Public Voting

Category: AI and Augmented Humanity

Michal Rada

Corporate ICT Director and Transformation Leader , Zeelandia Group

Supernova Award Category: 
AI and Augmented Humanity
The Organization: 

Founded in 1900 by the Dutch Doeleman family, Zeelandia Group has become a global player in the bakery ingredients business. Today, 3,200 employees worldwide are dedicated to developing products tailored to local tastes and needs – with operations in over 30 countries and sales in about 100 countries.

Zeelandia has grown from a small operation in the Island of Zeelandia into a multinational organization, maintaining the original family values and culture, but also being forward thinking and entrepreneurial. Zeelandia differentiates itself by focusing on customer intimacy, maintaining deep connections inside and outside the company

The Problem: 

Global supply chain challenges created by the pandemic are now amplified with the Ukraine war, contributing to higher prices for agricultural raw materials. Ukraine and Russia supply 30% of the world’s wheat and barley, but the war has created uncertainty for exporting grain, wheat, and vegetable oil.

Zeelandia feels the pain of this uncertainty as we are a global player in the bakery ingredients business. Our business is repeated sales to long-term customers; therefore, it is critical for Zeelandia to strengthen with customers and differentiate to negate alternative buying channels.

Fortunately, Zeelandia is agile having begun our digital transformation in 2017 by moving our ERP to Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage. Additionally, Zeelandia leverages the power of Infor’s platform technology, using Infor Coleman AI to improve the accuracy and speed of key business processes to sustain business growth despite current market challenges.

Digitization allows Zeelandia to explore the wealth of data we have in our systems to improve our business and better serve customers. CloudSuite is where Zeelandia sales orders are processed and automatically pushed into the Infor Data Lake. Using integrated AI with the data lake, there was potential to augment more accurate recommendations for products, pricing, and opportunities, saving time for the sales and marketing teams, but also bring modernization and personalization to the customer experience, keeping them loyal and happy.

The Solution: 

Zeelandia implemented Product Recommender using Coleman AI to quickly generate intelligent product recommendations to customers.

Prior to Coleman AI, it was a manual reporting process to determine selling opportunities. Zeelandia has a very large product portfolio to crunch through to make personalized product recommendations for each customer. If the salesperson was new or time constrained, offering the most appropriate product is a challenge, potentially wasting everyone’s time.

After making the product recommendations, pricing the products is the next step. This has been a challenge for Zeelandia as it is a spreadsheet-driven process for pricing thousands of products across hundreds of customers. It is a time-consuming and error-prone process, and no longer scalable with the need to frequently adjust pricing.
 

Infor applied the same concept of AI recommendations to pricing so sales can quickly generate optimal price recommendations for the combination of customer and product.

The Results: 

Assisting efficiency, Product Recommender generates the top five products to recommend to customers, ranked by the probability of success. Presented through a web or mobile dashboard using Infor Birst analytics, a salesperson simply selects a customer and recommendations are displayed. A salesperson can schedule up to five customer meetings in one day so Product Recommender can save them almost half a day of prep work.

Now, with AI-driven product recommendations, sales and marketing realize the following benefits:

  • Elevated speed–83% faster to prepare product recommendations for a customer, from 30 minutes to 5 minutes
  • Better customer experience with intelligent and personalized product recommendations
  • Increased revenue per transaction and share of wallet per customer
  • Improved marketing conversion for new products or products that are about to expire

Pricing Recommender generates the optimal pricing for a product by the customer. Embedded within the CloudSuite sales order screen, the recommended price is displayed with the quantity, price per unit, and discount. Past transactions are also visible, enabling the salesperson to make the best pricing decision.

Now, with AI driven optimal pricing recommendations, the following benefits are realized:

  • Improve customer loyalty, with sales offering the right price and explaining why
  • Meet profitability goals with optimal pricing
  • Reduce time and costs through machine generated pricing
Metrics: 

Elevated speed –83% faster to prepare product recommendations for a customer meeting- from 30 minutes to 5 minutes per customer

Product Recommender deployed in under 90 days

The Technology: 

CloudSuite Food and Beverage is where sales orders are processed and automatically pushed into the Infor data lake through Infor OS. From there, Infor Coleman AI is using ML to create a model to generate the recommendations. For the product recommender, the results are pushed into the Infor data lake and presented in sales dashboards using Infor Birst. For the pricing recommender, the results are pushed back into the CloudSuite as an in-context view where the salesperson is placing the order.

Disruptive Factor: 

Internal disruption: The “we, sales representatives, know the best” mindset leading to missed opportunities now can be gradually changed to “we, Zeelandia, with the help of data and AI, know the best”. After we will have implemented the feedback on proposals (after interacting with customers) the continuous learning loop where the machine interacts with humans will be closed.
External disruption: Zeelandia stood out by being able to leverage data to provide more value to customers and by doing so also inspire them

Shining Moment: 

We dared to step out of our comfort zone in an unknown, having courage to consider AI as something we’re, with the help of Infor, capable of integrating in our business processes.

About Zeelandia Group

Founded in 1900 by the Dutch Doeleman family, Zeelandia Group has become a global player in the bakery ingredients business. Today, 3,200 employees worldwide are dedicated to developing products tailored to local tastes and needs – with operations in over 30 countries and sales in about 100 countries.