Agristo’s move to S/4HANA – a complete business transformation

Apr 09, 2021
  • food
  • SAP

Agristo is a fast-growing company specializing in potato products that has strong digital ambitions. It operates in a competitive global market with small margins and high volumes. CIO Martijn Mennen: “We process 710 Olympic-sized swimming pools of potatoes into 800,000 tons of potato products per year and ship them to 120 countries. The key to making this work? Innovation.”

Driving innovation in operations – and business processes

Agristo has a strong track record of innovation on the level of processes and operations, managing the world’s largest oven as well as the world’s largest cold storage facility. “But we felt that we were missing out on innovation on the administrative business process side,” Martijn explains.

When Martijn and his team decided to move from ECC to S/4HANA two years ago 2018, they quickly resolved to use it as the basis for a holistic transformation. “We didn’t see S/4HANA as an upgrade, but as a driver of an innovative digitization process across a wide range of activities,” he continues, outlining three main goals.

  • To take the user experience to the next level through the major improvements offered by S/4HANA and SAP Fiori;
  • To increase the efficiency at which business processes are executed;
  • To speed up the development and time to market of apps and portals developed in house to help partners and farmers improve their own operations.


Plotting the path forward as a unified organization

Once the decision to move was made, the Agristo IT team set out to discover the new functionalities in S/4HANA that were interesting to the company’s business context. “We also wanted to make an inventory of existing processes to identify bottlenecks – places were gears were grinding – in order to focus our efforts. In that sense, we received excellent assistance from delaware in the form of an off-the-shelf framework,” Martijn goes on to say.

As the pillars of the delaware methodology, we offered Agristo a series of 40 workshops in 3 months covering all plants and all departments:

  1. Inspire: personnel were invited to dream big about new business process improvements.
  2. Discover: the company explored how new and improved business processes function in an S/4HANA context.
  3. Capture: delaware experts listened to the Agristo experts to explain their ways of working.
  4. Orient: specific processes were identified and prioritized for transformation based on their business value.

The result of these intensive efforts was a detailed matrix containing business processes mapped against existing and possible functionalities, a risk assessment heatmap, and excellent cross-company buy-in.

Making it happen

Despite its complexity in terms of its requirements for integration, migration and configuration, Agristo’s move to S/4HANA and SAP Fiori ran smoothly. Change management was an important part of this project’s wide-ranging success.

“I can sum up our new IT approach in three pillars,” asserts Martijn. “We use SAP S/4HANA with Fiori to cover, enable and support our core administrative business processes. Mendix allows us to rapidly deploy new apps without touching our ERP core. And thirdly, the last pillar is RPA, which we use to cut out non-value-adding and repetitive tasks and to further optimize business processes.

“Today, while we have some migration steps still planned, I can proudly say that we are on time and on budget thanks to the great people of delaware.”

Making the move: S/4HANA migration made simple