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What Recipe Makes This Bread Business So Successful?

September 29, 2015 by John Ward 63

In its most basic form, it starts with flour and water. Yet this simple recipe is the foundation for a food so fundamental to human existence that it has been called the staff of life.

We’re talking about bread, of course. And depending on what part of the world you call home, that could be roti, tortilla, pumpernickel, or baguette.

In all of its many forms, bread is a worldwide favorite. According to some analysts, the global bread market is expected to reach US$170 billion this year.

So what does it take to become a leader in this time-honored industry? Perhaps that also starts with a few basic ingredients.

Making the Brands You Enjoy Every Day

Switzerland’s ARYZTA AG is one of the largest bread and frozen bakery companies in the world. It has about 60 bakeries and kitchens around the globe in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. ARYZTA’s offerings span a wide range of sweet and savory baked goods that include artisan breads, buns, rolls, muffins, cookies, pastries, donuts, and pizza. In addition to a booming retail business, the company serves a broad commercial base of quick service restaurants, hotels, caterers, convenience stores, and other foodservices channels.

The ARYZTA name might not be familiar to you, but it’s almost a guarantee that you know one or more of the Company’s leading international brands. Coup de Pates®, La Brea Bakery®, Cuisine de France®, Hiestand®, Oakrun Farm Bakery®, and Otis Spunkmeyer® are all part of the ARYZTA family.

Global leadership and market share like this are no accident. ARYZTA’s success is built, at least in part, on two things: a carefully crafted growth strategy and an IT infrastructure designed to support the company’s vision.

Growing through Acquisition

Historically, ARYZTA has expanded through a balanced mix of organic and acquisition growth. And in the last 17 years, ARYZTA has acquired at least a dozen major baking companies.

ARYZTA has specific criteria for the companies it wants to acquire. This includes targeting businesses that can extend ARYZTA’s geographic footprint, provide product expansion and cross-selling opportunities, and increase penetration into focused customer channels.

Los Angeles’ La Brea Bakery is a prime example. La Brea Bakery, which ARYZTA has owned since 2001, became a local sensation after it helped spark an artisan bread renaissance in the late 1980s. Now it is one of the largest artisanal bakeries in the United States.

Supporting the Strategy with Agile IT

ARYZTA’s growth strategy is supported by a corporate IT philosophy that values agility, standardization, and accelerated time to value.

The company’s systems landscape, for example, includes cloud-based HR solutions from SuccessFactors, an SAP company.

“These solutions have helped us lay the foundation for a consistent global workflow,” explains Abuzar Atieque, Global Director for HR Information Systems at ARYZTA. This consistency pays dividends when it comes time to integrate a newly acquired company. “Instead of taking months or years to do an HR integration,” Atieque says, “It now takes us only weeks.”

ARYZTA is also standardizing the sales operations across its many businesses with global rollouts of the SAP Cloud for Sales solution. The idea is to provide enterprise-wide access to real-time information and a comprehensive 360-degree view of customers and business partners. This insight helps ARYZTA drive sales and marketing campaigns while eliminating the manual sales processes once managed with spreadsheets.

Measuring Success

“How we measure success is speed to market,” adds Harish Ramani, ARYZTA’s global CIO. “We want to integrate quickly to drive value back into our enterprise and, most importantly, value back to our customer.”

ARYZTA seems to have the right recipe to do just that.

Start with some corporate agility, add a little workflow consistency, and enjoy the results.

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Please join me on Twitter at @JohnGWard3.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

Photo via Shutterstock

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