Within the group and in each Business Unit, we now share the same segmentation, buyers speak a common language and can compare what is comparable
Behind well-known consumer brands such as Candia, Yoplait, and Entremont is Sodiaal, the number one dairy cooperative in France. Established in 1964, Sodiaal operates in 64 departments in France through a network of 13,200 producers. With approximately 9,400 employees and revenues of 5.4 billion euros, it is one of the largest dairy cooperatives in all of Europe.
Centralized information within a single portal
In 2009, Sodiaal began an in-depth review of its procurement reporting and performance measurement practices. The objective was to define how procurement costs could be categorized and calculated the same way within each BU’s purchasing department so as to have a clearer view of the Group as a whole. Once the new segmentation categories were defined, the updates were rolled out to the various information systems.
The purchasing organizations for the group and the Candia BU, who have the same information system, were the first to take advantage of the project. They decided to implement a solution that centralized all procurement-related information in a single portal that also included reporting functions.
“Before, there were several versions of the same document on the network; buyers wasted valuable time looking for information they needed, and never knew exactly what resources were available.” Several eprocurement management solutions were considered, but Synertrade’s solution beat out the other candidates. “Not only was it the most flexible and lightweight solution, but the motivation and enthusiasm demonstrated by the software provider’s team definitely set them apart.”
A project completed in less than six months
The first phase of the project kicked off in January to define needs. This identified very few development requirements, which made the integration phase go faster. Much to the satisfaction of Emmanuel Brayda, the project went live in June, just as announced at the beginning of the project. “I’m accustomed to this type of project, and I was fully expecting us to miss our deadlines. I was pleasantly surprised when the project was delivered on time, without any budget overruns.”
A common repository
After training on the various modules using materials provided by Synertrade, buyers quickly familiarized themselves with the tool. Today, it serves as a shared platform where they can find all of the available resources. “The same segmentation categories are used internally within the Group, as well as in each business unit. Buyers speak the same language, and can compare what is comparable.“. All of the information they need is centralized in one place, which improves the department’s productivity.
Across the Group, information from the ERP is dumped into a data warehouse. After being converted to the same format, the data is then extracted and integrated within the portal’s reporting module. Purchasing departments therefore are able to view consistent reports through the solution’s back office functions. “Graphically, it’s a lot more intuitive because it refreshes in real time. If one piece of data is changed in a chart, everything gets updated.”
Contract management with integrated alerts
The contract management software features a built-in contract library and an automatic notification system to let buyers plan ahead when renewing contracts.
“Before, we were not notified when automatically renewable contracts were about to come to term. On several occasions, we were locked in again with a supplier we weren’t happy with.”
Call for tenders management system
The entire pool of suppliers is now managed from within the portal. To start with, prospects are able to sign themselves up to register as a potential supplier. “We were able to identify a number of new providers over the past year this way.” Better yet, buyers can now solicit suppliers for bids and collect responses directly from within the portal. This standardizes the bidding process, which makes decision-making easier because the criteria are exactly the same for all candidates.
Last but not least, a supplier assessment tool is integrated within the system. “Before, we had a centralized supplier scoring system at Candia. This allowed us to compare purchase prices, measure the quality of their offer (by factories reporting problems), and gave us information about adherence to delivery times. But that solution was only available at Candia.” With the evaluation tool now available through the portal, it also includes functionality to manage spending and procurement KPIs, and the ability to score suppliers. Because suppliers can be compared based on common criteria, buyers are better able to realign their procurement strategy.
Emmanuel Brayda realizes, despite being already satisfied with the solution, that he can expect much more and is happy with his choice, “Synertrade is a dynamic tool that we have barely begun to tap into its full potential!“