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Project Zebra is an Open-Source Think Tank Focused on Driving Supply Chain Improvement Through the Design of Outside-In Planning Processes 

DALLAS, Aug. 17, 2022 – o9 Solutions, a leading enterprise AI software platform provider for transforming planning and decision making, and research firm Supply Chain Insights today 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 the 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. By making intelligent use of these market signals, we expect to significantly reduce the decision response time in supply chain planning,” says Claudia Martins, VP of Logistics and Supply Chain at LKQ Europe. “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.”

“The enthusiasm from the LKQ Europe team is contagious. I admire their courage and commitment to do this heavy lifting for the industry,” said Lora Cecere, Founder of Supply Chain Insights.

Igor Rikalo, President and COO, o9 Solutions, added, “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. 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.”

o9, Supply Chain Insights and LKQ Europe will present findings from the Project Zebra pilot at a Supply Chain Insights executive retreat in September 2022. To learn more about Project Zebra, go to zebra-project.org.

About LKQ Europe

LKQ Europe, a subsidiary of LKQ Corporation, with its head office in Zug, Switzerland, is the leading distributor of automotive aftermarket parts for cars, commercial vans, and industrial vehicles in Europe. It currently employs approximately 26,000 people with a network of more than 1,000 branches and approximately $6.1 billion in revenue in 2021. The organization supplies more than 100,000 independent workshops in over 20 European countries. 

The group includes Euro Car Parts, LKQ Fource, RHIAG Group, Elit, LKQ CZ, and STAHLGRUBER Group, as well as recycling specialist, Atracco. LKQ also holds a minority interest in MEKO Group.

About Supply Chain Insights

Founded in February 2012 by Lora Cecere, Supply Chain Insights LLC is in its tenth year of operation. The company’s mission is to deliver independent, actionable, and objective advice for supply chain leaders. The goal is to help leaders understand supply chain trends, evolving technologies, and which metrics matter.

o9 Solutions

o9 offers a leading AI-powered Planning, Analytics & Data platform called the Digital Brain that helps companies across industry verticals transform traditionally slow and siloed planning into smart, integrated and intelligent planning and decision making across the core supply chain, commercial and P&L functions. With o9’s Digital Brain platform, companies are able to achieve game-changing improvements in quality of data, ability to detect demand and supply risks and opportunities earlier, forecast demand more accurately, evaluate what-if scenarios in real time, match demand and supply intelligently and drive alignment and collaboration across customers, internal stakeholders and suppliers around the integrated supply chain and commercial plans and decisions. Supported by a global ecosystem of partners, o9’s innovative delivery methodology helps companies achieve quick impact in customer service, inventory levels, resource utilization, as well as ESG and financial KPIs—while enabling a long-term, sustainable transformation of their end-to-end planning and decision-making capabilities.