Speaking at Snowflake’s Retail Data Cloud Launch, Jorge Balestra, Global Head of Machine Learning Operations and Platforms at Kraft Heinz, walked attendees through the company’s journey to leverage Snowflake for data sharing to collaborate with leading retailers and distributors.
Previously, Kraft Heinz was using Hadoop and other legacy technologies that were in-memory databases. To embrace their cloud modernization, Kraft Heinz chose the Snowflake Data Cloud as its data platform and fully replaced its legacy systems. Snowflake’s secure data sharing features were among the key differentiating factors that Kraft Heinz saw for the retail industry. According to Balestra,, “Not having technical debt has enabled us to move very aggressively forward. It’s been a key success factor for us.”
Reimagine the status quo
“Retailers and CPG [consumer packaged goods] manufacturers are trying to provide consumers with the right product, at the right place, and at the right price. The basic goals have never changed,” said Balestra.
Retailers and CPGs have always been exchanging information, from paper documentation to API portals. Retailers have significantly invested in creating portals to share their data with CPGs. However, just from the retailers perspective alone, creating reports for analysis would require maintaining an entire application and potentially duplicating data multiple times for the various manufacturers who need data extracts.
From Kraft Heinz’s perspective as a CPG manufacturer, even with automation this would require putting together files, validating them, and much more. “Overall, sharing data with our retail partners has historically required massive amounts of effort to put together, and plus there is a time lag,” said Balestra.
Joint value planning with retailers
Joint Value Planning is Kraft Heinz’s process of collaborating with its retail partners. With the Snowflake Data Cloud, retailers can simply update tables and then CPG manufacturers like Kraft Heinz can see the same data without delay. For example, many retailers currently share how products are moving to distribution chains and where they are selling, giving full visibility to Kraft Heinz to dissect the data and provide recommendations. “We’re equivalently sitting at the same table,” said Balestra.
Data sharing with the Snowflake Data Cloud ensures that only the relevant data that retailers and CPG manufacturers choose to share with each other can be accessed. Relevant data includes the joint supply chain, inventory data, sales, and distribution channels on both sides. According to Balestra, “To keep the supply chain humming along, speed is very important and both sides need to have a granular understanding about how everything is moving across the board.”
“Snowflake decreases the complexity of the interaction,” he said. “With less moving parts, it minimizes the chance of things going wrong. We want to move toward a world where we can minimize extracting and loading data from our numerous data sources, and focus all of our energy on generating value from data analysis and act on it.”
“The Snowflake Data Cloud enables deep collaboration with our retail partners. We’re always reading from the same page and at the same time, and we can jointly address opportunities to better serve our customers.”
- Jorge Balestra, Global Head of Machine Learning Operations and Platforms, Kraft Heinz
The network effect of data collaboration
“The network effect has exponential value,” according to Balestra. “I’m excited to see how we can further partner with our retail partners and others through the Snowflake Data Cloud because it will unlock many possibilities.”
“Many retail partners are embracing leading technologies and actively exploiting them,” he said. “And for the retail industry as a whole, there are many encouraging signals as organizations shift towards a data-driven culture. Together we can find value that is better for us all, and especially how we service our end consumers.”
Watch the full Kraft Heinz fireside chat here.