Headquartered in Philadelphia and operating across more than 50 countries worldwide, FMC recently enacted several acquisitions to help the storied brand evolve from a diversified company to a leading agricultural sciences innovator.
Recent M&A activity meant FMC would need to consolidate and integrate legacy back-end systems to make the most of the acquisition, a challenging task that the company’s leadership entrusted vice president of Procurement, Thaisa Hugenneyer, to solve.
We recently sat down virtually with Hugenneyer to learn more about FMC’s digital transformation strategy and how a recent upgrade to SAP S/4HANA and integrated business planning has helped FMC modernize a global landscape of IT systems and disparate business processes.
An Acquisition Sparks Innovation
FMC’s SAP S/4HANA implementation journey began with its acquisition of DuPont’s Crop Protection Business, a move aimed at expanding the company’s agricultural sciences offerings and capabilities. While this would create efficiencies needed to support FMC’s transformation, the disparate IT landscape and lack of harmonized business processes had to be addressed.
No stranger to a technological challenge, the company opted to invest in a greenfield SAP S/4HANA implementation that would make this integration — and future acquisitions — easy to navigate.
“Our vision centered on one, standardized system with a single set of global processes for our company,” Hugenneyer said. With its implementation strategy and a strong partnership with SAP MaxAttention and Accenture, which has led more than 500 successful customer implementations, as well as a consulting partner in place, the new SAP S/4HANA system would create instant value for the company, allowing FMC to map all processes across its global operations.
The World Goes Virtual
In the middle of the implementation, the global pandemic struck, forcing workforces across the world to transition to remote work. By design, Hugenneyer had developed a best practice years earlier centered on remote collaboration, which mitigated the impact the pandemic had on the implementation project.
“We were already well adjusted to remote work as most of our team worked in different areas of the world,” Hugenneyer explained. “When the pandemic started impacting the world, we were already in year three of our program and we had a strong group of colleagues who were working remotely already.”
This included the implementation partner’s team and SAP MaxAttention, which led advisory and safeguarding services for a full, integrated approach. Another ingredient for success: Hugenneyer’s change management strategy. This would not be a simple system implementation; the new SAP S/4HANA system would drive immense value for the organization, but it would require a special focus on business readiness given the scope of the transformation. Hugenneyer navigated this change by partnering with company leadership and leading close collaboration with the business to help them adjust and take advantage of the new systems.
SAP S/4HANA Delivers a Path to New Growth for FMC
Since its last go-live, FMC has already seen immense value from SAP S/4HANA.
“It’s an enabler for us to evolve our operating model — we now have one global process where we are able to truly have center-led functions with centralized transactions,” said Hugenneyer.
As someone who is heavily engaged in the IT community, Hugenneyer shared several key learnings gathered from the project. First, focus on building the perfect team composed of the best and diverse talent. Results are only as strong as the team driving them, she said. Second, take advantage of the resources that SAP provides to SAP S/4HANA customers, including hypercare, and consider tapping SAP Services as a value driver. Third, think bigger than system implementations. Projects of this size and scope require leaders, including IT, to become culture and change management facilitators given the potential solutions like SAP S/4HANA have to drive growth.
For Hugenneyer, an industry veteran who has years of experience leading successful projects for global teams, all three factors set FMC up for success.
The SAP S/4HANA Success series features content by leaders from SAP North America focused on highlighting customer success with SAP S/4HANA . Learn how customers in this region manage successful implementations with the partner ecosystem and SAP Services as well as leverage the platform to transform their industries.
Lloyd Adams is senior vice president and managing director of the East Region for SAP North America.