Nutkao evolves production planning with advanced, web-based tools

Using the Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) in the food sector

Nutkao is an important Piedmontese company with strong growth at the top in the production of spreads and with a strong propensity for innovation. It is precisely the attention to innovation that characterizes it that has pushed Nutkao to carry out an important path of evolution of processes and tools used for the planning and scheduling of production, favouring strong business growth. The main objectives that have driven Nutkao to innovate its methods and tools are many and of great value: maintaining and guaranteeing a high level of service, respecting delivery dates to customers and monitoring the performance of warehouses. The protagonists of this virtuous path were Giampiero Graps – Planning, Andrea Tavella – COO and Alessandro Barabani – ICT of the company based in Canove di Govone in the province of Cuneo.


New growth-related needs and ambitions

Before introducing an advanced planning system, the company scheduled production using Excel spreadsheets. This solution placed limits on Nutkao’s ambitions as it presented high processing times, difficulties in updating and feeding data, lack of connection with the SAP S/4Hana Cloud Edition management software, complexity in sharing plans and simulating different scenarios and finally formula processing skills that were inferior to the algorithms equipped with a specific tool.

Added to this were the needs related to the strong growth of Nutkao, which over the years had led to a growth in volumes, product mix and general production complexity .

All these reasons had therefore made it a priority to find a specific and advanced tool that would allow us to manage the entire process of planning and scheduling production in a robust and innovative way.

Nutkao Crema Spalmabile Nocciola

Research and implementation

Having identified what was necessary to achieve its goals, Nutkao initiated a partner selection to identify the best ally that would be able to meet current and future desires, and thus be able to provide long-term support over the years.

The choice of Nutkao fell on Cybertec for consulting and the CyberPlan APS as a solution thanks to the quality of the people and solutions offered. CyberPlan was chosen for its strong usability, intuitiveness and availability in web-based version and above all for the flexibility and scalability of the tool. Cybertec was chosen for the skills demonstrated by the consulting team already in the preliminary analysis phase.

The implementation of the APS CyberPlan solution, which took between 6 and 8 months, was the first major IT project for Nutkao developed remotely due to the pandemic: 90% of the meetings were in fact held remotely, a new challenge that, however, did not slow down the start of the project.

The important work carried out has led Nutkao to innovate the processes and tools used to manage all-round production processes with CyberPlan: from MRP, to production planning and scheduling, to procurement, transfers and budgets.

State-of-the-art planning and scheduling in the food industry

Nutkao Uova Cioccolato Macchinari Piemonte APS

Nutkao has grown over the years to become an active reality in the production of spreads for retail for large-scale organized distribution and semi-finished products supplied to the confectionery industry. Finished products are managed as both MTO and MTS, as appropriate.

Planning starts with the components, which are managed so as to be made available for production in a manner closely linked to the date of production. With CyberPlan, Nutkao also manages to get evidence of the necessary transfers between the different warehouses.

CyberPlan gives us the possibility to plan deliveries within the plant with the hourly detail of the tight need on the packaging line. This is definitely a strength for our planning.

Giampiero Graps – Planning

Thanks to CyberPlan, Nutkao is able to manage the time required to complete the production process, which does not end with the packaging phase, but must take into account the staging phase in the warehouse. This staging phase was also considered within the MRP, which therefore generates production proposals starting from customer requests or stock restoration proposals.

Today, Nutkao is also able to effectively manage the trend of demand and the stocks available through the APS. On the one hand, the planning department controls advance and delay towards the date requested by the customer for the MTO, on the other hand it monitors how to prevent potential stock-outs on the MTS codes.

With the tool for Advanced Planning & Scheduling, Nutkao is also able to control the seasonality; the possibility of easily entering manual forecasts makes it possible to simulate the different scenarios and the relative requirements of materials and machine hours. Thanks to these simulations on the workload of the production lines, Nutkao stays as close as possible to the leveling of the loads.

Nutkao Crema Spalmabile Nocciola Produzione


The project to implement a structured solution with complex algorithms such as CyberPlan has allowed Nutkao to take a step forward on all the parts that have been implemented. And the benefits are of great value:

  • Stock level management: to monitor the quantities in stock;
  • Procurement optimisation: this is now done on the basis of production order scheduling;
  • Transfer planning: between different plants and warehouses;
  • Dialogue between the different software: previously it was done manually through data entry activities;
  • Communication between departments and offices: the different departments share information within a single solution (e.g. variations on scheduled dates);
  • Use of alerts: to monitor and prevent stock-outs.

Nutkao Crema Spalmabile Nocciola Bigusto

An evolution also for the role of production planner

With the introduction of CyberPlan, Nutkao has also brought improvements in terms of the daily activities carried out by planners, which indicate “major improvements, especially in terms of effectiveness, but also efficiency”.

As for effectiveness, there have been increases in productivity, that is, the fact of being able to create a plan that achieves the best result by combining several factors:

  • compliance with the delivery dates requested by the customer;
  • qualitative aspects such as parking in the warehouse;
  • production aspects such as format rotation, set-up changes, product alternation.

Although achieving the excellent is an almost utopian concept, reaching the best possible level is now feasible.

Another important innovation for production planning and scheduling was the use of finished capacity, an aspect not present in Excel. In particular, Nutkao uses the finished capacity both in terms of availability of resources and components: it allows to have visibility of the consequences of any missing materials (if a material is missing because the delivery date has been postponed by the supplier and therefore the plan is indeed feasible, the scheduler has evidence of this lack and can act promptly to avoid the consequences).

Benefits can also be observed in terms of efficiency because reactivity and flexibility have increased thanks to a series of dynamic dashboards that allow you to arrive at the result in a significantly shorter time than the analyses that could be carried out on a spreadsheet.

User Favorite Aspects

Since these are solutions used by people, it is also important to deepen what is most appreciated by users.

Respondents Giampiero Graps – Production Planning and Alessandro Barabani – ICT indicated ease of use, flexibility and customisation as the most appreciated added values.

Our business is constantly evolving and the tool gives us the flexibility to tailor it around the needs of the moment.

Giampiero Graps – Planning

The second aspect allows the customization of the tool according to what the business needs are: it allows you to move in a short time from the idea to the realization of what can be for example a report or a new tool.

In particular, it was appreciated that the scalability and possibility of evolving the instrument do not affect the stability of the product. Often, when you go to build something on one side of a program, you notice worsening on another side of the program. The architecture with which the developments are made by the consultants always guarantees good stability

It is a modern web application and therefore also from the point of view of installation and maintenance it relieves IT of a whole series of activities with low added value.

Alessandro Barabani – ICT


Nutkao: from the toasting of raw hazelnuts to the production of cream

Nutkao - Graps Tavella Barabani - Sede Canove di Govone Cuneo

Nutkao, a company founded in 1982 by Giuseppe Braida and headquartered in Piedmont, is today an International Contract Manufacturer with a leading position in the market for the production of spreads for third parties, from the project to the shelf product. With more than 50% of the Group’s turnover generated on international markets, there are about 80 countries that support the typical Italian nature of Nutkao creams and over 400 customers to whom the company provides exclusive and unique products, respecting their needs and the tastes of local consumers. The growth in the United States with the Battleboro production hub in North Carolina and the decision in 2018 to acquire a plant in Ghana for the processing of cocoa beans, represent a case of excellence in controlling the supply chain: from natural raw materials controlled to a “gentle” production process, free of additives and safe from an industrial point of view, to maintain the organoleptic qualities and, at the same time, ensure a hygienically perfect food product. Today the Nutkao group, with the entry of the acquired Boerrineke and Antichi Sapori dell ‘Etna, can count on a total turnover that exceeds 300 million euros and an increasingly widespread and deep-rooted distribution network in each country where it is present.


An advanced tool for managing manufacturing production

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