Business Challenge story
Pet food specialist Royal Canin saw an opportunity to further improve customer service, create an ERP that would automate internal controls and enable a digital transformation for online sales channels.
To enable a fast worldwide rollout, the company joined forces with IBM to replace fragmented IT systems and processes with a standardized global platform built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Raisescustomer satisfaction by enabling faster deliveries
Increasescapabilities and efficiency
Facilitateslaunch of digital transformation for a better customer experience
Business challenge story
Building on a strong brand
Over the past four decades, Royal Canin has established itself as a leading pet food specialist, selling to consumers through vets, breeders and pet shops. Having built a strong reputation, the company now plans to enhance Royal Canin’s capabilities via transformation onto a single global ERP platform, sustaining success and increasing efficiency. In parallel, the company hopes to conquer new markets rapidly to further expand its global network.
However, an obstacle stood in the company’s way: a rapid series of mergers and acquisitions had left the company with disparate IT systems and business processes, making it extremely difficult to launch new initiatives quickly across its global market.
Benjamin Tarte, ERP Director at Royal Canin, takes up the story: “Historically, it took us around a year to implement major changes across our worldwide network, because we had to incorporate each new process in a multitude of IT systems.
“These delays compromised our ability to react rapidly to changes in the market, threatening to dull our competitive edge.
“To mitigate the risk of being outpaced by competitors, we embarked on a major transformation project. Our aim was to establish standard best practices underpinned by a single global ERP model for our entire enterprise.”
Selecting the right partner
After evaluating a range of ERP solutions, Royal Canin decided to deploy Microsoft Dynamics NAV, including modules for finance management, supply chain management, sales and marketing. In addition, the company implemented Microsoft BizTalk to help streamline operations by automating key business processes.
“Several Royal Canin subsidiaries had been successfully using Microsoft Dynamics NAV for many years,” recalls Benjamin Tarte. “Positive feedback from the staff in those regions encouraged us to adopt the platform as a global standard.”
To ensure the success of a project involving so many critical operational areas, Royal Canin set out to find a systems integrator with truly global capabilities, and selected IBM® Services.
“We decided to work with IBM Services because they boast an impressive track record of complex worldwide ERP rollouts,” comments Benjamin Tarte. “On top of that, IBM had provided us with excellent service during a previous warehouse management system implementation in France.”
First, Royal Canin and IBM arranged a series of workshops involving employees from 20 top-performing worldwide subsidiaries to define best practices for global adoption. This approach enabled Royal Canin to profit from the wealth of experience offered by its in-house team and the IBM consultants, and to ensure full compliance throughout its subsidiaries.
Next, the IBM team helped Royal Canin to build the shared core model for its global ERP solution. The consultants expertly modified the software to support the sophisticated best practices defined during the workshops.
To ensure smooth implementation, the IBM consultants communicated the changes and their strategic justification to all stakeholders before the project commenced.
During the implementation for each country, the IBM deployment team performs a gap analysis to spot any missing functionality required for optimal operations in each local market, and adapts the solution as necessary.
As the project continues, the IBM team leads all deployment and addresses any emerging challenges and concerns.
“Thanks to excellent support from IBM, so far we have successfully deployed Microsoft Dynamics NAV in 13 countries,” adds Benjamin Tarte.
“In total, we plan to complete 60 deployments within just five years. The timescale is extremely ambitious, but with IBM’s business, technical and organizational expertise we can hit the deadline.”
He adds, “Because we’ve been working with the same IBM team for four years, they know our business inside out. It’s a true partnership, in which the commitment and engagement from the IBM team help us deliver success to our local units.”
Benjamin Tarte continues: “Engaging an expert partner like IBM has made a tremendous difference to the success of this ambitious project. The consultants help us solve problems when we encounter them, and make better decisions for our business.”
Royal Canin is already reaping the benefits of its ambitious undertaking.
Benjamin Tarte explains: “We have designed smarter processes for our sales, logistics and supply chain operations, so we can deliver goods to customers faster than ever before. Because we have automated many routine tasks such as taking orders, staff can focus on higher-value activities such as enhancing customer service. Additionally, we have eliminated the overhead of running multiple IT systems—this will help us achieve massive cost savings in future.”
Once the global rollouts are complete, the benefits will extend even further, as it will be easier for Royal Canin to launch additional initiatives and enter new markets in future.
For example, the company is planning to invest in a CRM platform to help it foster closer relationships with its customers. With a standardized solution in place, based on a shared core model, the company will be able to test new functionality faster and with less effort than ever before.
Critically, the project also clears the way for Royal Canin to launch a game-changing e-commerce channel.
Benjamin Tarte concludes: “This channel will help Royal Canin to reach out directly to consumers, as well as making it easier for vets to order Royal Canin products.
“In turn, the online channel will free up field sales staff from low-value sales administration and enable them to focus on actually selling (as well as cross-selling and up-selling) while orders themselves are processed digitally. The initiative offers immense potential to boost sales and further improve customer satisfaction.”
Founded in 1968, Royal Canin is a leading global supplier of pet food. Headquartered in the French town of Aimargues, the company operates in over 60 countries and employs more than 6,000 people.
- Consumer Products: Digital Operations
- Consumer Products: Supply Chain
- GBS AD&I - Application Development & Management
- GBS AD&I - EA - Microsoft
- GBS BCS EA - Microsoft
- IBM Global Business Services
- Microsoft Dynamics - ERP