For nearly 45 years, Carrousel has been dedicated to providing the best service possible to its customers. Specializing in packaging materials and equipment for a broad base of customers, Carrousel’s products can be found in some of Quebec’s largest and best-known bakeries, wholesalers and manufacturers, among others.
With thousands of customers counting on the company every day to supply them with packaging and related equipment to keep their own products safe and secure, there’s little doubt that a properly managed supply chain is absolutely essential to Carrousel’s success. Vice President of Supply Chain Michel Bourassa says this is why the company has taken some big steps in the last few years to tighten up its supply chain processes and improve performance so that its customers know they will always receive what they need exactly when they need it.
Based in Montreal, Carrousel was founded in 1971 to provide packaging solutions to butchers and supermarkets. Over time, the company’s offerings evolved to include packaging products and equipment for a more diverse mix of clients, including spice stores, caterers, restaurants and manufacturing facilities. The company has three locations in Quebec totaling more than 185,000 square feet of warehousing space. Its fleet of more than 40 delivery vehicles runs routes daily to keep its customers fully stocked with everything they need.
The company describes its internal culture as one built around quality and customer satisfaction, and Carrousel believes it is the responsibility of every single member of its staff to uphold that culture and live its values in everything they do. “Our quality policy stipulates that every company employee, whatever their function, guarantees quality products and customer service in their every activity,” the company says. “That means providing rapid service, minimizing ordering error and delivering a quality product.”
Carrousel adds that every employee’s responsibilities are detailed in writing, ensuring that no corners are cut or steps overlooked at any point in the process.
Bourassa is well-versed in helping organizations optimize their supply chains, having implemented numerous initiatives throughout his career with multiple organizations across Canada. His expertise includes implementing ERP systems, creating supply chain centers of excellence and driving strategic initiatives. Since joining Carrousel in early 2015, Bourassa has overseen the company’s logistics, distribution, transportation management, procurement and replenishment. “I’m always looking for improvements,” he says.
By switching to the Microsoft Dynamics ERP platform, Bourassa says, Carrousel now has access to more data than it had in the past. This gives the company the ability to make better decisions and exercise more control over its operations. Bourassa says the company also is in the process of hiring a business intelligence manager to bring more expertise into its supply chain operations.
Although the new ERP platform has provided Carrousel with some significant improvements already, Bourassa says the transition wasn’t always easy. “The biggest challenge was that the old ERP system was there for a pretty long time,” he says. “The major challenge was all of the change management with the people.”
By working closely with employees and helping them understand the need for the system and how it works, the company transitioned successfully.
Bourassa continues to oversee some significant changes to Carrousel’s supply chain operations. Most recently, the company has started to implement a new transportation management system that will optimize routes for the company’s fleet and potentially bring substantial cost savings. “We need to use the transportation management system the best that we can, in order to be more efficient and reduce our environmental impact,” Bourassa says.
In the near future, Bourassa says Carrousel still has room for improvement in its supply chain to bolster the improvements it already has made. He foresees procurement to be the next area of the supply chain to get an overhaul, revamping the system to ensure that the company doesn’t receive inventory too frequently.
There has been a lot of consolidation among its suppliers, so Carrousel also has been on the lookout for merger or acquisition opportunities that make sense for the company. No matter what, Bourassa says, Carrousel’s goal is to make supply chain decisions that keep it at the top of the industry.