Camposol saw an opportunity to boost sales by expanding beyond its canned-foods business into the fresh produce market. How could the firm gain the agility needed to launch this new business segment?
To support the new venture, Camposol engaged IBM Services to transform its business processes, and deployed SAP HANA to support lightning-fast analysis of its SAP ERP data.
97 percentfaster reporting reveals insights to fine-tune growth strategy
99 percentquicker payment processing ensures suppliers are paid faster
95 percentfaster monthly reporting gives staff and executives real-time actionable insights
Business Challenge Story
Growing the business
People around the world are increasingly concerned with fresh, healthy foods. This trend has put agricultural and foods distribution companies under unprecedented pressure to move from farm to fridge in the fastest possible time – and presents valuable commercial opportunities.
Juan Miguel Balbín, CIO at Camposol, a major Peruvian producer of fruit and vegetables, takes up the story: “For years, we sold many of the fruits and vegetables we produce in cans and glass jars. In response to growing consumer demand, we identified an opportunity to boost sales by expanding into the fresh produce market.
“To pursue the new venture, we had to overcome a major hurdle: our systems and processes were designed for selling packaged goods with long shelf-lives. Since fresh produce perishes much faster, we needed to adapt our entire business to accelerate the production chain, from crop to consumption. What’s more, to enable smart decision-making during our foray into the realm of fresh produce, we needed detailed, lightning-fast insight into how each product was selling in each geography.
“Sluggish, de-centralized systems and processes were preventing us from obtaining true clarity of our business. Executives were frustrated by poor information delivery, and wanted to gain actionable insights much more quickly. We knew that we had to take action, or the golden expansion opportunity could pass us by.”
Serving up real-time insights
Camposol undertook a complete review of its business management, and developed a strategy designed to create a globally integrated enterprise. The purpose was to accelerate information flows to help capitalize on fresh opportunities.
Keen to maximize its existing resources, Camposol planned to consolidate and build on its IT environment, which at the time comprised independent instances of SAP ERP applications run by each local division. The company began searching for the right partner to support its new initiative.
“After carefully considering several offerings from several major IT vendors, we chose to continue our long-term partnership with IBM and SAP by engaging them in this project,” recalls Juan Miguel Balbín. “The experience and expertise offered by IBM and SAP is simply unrivalled.”
An expert team from IBM Services assisted Camposol in designing a two-phase project, which began by consolidating its local systems to a single instance of the latest version of SAP ERP solutions and introducing SAP HANA as the underlying database.
“We were the first company in the country to embark on such a complex, ambitious project,” continues Juan Miguel Balbín. “Despite some initial hurdles, we can now say with confidence that the first phase of the project was a complete success.
“IBM Services were behind us each step of the way, providing full consulting and training services, responding fast to our requests and proactively seeking fresh ways to help us. Their outstanding support helped us complete the first part of the project smoothly and within just two months.
“To complete the skills and knowledge provided by IBM Services, IBM brought in its Business Partner Panaya. Their combined expertise was critical in accomplishing a smooth roll-out.”
Today, the company is running a comprehensive suite of sophisticated SAP ERP applications, including modules for finance, controlling, logistics, production planning, project system, quality management, and plant maintenance. All of these applications are supported by the state-of-the-art SAP HANA database, which enables ultra-fast reporting and analysis of the SAP ERP data.
In the second phase of the SAP renewal project, Camposol is deploying SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA), a next-generation business management suite designed to perform in-depth analysis and shape future business strategies in a faster, much more competitive fashion.
To enhance productivity, the company is implementing SAP Fiori solutions, which offer a personalized view of SAP S/4HANA depending on the user’s role, driving smarter, more productive ways of working. Additionally, Camposol plans to implement SAP HANA Live with online and interactive dashboards for predictive, prescriptive and advanced analytics, and the SAP Mobile platform for the development of offline applications.
“Innovators like Camposol are powered by cutting-edge technology,” explains Juan Miguel Balbín. “When SAP unveiled its new SAP S/4HANA suite, we immediately wanted to know more, and soon decided to add this offering to our SAP landscape. We have only just kicked off Phase 2 of the project, but we’re already looking forward to going live with the solution.”
Reaping the fruits of investment
With the first phase of the project complete, Camposol is taking advantage of the slick new SAP solutions to dramatically accelerate its core business processes, such as quality management and logistics.
Juan Miguel Balbín elaborates: “The SAP solution has enabled us to totally transform our ways of working to support the new business segment, increasing our productivity and competitive advantage. Thanks to that roaring success, we’re boosting customer satisfaction, quickly overtaking our rivals and winning a significant share of the global fresh foods market.”
With the SAP HANA platform in place the company can rapidly delve into near real-time information on areas such as inventory and sales of each product in each region, as Juan Miguel Balbín remarks: “With SAP HANA we can aggregate and process up to 4 TB of data from a variety of sources, and instantly extract meaningful insights.
“Using the information uncovered, our line of business managers can spot valuable commercial opportunities, investigate cases in which products aren’t selling as well as expected, and ultimately maximize revenues.
“We can use the sheer speed of information delivery to ensure we minimize wastage of perishable foods, by adjusting the production balance between the fresh foods and the canned operations. This was unthinkable in the past, and we can safely say that the consolidated SAP ERP solutions combined with the SAP HANA performance has completely transformed this part of our business.”
Upgrading to the advanced SAP HANA platform is driving major efficiency gains across Camposol’s business. The IBM Services team steered Camposol through the system architecting and design phases, managed the implementation process, and provided essential business advice on how to maximize the information capabilities of the SAP solutions.
“With SAP HANA, core business applications run 97 percent faster,” adds Juan Miguel Balbín. “For example, complex payment processing tasks that previously took 14 hours are now completed in just two minutes – that’s more than 99 percent faster. As a result, we can pay suppliers and partners faster and more accurately than ever before, and this has dramatically increased their satisfaction and collaboration, strengthening retention. Ultimately, working with a well-established pool of reliable, productive external companies makes us feel stronger and more confident in pursuing our global expansion strategy.
“On top of that, end-of-month reports, which previously took two days to generate, are now completed in just two hours – that’s more than 95 percent faster. Staff devote the time saved to scrutinizing the information gathered to identify what we’re doing well, and where we can improve.
“This drives actionable insights that are then harnessed by the management to devise future business strategies.
“Because staff spend less time waiting for reports to complete, they work more productively and gain greater satisfaction from their jobs. This attests to the great transformative power of SAP’s digital solution, which has allowed us to implement new, more efficient and valuable ways of working tailored to the fresh produce sector.
“Once all the final SAP components are in place, we expect to reap more benefits from this massive digital transformation, especially in connection with supporting the new business processes and potential expansion. We are confident that the SAP solution will enable us to diversify, optimize and target the work of our different departments and managers, and help us to create more productive and competitive workflows."
Juan Miguel Balbín concludes: “The IBM team’s engagement and expertise with SAP HANA were vital to the success of this project. Collaborating with IBM has proved once again that our innovation and leadership plans are best supported by world-leading vendors.
“We look forward to reaping even more exceptional benefits from our partnership with IBM and SAP in the future.”
Camposol is Peru’s leading agro-industrial company, and is the largest avocado grower and soon-to-be largest blueberry producer in the world. Employing 15,000 people and with annual revenues of around USD289.3 million, the company harvests, processes and markets high-quality agricultural and marine products such as avocadoes, blueberries, grapes, mangoes, tangerines, asparagus, shrimps and scallops, amongst others, which are exported to Europe, the United States of America and Asia.
- GBS AD&I - EA - SAP
- GBS BCS EA - SAP
- IBM-SAP Alliance
- IBM Global Business Services
Take the Next Step
IBM won the SAP North America Partner Excellence Award 2016 for SAP Hana & SAP S/4HANA.
To learn more about IBM Services, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/technologyservices