Sopura is one of the world´s leading experts in the production of cleaning, disinfection and water treatment agents for the food and drink industry. To improve its overview and insights while harmonising processes and making them more efficient, the company wanted to make the change to cloud technology for ERP, sales and marketing automation and introduce new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Harmonisation across several languages and cultures was likely to pose a challenge, with implementation processes differing from site to site. ‘A project of this scope injects a different dynamic into a company,’ says Wim Wouters, Global Director of Engineering & IT at Sopura. ‘It succeeds only if everybody is on board.’
The company weighed best-of-breed solutions against integrated enterprise-wide software platforms such as Microsoft and SAP. The choice ultimately fell to SAP because it integrates all of the elements demanded by Sopura, ranging from CRM, ERP and IoT-related digital innovations to machine learning, blockchain, artificial intelligence and big data.
TheValueChain assisted Sopura in automating and harmonising its front and back-end processes on the basis of standard SAP, starting with its CRM. ‘That was a deliberate choice,’ says Wim Wouters. ‘The knowledge and experience we are acquiring from this worldwide cloud project will yield important benefits when we begin with ERP.’
Sopura decided to implement CRM as a first overarching solution for the entire group. The CRM software stands alone and is not yet integrated with ERP. ‘An ERP implementation is on a whole different level,’ says Wim Wouters of Sopura. ‘It has an even greater impact on the organisation and requires even more of a support base. This CRM project paves the way in terms of cloud approach and project methodology.’ To encourage each and every employee to not only understand the change of systems but also be open to using SAP optimally, Sopura invested heavily in creating a strong support base.
Since the beginning of 2020, the new CRM software has been rolled out worldwide, including in Europe, Australia and Vietnam. TheValueChain has provided key users with intensive training, so that they know the system inside out and can in turn train their colleagues. ‘The train-the-trainer principle worked perfectly,’ says Wouters. ‘It saved us time and expanded the project´s internal support. We trained our employees in their native language, which proved to be a crucial element for clearly transmitting the message.’
Throughout the project, Sopura preferred to be creative within the existing framework rather than implementing customised developments. According to Wouters, it was an ‘inside-the-box’ approach. ‘SAP is a box brimming with possibilities that you discover during the course of the project. This requires a high level of trust in your SAP partner in order to proactively work together and neatly match up functionality and processes.
TheValueChain lived up to that trust. They proved to be an agile, flexible and dynamic partner with competent people. We were a match right away. Shoulder to shoulder we activated the system one step at a time, at our own pace.’
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