Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) beverage manufacturer Frucor Suntory has rolled out SAP’s Business Technology Platform (BTP) to boost organisational productivity and sales revenues.
Frucor Suntory makes, markets and distributes drinks including V Energy, Suntory BOSS Coffee, Ribena, Lucozade and Maximus and is a market leader in energy drinks in New Zealand and Australia.
The company was founded as Frucor Beverages by the NZ Apple and Pear Board in 1962 and was listed on the New Zealand stock exchange when sold for NZ$294 million to Danone in 2002. Groupe Danone then sold Frucor to Japanese company Suntory in 2008 for over €600 million.
Until the end of 2022, Auckland-based Frucor Suntory's field sales workforce was using a legacy on-premise system to manage its sales processes.
This created a fragmented view of sales data with information scattered across multiple tabs and locations, meaning staff could not access the right information when needed to provide a seamless customer experience.
The legacy system also could not scale to meet the growing complexity of the business.
Following an on-time and on-budget nine-month transition to SAP S/4HANA during the pandemic, Frucor Suntory worked with Melbourne-based SAP AppHaus Network partner Bourne Digital, part of Accenture, to implement a new iOS-based field sales tool called "My Sales Hub" on SAP BTP.
Accenture acquired Bourne Digital in May to expand its SAP digital and design capabilities in Australia.
Four sales tools into one app
Designed and built over a two-year period, My Sales Hub brought four sales tools together into one mobile application, standardising the sales process, improving analytics and reporting and providing staff with real-time access to customer insights through integration with other applications.
Since going live with the platform at the end of 2022, the organisation has driven a 13 per cent increase in staff productivity measured by sales call time saved as a result of a more simplified and guided process.
Access to an intuitive recommendation engine means staff now receive sales suggestions for their customers, including for new products based on their preferences or alternatives if a product is out of stock. This has helped to increase customers’ basket size and support a three per cent increase in sales revenue.
“We knew that we needed to create a superior customer experience but also streamline and update the sales process in the backend," said Barbara Ciancio, head of digital IT solutions at Frucor Suntory.
"We needed to continue to remove inefficiencies in how we operate and create a more intuitive application to support our customers.”
Bourne Digital’s specialised skillset in SAP BTP allowed Frucor Suntory to develop a flexible platform that freed the sales teams from time-consuming administration and enabled staff to have more meaningful conversations.
"Additionally, smart selling capabilities that can be accessed in real time have enabled staff to grow their sales by driving an increase in the number of incremental cases sold,” Ciancio said.
Design thinking delivered
Selim Ahmed, CEO and founder of Bourne Digital, said the company partnered with Frucor Suntory to provide the design-thinking and re-imagine the field sales journey.
"We’re delighted to partner with an innovative leader to transform how its staff engage with its customers through tailored product suggestions and promotions – while at the same time drive operational efficiencies and streamline legacy processes," Ahmed said.
Frucor Suntory is continuing to review ways to streamline its digital functionality including an elevated e-commerce experience and updated customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It's also extending the usage of SAP across the organisation within its new A$400 million-plus manufacturing facility in Swanbank, Queensland which will include state-of-the-art technology and automation when it opens in mid-2024.
Damien Bueno, president and managing director of SAP A/NZ, said Frucor Suntory’s staff now have access to a simpler and faster platform that was enabling them to improve the buying experience of their customers.
"With information now available at their fingertips staff employees can have more informed discussions with their customers, respond quicker and make recommendations based on their preferences and purchase history," he said.
Sustainability was a driver of the shift to SAP S/4HANA as Frucor Suntory shot to achieve five sustainability goals by 2030, including zero waste to landfill across all sites, switching to recyclable packaging, reducing water usage by 33 per cent and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 50 per cent (direct) and 30 per cent (indirect).
Frucor Suntory partnered with Dimension Data and RealTech during its shift to S/4HANA in 2017. It also appears to have partnered with DXC, which was recognised in the vendor's 2022 Best Run Awards, intelligent ERP enterprise category.