilot will test how bi-directional orchestration at LKQ Europe can help improve the company’s “inventory buy plan.” Using LKQ’s historical data obtained over the course of the pandemic, the pilot will focus on leveraging market data to improve LKQ’s demand sensing capabilities and drive a more accurate baseline demand forecast. The research will also help build a master data layer to sense and manage supply variability based on market shifts.
“Being selected as an industry partner in Project Zebra’s research and using this new, innovative approach will enable us to sense customers’ and suppliers’ behavior in reaction to changing market conditions and see the impact on our business early on,” said Claudia Martins, vice president of logistics and supply chain at LKQ Europe. “By making intelligent use of these market signals, we expect to significantly reduce the decision response time in supply chain planning. With a more detailed forecast on supply and demand, our planning will improve. We will be able to provide better services to our customers by fostering our relationships with suppliers, saving time, resources and cost.”
Added Supply Chain Insights Founder Lora Cecere, “The enthusiasm from the LKQ Europe team is contagious. I admire their courage and commitment to do this heavy lifting for the industry.”
“We are confident that the results of this pilot will make the case for an outside-in supply chain planning approach, allowing business leaders to make more informed decisions based on market, channel and supplier data,” said Igor Rikalo, president and COO of o9 Solutions. “This exciting research has the potential to set the global standard for how organizations leverage data to improve the quality of their demand forecast and supply chain plans.”