Liquor Control Board of Ontario Wins Top Supply Chain Innovation Award at CSCMP Conference

October 20, 2015

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) won the first-place award in the 2015 Supply Chain Innovation Award™ competition at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' (CSCMP) Annual Conference held recently in San Diego, California, USA. Lennox Residential and ToolsGroup, Inc. earned second-place honors.  

The winning case developed an innovative auto-palletizing process based on sophisticated optimization software, 3D visualization, and simulation, which builds mixed case pallets of variable dimensions. This results in more stable pallets and less product breakage, while saving millions of dollars in labor and providing greater service to retail customers.

“This year’s winning case highlighted that innovative supply chain ideas not only advance private-sector firms, but are also of significant importance in government enterprises,” said Judith M. Whipple, professor of supply chain management at Michigan State University and Supply Chain Innovation Award™ co-chair. “The Liquor Control Board of Ontario recognized the need for an innovative solution in its warehouse to manage the sortation and distribution of the more than 50 million cases processed each year. I was impressed with the advanced, patent-pending technology displayed as well as the results achieved from the automated pallet process. Their innovation dramatically improved warehouse productivity while reducing workplace injuries and product damage, and also delivered substantial transportation savings due to denser pallets.”

The Supply Chain Innovation Award™ competition, presented by CSCMP and SupplyChainBrain, recognizes companies for their innovative efforts. These innovations enable the field of supply chain management to continuously improve in an ever-challenging business environment. In the award’s 11-year history, more than 70 companies have been recognized for successfully implementing innovations that resulted in significant improvements to their supply chains.

The process involves describing the innovation in a written case study, which is reviewed by a panel of experts from CSCMP’s Research Strategies Committee and SupplyChainBrain. Up to six finalists are selected to present their cases at CSCMP’s Annual Conference. A winner and runner up are announced at the closing session of the conference. Companies are encouraged to apply for this annual award. More information is available at

“We are very proud of the LCBO team and their hard work, determination, and innovation that led to this prestigious award,” said George Soleas, LCBO executive vice president. “The automated palletization technology is very productive, efficient, and ergonomic, and has never been used anywhere else in the world. Our Durham distribution facility in Whitby, Ontario is the central hub of the LCBO supply chain operations. While 30 years old, it remains a best-in-class facility with some of the most advanced logistics technologies, many of which originated within the LCBO itself.”

Lennox Residential and ToolsGroup, Inc. was named the runner up. Their case involved the transformation of Lennox Residential’s end-to-end supply chain process through a partnership with ToolsGroup, Inc. Advanced analytical techniques were used to accurately model and forecast demand in a complex and unpredictable business environment, resulting in significant improvements in forecast accuracy and millions of dollars in transportation cost savings, while supporting considerable revenue growth.

“Committee members and SupplyChainBrain staff look forward to another exciting competition next year in Orlando, which will mark the award’s 12th year,” said Whipple.

CSCMP members and 2015 conference attendees may access this year’s Supply Chain Innovation Award™ winning and finalist case studies and 2016 submission guidelines at under the Career & Awards menu by clicking on the “Supply Chain Innovation Award” link. For additional information about the competition, contact Julie Bodenstab, Education Coordinator, at

CSCMP’s Annual Conference is the largest of its kind for the supply chain management profession, and is the only event representing the entire supply chain from end-to-end. This year’s event will feature over 30 hours of educational content, 25 hours of dedicated networking with leading professionals, and the highest caliber attendee profile in supply chain.

For more information, or to register, visit

Since 1963, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) has been the leading worldwide professional association dedicated to education, research, and the advancement of the supply chain management profession. With more than 9,000 members globally, representing business, government, and academia from 62 countries, CSCMP members are the leading practitioners and authorities in the fields of logistics and supply chain management. CSCMP on social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

For more information, please contact:
Amy Thomasson
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
333 East Butterfield Road, Suite 140
Lombard, Illinois  60148-5617 USA