- Procter & Gamble has contracted Microsoft to provide cloud computing services and make its manufacturing smarter using predictive analytics, the companies announced Wednesday.
- P&G is using the Microsoft Azure service to expand its digital manufacturing visibility, get products to customers more quickly and improve productivity to reduce costs, according to the announcement.
- Machine telemetry and high-speed analytics have helped improve the production of diapers and paper towels at facilities in Egypt, India, Japan and the U.S., the companies said. For diapers, the efforts helped reduce facility downtime, minimize scrap and lower maintenance costs.
Shippers and other entities are increasingly bringing on partners to help digitize their operations. Heinz announced a similar deal with Microsoft in April, tasking the tech company with developing a control tower and digital twins of its nearly three dozen manufacturing facilities.
Unilever inked a four-year deal in 2021 with Maersk to develop and manage the CPG’s ocean shipping and air transport data control tower.
And the Port of Long Beach recently hired Amazon Web Services as the cloud computing vendor for its Supply Chain Information Highway platform, which the port expects to roll out to more locations this year.
P&G’s selection of Microsoft as its cloud provider follows four years of collaboration between the companies on data and automated intelligence. The partnership will provide better data utilization, automation capabilities and digital twins technology; increase workforce efficiency and productivity; and optimize environmental sustainability efforts in manufacturing.
The cloud solutions will allow P&G to “accommodate volatility in the consumer products industry with innovative, agile solutions that can easily scale based on market conditions,” said Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s chief commercial officer.
The work is already underway in Africa, Asia and North America. Advancements in diaper manufacturing, for instance, have automatically detected and resolved the top causes of line stops, the companies said.
Another pilot in the partnership is designed to better predict finished paper towel sheet lengths. P&G and Microsoft are harnessing machine learning and predictive analytics to produce the correct amount of the product and maximize manufacturing efficiency, the companies said.
The partnership also includes a Digital Enablement Office staffed by both companies, “to create high-priority business scenarios in the areas of product manufacturing and packaging processes that can be implemented across P&G,” the announcement said.