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J. Cortès goes future-proof with FAST template for SAP by delaware

Oct 29, 2020
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Established in 1926, J. Cortès is a family business like no other. From the small town of Zwevegem (Belgium), the Vandermarliere family has grown the company to over 4,000 employees, plants in Sri Lanka, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, and 80 cigar brands worldwide. To strengthen its foothold and safeguard the future of the business, CEO Frederik Vandermarliere and IT manager Stefaan Debaveye decided to change the core ERP system to SAP – with delaware as a key partner. 

“On a business level, our main goal is to further strengthen our global position,” says Frederik. “Renewing our core ERP system is part of that ambition: it will help us streamline our processes, better manage costs, and become more future-proof.”

More flexibility and better reporting

Stefaan Debaveye, who has been leading the IT department at J. Cortès for over 19 years, concurs. “Over the years, J. Cortès has grown significantly, and our IT stack has gradually expanded along with it, with multiple ad hoc integrations. The result was a heterogeneous IT landscape that doesn’t provide the flexibility and reporting insights we need going forward. That’s why, two or three years ago, we decided to replace the existing core ERP with a new solution.”

The quest for a fitting solution and partner was quite challenging. “To get an idea of what we were up against, we visited a number of companies in the region that had recently renewed their ERP systems,” explains Frederik. “Armed with those insights and experiences, we started scouting the market and published an RFI and, eventually, an RFP. After numerous meetings and demos, we finally decided upon SAP as the core technology and delaware as a partner.” 

Rich functionalities, FAST

The decision was mainly technology based, since delaware’s FAST best-practice solution for SAP covered most of the business needs of J. Cortès. “FAST is a pre-configured best practice solution for mid-sized FMCG companies based on SAP S/4HANA,” explains Philippe Vlietinck, partner at delaware. “It is the result of years of sector-specific expertise and experience and offers a broad range of functionalities that respond directly to the needs of J. Cortès. Examples include the ability to orchestrate processes in a multi-company environment, comply with impending track-and-trace legislation, and get insightful and reliable management reporting.”

Project kickoff took place on 20 October 2020. By 1 November 2021, the first phase should be completed. “Key to the success of any ERP implementation is close collaboration with the IT partner,” says Frederik. “We’re confident that we made the right decision by joining forces with SAP and delaware and look forward to a smooth implementation.”

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