Nurturing nature with a cloud-native ERP

Grupo Lucas grows fruits, vegetables and revenue in the IBM Cloud®
by Kristin Fern Johnson
4-minute read
Large field full of vegetation

In 1970, Manuel Lucas started a small business selling homegrown fruits and vegetables from his motorcycle. Today, the seed of that business has grown into Grupo Lucas, a thriving agri-food company in Murcia, Spain, with farmland spanning 2,500 hectares.

A key contributor to the company’s upward trajectory has been the adaptability of its software-as-a-service (SaaS) ERP system, hosted on the IBM Cloud.

The company behind that ERP system, IBM Business Partner Aserti Global Solutions, S.L., has had ties to Grupo Lucas since 2011, when Aserti was founded. In fact, Grupo Lucas was Aserti’s first customer — no mere coincidence, as the inspiration for Aserti was rooted in its founders’ previous experience working with a technology services provider for Grupo Lucas.

Man in Grupo Lucas shirt assessing vegetation

Grupo Lucas grew from a one-person business in 1970 to a

EUR 100M

revenue company in 2020

IBM Cloud provided the flexibility to accommodate revenue growth of

400%

from 2012 to 2020

Because of the flexibility the IBM Cloud offers, we’ve been able to adapt to our customers’ needs, work from any location and solve problems quickly.
Juan Francisco Bermudez
IT Manager, Grupo Lucas

During Aserti’s first year of business, it offered its ERP solution on premises. But in 2012, Aserti had grown its client base and wanted to offer its solutions and services internationally. What’s more, it became evident that its primary customer, Grupo Lucas, needed a more scalable solution — one that could support ongoing growth and accommodate the ebbs and flows inherent in the agri-food industry.

The cloud seemed to offer exactly what the two companies needed, but at the time, cloud was considered risky. So, Aserti started looking for a scalable, reliable and security-rich cloud platform on which to host its ERP solutions.

Lettuce inside of a package
Lettuce on a packaging conveyor belt
From the beginning, it has been very easy to work with IBM and the IBM Cloud. Any time we needed something, the IBM team was right there to help us.
Carlos Mellado
Business Consultant, Aserti Global Solutions, S.L.
A cloud-native solution
From the beginning, it has been very easy to work with IBM and the IBM Cloud. Any time we needed something, the IBM team was right there to help us.
Carlos Mellado
Business Consultant, Aserti Global Solutions, S.L.

Aserti considered several solutions, but ultimately chose the IBM Cloud based on the high level of security the platform provides. The combination of IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers and IBM Cloud Virtual Servers offered the flexibility, scalability and ease of maintenance both Aserti and Grupo Lucas needed.

“We work with clients that need a high degree of security, and IBM Cloud met those needs. We felt confident working with IBM,” says Carlos Mellado, Business Consultant at Aserti. That confidence was critical. Aserti is first and foremost an IT consultancy — every decision is focused on providing customers with exemplary service and personalized solutions.

Since Grupo Lucas and Aserti wanted to work in a cloud-native environment, the entire ERP solution had to be built from the ground up. Aserti was able to apply some lessons learned from the on-premises version of its ERP offering, but overall needed a whole new approach to recreating the solution in the cloud.

While developing the ERP solution was time and labor intensive, the move to the IBM Cloud was straightforward. Both Aserti and Grupo Lucas worked closely with the IBM team and were more than satisfied with the results. “From the beginning, it has been very easy to work with IBM and the IBM Cloud,” says Mellado. “Any time we needed something, the IBM team was right there to help us.”

Success in the cloud

One of the key benefits for Grupo Lucas of hosting its ERP system in the IBM Cloud is that users have access to it from anywhere — giving employees flexibility to work from home or while traveling. This attribute has been particularly helpful during COVID-19 — from a work perspective, the transition has been seamless.

Another benefit has been the ability of the SaaS solution to scale to the needs of the business. The agricultural produce market is variable, with fluctuations based on such unpredictable factors as weather, market demand and energy prices. With the IBM Cloud, the company can use as much service and storage capacity as it needs — and only pay for what it uses.

This flexibility has been instrumental in enabling Grupo Lucas’s use of its ERP solution to expand in conjunction with the company’s growth. And the company has certainly grown: in 2012, it brought in approximately EUR 25 million of revenue. By 2020, that number had blossomed into an estimated EUR 100 million.

The cloud-based solution also frees Grupo Lucas from the expense and effort of maintaining its ERP IT infrastructure, enabling the company to focus on what it does best — growing, harvesting and distributing fruits and vegetables. And for data and marketing analysis purposes, the company can access its data much more easily from where it resides in the cloud.

Today, Grupo Lucas is thriving, and Aserti continues to expand its customer base. Throughout it all, both companies have found tremendous value in the IBM Cloud platform. “Because of the flexibility the IBM Cloud offers, we’ve been able to adapt to our customers’ needs, work from any location and solve problems quickly,” concludes Juan Francisco Bermudez, IT Manager at Grupo Lucas.

Grupo Lucas logo
About Grupo Lucas

Grupo LucasExternal Link is a leading producer of fruits and vegetables in Spain. Headquartered in Murcia, the company was officially founded in 1970. From a family farm, the company has expanded to cover 60,000 m² of facilities, 25,000 m² of handling centers and 2,500 hectares of land. It operates on both a national and international scale.

About Aserti Global Solutions, S.L.

Founded in 2011, IBM Business Partner AsertiExternal Link is a technology services company headquartered in Murcia, Spain. The company specializes in implementing business management and administration systems. Aserti’s values are strongly grounded in a commitment to exemplary service and client success.

Solution components
Grupo Lucas logo
About Grupo Lucas

Grupo LucasExternal Link is a leading producer of fruits and vegetables in Spain. Headquartered in Murcia, the company was officially founded in 1970. From a family farm, the company has expanded to cover 60,000 m² of facilities, 25,000 m² of handling centers and 2,500 hectares of land. It operates on both a national and international scale.

About Aserti Global Solutions, S.L.

Founded in 2011, IBM Business Partner AsertiExternal Link is a technology services company headquartered in Murcia, Spain. The company specializes in implementing business management and administration systems. Aserti’s values are strongly grounded in a commitment to exemplary service and client success.

Solution components