Zespri International, the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit, is a longtime SAP customer. Now, the New Zealand-based grower-owned marketer has become one of the first customers globally to utilize the new SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, launched as part of the RISE with SAP offering.
The private edition makes it easier and faster for companies running older enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems from SAP to move to the cloud.
“Zespri is a large and fast-growing business, and we need mature processes and systems to fuel our next stage of growth,” said Zespri Chief Digital Officer Dave Scullin. “Adopting SAP’s standardized core platforms will be transformational in itself, while also letting us leverage SAP’s cloud road map to adopt innovation at speed. Not only will our transformation help us to reduce business risks by moving to standard systems, but it will also enable us to collect and analyze more data, helping us to plan our supply chain more accurately and improve our decision making around shipping and market allocation.”
“Moving to the cloud has been a key strategic decision for us, providing us with greater flexibility, scalability, and faster innovation cycles,” Scullin shared. “We know SAP’s private cloud capabilities have matured significantly in recent years, particularly in the form of customer flexibility, service level security, and automation, which makes the new private cloud edition best for our business long-term. This will allow us to focus on our process and systems transformation, knowing that our underlying infrastructure and computing platforms are secure, stable, and available.”.
“Our mission is to create sustainable, long-term value for kiwifruit growers by offering consumers the world’s leading portfolio of branded kiwifruit 12 months of the year.” Scullin explains in the below video that the company chose SAP as its key technology partner in order to standardize and automate processes across the organization, increase efficiency, and provide a platform for growth and innovation.
The technology will underpin Zespri’s ambitious and multi-year Horizon transformation program, “which will transform the way our company operates, replacing legacy systems and processes that were designed 20 years ago, before the significant growth we’ve experienced in recent years,” said Scullin, a member of Zespri’s leadership team. “It will replace old systems and processes designed for a much smaller, much less complex industry of 20 years ago, which, quite frankly, is holding us back now.”
Strong demand for Zespri’s premium-quality fruit has seen the industry grow strongly, recording global sales of NZD$3.14 billion in 2019/20.* Longer-term, the industry is forecast to increase global supply of kiwifruit from 164.4 million trays in 2019/20 to around 280 million trays by 2030.
“We are in a very fortunate position where demand absolutely exceeds supply, and that’s why we have an ambition to grow more kiwifruit in the Northern Hemisphere so that we can attain 365-days-of-the- year shelf space,” Scullin shared. The kiwifruit industry has grown significantly in recent years, buoyed by the increasing trend of more health-conscious consumers looking for products that taste good and are nutritious.**
“Horizon will release our potential to deliver so much more for our growers and shareholders. It’ll deliver modern systems and processes right across our business from finance and supply chain through to sales, grower, enablement, and engagement and integrated business planning. And it will allow us to be more effective and efficient in how we deliver our product to consumers and return value to growers. Most of all, it will strengthen our ability to grow and sustain returns for the industry for decades to come.”
Zespri had been running on what Scullin described as “a heavily customized” SAP landscape, but had already moved its legacy systems to Microsoft’s Azure public cloud. After conducting a thorough evaluation as part of its transformation program and some detailed cost versus benefit analysis, Zespri concluded that SAP’s private cloud option was “the best for us and the most strategic long term.”
While according to Scullin the initial focus of Zespri’s transformation project will be “to get our platforms in place and modernize our base systems and processes,” it will also allow the company to plan its supply chain more accurately and make longer-term predictions. Together with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, the deal with SAP also includes the implementation of several digital supply chain applications. Zespri also plans to deploy SAP Analytics Cloud and several SAP-endorsed partner solutions.
The implementation will be conducted by a consortium of partners, including Deloitte NZ in partnership with ZAG, part of Accenture. The project will be split into several phases, with the first digital core build phase due to begin in this month, focused on finance and supply chain processes, before progressing to integrated business planning and sales enablement.
*Zespri’s 2021 5-Year Outlook Document
**In 2019, 4.35 million tons of kiwifruit were produced worldwide. This is predicted to reach 5.9 million tons by 2025, as a result of increasing global demand. New Zealand produces around 10% of the total global production of kiwifruit, around 95% of which is exported. Kiwifruit exports in 2019 accounted for more than two-thirds of the New Zealand’s fresh fruit exports.