Business challenge

Ever wanted to savor a bite of typical European pastries even if you live far away? This European baker wanted to bring its treats to sweet-toothed consumers across the world.


Mouth-watering pastries, cakes, biscuits and more from this baker are now on their way to global food enthusiasts – with a sprinkle of innovative technologies from IBM and SAP.



new countries now enjoy this baker’s products


time-to-market of new, tasty treats globally


revenues, all-year-round

Business challenge story

Catering to food lovers worldwide

Close your eyes and, for just a moment, forget that you are in your office in New York, or maybe at home in Brisbane… Wouldn’t it be great if you could open the cupboard and find the most delicious array of typical European pastries, cakes and biscuits?

A leading European baker has ambitious plans to make its mouth-watering treats available to more food lovers than ever, on a global scale. A spokesperson at the company explains: “Over the decades, we established ourselves as a leading brand of delicacies – both during the festive season and throughout the year.

“We aimed to make our treats available to more people than ever, worldwide, but first some of our internal operations had to change. To transform our traditional, local business into a modern, sleek global enterprise, we needed to ditch paper-based processes, cut inefficiencies, and slash time-to-market. To put it simply, we were ready to embrace full digitization.”

We are very excited to finally be able to introduce our delicacies to a significantly larger number of customers, thanks to IBM and SAP.

Spokesperson, Leading European baker

Transformation story

Sprinkle of digital transformation

This European baker started work on transforming its supply-chain and sales processes, and began looking for a solution that could scale to meet its ambitions. The spokesperson comments: “The first rule to becoming an internationally-recognized brand? Work with internationally-recognized partners. We evaluated the offering of several software providers on the market, and SAP solutions immediately stood out.

“SAP offered the best-in-class solutions for future-proof ERP, and had an ace up its sleeve: unmatched expertise in working with customers in the food industry. During our initial consultations, SAP demonstrated that it fully understood our requirements, and was committed to making our dreams – and, ultimately, the dreams of our consumers – come true.”

The company opted for a generous serving of SAP applications: SAP S/4HANA® acts as the centerpiece, alongside SAP Fiori®, SAP® BW4/HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud.

To assist in the implementation, the company teamed with a group of skilled experts from IBM® Services, as the spokesperson explains: “We wouldn’t have been able to complete a smooth, hassle-free implementation of the SAP platform without all-round assistance from IBM. IBM was the right partner for this type of project: knowledgeable, approachable, and eager to help. Most importantly, IBM’s expertise in the food sector is, just like SAP’s, outstanding.”

The company worked closely with IBM on the implementation of a first-of-a-kind SAP S/4HANA solution for the food industry – with impressive outcomes.

For example, in the past, reviewing and approving crucial supplier documentation, such as purchase orders, involved a lengthy, complex paper-based process. Typically, documents required physical signatures from several people often in different departments, resulting in masses of paperwork circulating around the company.

Now, thanks to the integrated SAP S4/HANA applications, managers can handle the whole purchase-order workflow on-the-go using the SAP Fiori app on their mobile devices. With a user-friendly interface, SAP Fiori seamlessly fits into the busy working day of the company’s managers – in between meetings, out and about, or while visiting suppliers – keeping the process moving and helping the company to seize new business opportunities.

With all the transaction data captured in the SAP solution, the company can analyze customer behavior and purchasing patterns in real-time, by harnessing SAP BW4/HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud. The company builds data models, reports and KPIs at the touch of a button by using readily available information, helping to boost the efficiency of the process and accelerating decision-making.

This analysis produces never-before-seen insights into which products are most successful, when and where. Equipped with this understanding, the company can plan production more efficiently and cut wastage, helping to improve profitability while ensuring better availability of tasty goods for customers.

Results story

Sweetening lives worldwide

Thanks to the unprecedented insights unveiled with the SAP solution, this European baker now has the right treat for everyone, wherever in the world they happen to be.

Because the company’s managers can connect with global suppliers so much faster, the company can place, process and finalize orders much more quickly than before. Similarly, EDI orders from retailers are processed digitally and translated immediately into sales orders.

The spokesperson explains: “This digitized process eliminates manual errors, cuts costs and ensures local stores around the world can serve tasty snacks to hungry consumers. In particular, we significantly reduced delivery times, encouraging retailers to choose our products over our competitors.”

The company has fully embraced digital channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, connecting customers from all over the world. Food enthusiasts can interact with the company and with fellow foodies, sharing opinions and praise for their favorite products, asking questions about product availability in their country, and learning more about the company’s history and future plans. And, of course, ongoing dialog with customers helps the company to better understand preferences and market demand in each geography.

The spokesperson states: “By following local customer preferences, we can successfully grow our operations globally, helping us increase our global sales.”

He concludes: “We are very excited to be able to introduce our delicacies to a significantly larger number of customers, in so many new countries around the world. IBM and SAP are key enablers of our international expansion, completely transforming the reach and scale of our business. As we get to know and engage with food lovers globally, we can craft and launch even-better, more delicious products that are tailored to consumers’ local tastes.”

Leading European baker

This European baker serves a wide range of snacks such as biscuits, muffins and croissants, catering to millions of customers around the globe.

Solution components

  • Consumer Products: Digital Operations
  • Consumer Products: Supply Chain
  • GBS AD&I - EA - SAP
  • IBM Global Business Services
  • IBM-SAP Alliance
  • SAP Fiori

Take the next step

To learn more about the IBM SAP Alliance, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website:

To learn more about SAP S/4HANA, visit:

To schedule a SAP consultation with the IBM team, visit:

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