Sligro Food Group Finds Recipe for HR Innovation, Global Growth Using SAP SuccessFactors


Restaurants and retailers in the Netherlands and Belgium have long relied on Sligro Food Group to delight customers with the highest quality foods. Now this food services powerhouse has given its 12,000 employees the human resource (HR) software to directly support Sligro’s mission of becoming one of the leading food service providers in Europe.

I caught up with Nick van Sante, HR director at Sligro Food Group Netherlands, onsite at the SuccessConnect event in Berlin, and here’s how he described his company’s amazing journey with SAP SuccessFactors solutions.

“We want to expand operations internationally, and one of the major challenges is finding the right people to make that growth happen,” said van Sante. “We realized we had to redesign our HR processes to connect employees with our vision and develop leaders. The future is cloud, and with SAP SuccessFactors, we have the strategic HR that directly supports the business, and empowers employees to help grow the company.”

Bringing People Together Under Shared Culture

After signing a 15-year contract as logistics partner of a major beverage company, van Sante said that Sligro was ready to take the next step modernizing HR in sync with its digital future. This included benefits and compensation that reflected the company’s culture of global standards of excellence.

“We began as a family-owned business, and have always motivated our employees with benefits that reflect our business,” said van Sante. “Using SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite, we’ve significantly reduced complexity by standardizing HR processes on one easy-to-use, accessible platform. Management and employees are united under one company culture.”

Self-Service Dialogue Fosters Innovation

Ninety-five percent of Sligro employees are using their personal mobile devices to participate in over 200 online communities on the collaboration platform SAP Jam. Much more than just a way to communicate company information, these groups have become the No. 1 destination for workers to exchange ideas, browse and book individualized training sessions, and provide important input to company strategies. Many conversations directly support the customer experience.

“Employees in our retail stores have direct contact with customers, and they’re sharing valuable feedback about products, services, and experiences,” said van Sante. “They can provide fast answers to customer questions by connecting online with our wine, cheese, fish, and other food experts.”

HR Transformation Powers Business Growth at Sligro

According to van Sante, embracing digital HR has fundamentally transformed the department.

“We’re no longer focused on transactions, but have become a true, strategic partner to the business,” he said. “This allows us to work more closely on the talent acquisition and leadership development that Sligro needs to drive growth.”

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