production and distribution: By implementing innovative solutions long before the pandemic is announced, the Food Ingredients Group is ready to survive this difficult time and what will come after it.
The Food Ingredients Group consists of five companies specializing in the production of food additives. Libra, which can boast of an extensive R&D department, mainly deals with the production of functional additives and spices for the meat industry and the baking industry. Interfiber is one of the largest global producers of insoluble dietary fiber with factories in Poland and Belgium (Custom Fiber). Lauta, which produces in China (from where it exports all over the world), specializes in producing hydrocolloid solutions for the food industry. Flavors Factory creates flavor compositions (powdered and liquid aromas) for desserts, ice cream, yogurts, cured meats, beers, and crisps. Fiberk is a producer of fruit, vegetable, and cereal fibers well as those of fine fractions. The group has been operating on the market for about 20 years and sells its products to nearly 80 countries. It is worth adding that the Food Ingredients Group representative offices are located on several continents: in Europe,
In times of crisis, the international presence of a Polish production and distribution company may generate considerable challenges. How to maintain the continuity of production and supply of products when the governments of many countries recommend remote work to limit the spread of the coronavirus? The Food Ingredients Group knows the answer to this question because it introduced a distance performance scheme long before a pandemic was declared. The solution offered by Salesforce was selected.
It is easier to overcome a crisis with a strong partner.
Few companies in the production and distribution industry have decided to implement the remote work mode. When the Food Ingredients Group prepared to make this a reality in its case, it was guided by increasing flexibility and efficiency.
“The transition to remote work was undoubtedly a challenge, but not a shock. We have a long-standing cooperation with both traders and world-class experts involved in the development of our products. It is possible because we support ongoing communication with them with appropriate technology,” comments Grzegorz Bednarek, General Director of Food Ingredients Group.
Of course, there are always challenges when switching to a new working model. In this case, they were related that remote work requires more discipline and is more energy-consuming. Not everything is always on the way with technologies that could be avoided thanks to personal contact.
“Fortunately, thanks to the openness of our team to what is new, as well as patience and training support from Salesforce, today problems related to technologies and their support have been reduced or are being solved on an ongoing basis. We focused on technology that supports us. At the same time, we also support our team in dealing with the situation that has arisen. This is probably the key to success in the new work mode,” emphasizes Grzegorz Bednarek.
In 2017, the Food Ingredients Group chose Salesforce as a partner with whom it will be able to carry out digital transformation in their companies. The system was launched in the same year. This was due to the experience and flexible approach in implementing the CRM system. The implementation process, carried out by a separate implementation company, began with consultations and discussions on the activities of the Food Ingredients Group. Then there were over two-month workshops, during which representatives of Salesforce and the implementation company learned about the specificity of individual companies’ businesses.
“Today, this flexible approach of Salesforce continues to pay off, and the system itself evolves thanks to it, thus allowing us to adapt to the changing environment quickly. And there is no place for unchangeable products in it. That is why we appreciate that Salesforce does not work like a typical corporation in the scheme: order – fulfillment – invoice. This, combined with the fact that we share values such as responsibility and openness, makes our business relationships a permanent feature in the current uncertain environment. A favorable package of solutions supporting in operation is undoubtedly great support for us; nevertheless, this similar approach to business made Salesforce a trusted partner for us from an ordinary service provider.
Ready for a market rebound
Even though Salesforce is an international enterprise, it offers its partners local support. This means that each company has an assigned Polish supervisor – there is, therefore, no language barrier that could make it difficult to understand, for example, the description of the functioning of individual tools. In addition, Salesforce organizes local meetings and webinars where the latest functionalities are discussed. During such events, careers can talk to clients about their needs and adjust their support system even better.
Thanks to him and the efficient operation of the CRM system itself, the employees of the Food Ingredients Group have access to all documents related to specific transactions. In addition, in the event of complaints about goods or disputes, you can quickly resolve the matter without contacting the legal department. The system also makes it possible to organize virtual teams that (also remotely) can carry out a specific project or task.
Thanks to the support of Salesforce and a proactive digital transformation strategy, Food Ingredients Group does not have to worry about the fact that most of its employees perform their duties remotely. Due to the fact that it operates on an international scale, it has often had the opportunity to face many challenges that the market posed for it.
“Of course, the coronavirus crisis is new to all of us, but thanks to these experiences, we are prepared for difficult situations. The fact that we have business relationships with clients from all over the world also helped us, which allowed us to follow the developments on all continents. That is why we focused on the speed of reaction – both in the crisis and in what will come after it,” announced Jacek Bednarek, president of the Food Ingredients Group.
As he emphasizes, the company is technologically prepared to reflect the market. After all, the necessary tools for this were implemented a few years ago. What’s more, thanks to remote access to key information, the management board can make the right business decisions. With the help of appropriate messengers, it is possible to contact each colleague immediately. But it’s not the communication itself that is at stake. Due to the actions taken earlier, the Food Ingredients Group can now afford to create virtual sales and design teams already working on various variants of the offer addressed to companies struggling with the crisis.
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