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Campari Group, a leading player in the global premium spirits industry, has impressive portfolio of more than 50 premium and super premium brands distributed in more than 190 countries worldwide.

But Campari Group’s portfolio wasn’t always so diverse. Up until 1995, it was a single brand company focused on organic growth. Since then, it has shifted to a 50/50 organic to external growth strategy and has pulled off 26 acquisitions in the last 22 years

Key to its success is its ability to quickly incorporate the new companies into its portfolio and business structure. A smooth and efficient transition requires a well-run IT department and infrastructure that is tightly linked to the business strategy.

“Our interaction with the business leadership both regionally and at the global level is to understand where they want to go, where the business is going, and for us to translate it into an IT strategy,” said Christopher Woods, Head of Group IT at Campari Group.

Turning strategy into results

Campari Group’s success with acquisitions is a great example of how IT turns business strategy into results. “The fact that IT has been able to provide a single instance of SAP has greatly facilitated the business’ ability to grow at the speed it has grown,” explained Woods.

With a solid foundation of core business applications in place, Campari Group is moving from back-office efficiency to front-office flexibility. “We’ve been focused a lot on the back office, in terms of building that backbone that allows to acquire and integrate new distribution channels quickly, but now it’s more about the enablement of our front office,” said Woods.

The shift in focus to front office involves the cloud – to simplify implementations and reduce TCO. “Cloud technology is a priority for me as the leader of IT and for the business,” said Woods. “From an IT perspective, it’s about flexibility, efficiency, and speed. And from the business perspective I could repeat the same points. It’s about how we can adapt, scale usage, and deliver business capability faster.”

Moving sales and HR to the cloud

Sales force automation is a key focus area for improvement. “We still have people taking orders on paper, so the SAP Hybris project is a big enabler in terms of digitizing our sales force,” said Woods.

Campari Group piloted its new sales force automation solution in supermarkets and bars in Italy. After establishing a good implementation template, it moved on to other locations. “In addition to Italy, we have rolled out SAP Hybris in the UK, Benelux, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and have kicked off implementation projects in Jamaica and Spain,” explained Woods.

Using the new solution, sales associates can take orders in stores and bars and capture key performance indicators of each location. That means more time focused on customers’ needs and less time dealing with paper work. “The order process is far more seamless and it integrates back into our ERP solution so there is great efficiency gain,” said Woods.

Sales reps also gain much more visibility into customer status and order history. “When reps are in the store, talking to their contact, they can target the conversation around order history and be much more interactive. It’s just a completely different way of working,” explained Woods.

The next step is to use the system for more data and predictive analytics around customer consumption and product suggestions. “Now we are focused on the consumer, how best to engage them and how best to leverage SAP Hybris for ecommerce and eCRM. That is a big shift for us” said Woods.

Campari Group is also successfully leveraging the cloud for HR. “SAP Success Factors is a great example of a cloud based solution going into the company with speed and efficiency and giving our users a good experience with IT. The highly interactive web-based user interface was well received,” said Woods.

Interactivity empowers users

Reporting at Campari Group is also moving to the cloud. Its previous business warehouse solution didn’t provide the flexibility and agility the company needed at both the regional and global level. “Our old BW was centralized and it was easy to run reports but the way the data was visualized could have been better and more interactive, which is why we are moving into SAP Business Objects in the cloud,” explained Woods.

The new cloud-based reporting system provides a whole new layer of interactivity to Campari Group’s business users. It gives them the ability to look at data in a different way and operates the way business decisions are made. “It’s about empowering our users to look at the business the way they want, rather than giving them a standard set of BW reports,” said Woods.

The SAP HANA is a key enabler of Campari Group’s plan and is transforming the business. “SAP HANA is a key foundational pillar for us. When we migrated our BW to SAP HANA there was an immediate benefit in terms of speed that was hugely recognized across the organization,” explained Woods.

Campari Group is working to embed data and advanced analytics into all of its processes. “We have some nice analytics and dashboards but we need to start looking at IoT and Machine Learning in our factories and products to increase automation and create efficiencies for the company,” concluded Woods.


Read more about Campari's digital transformation:

Business and IT Standardization Fuel Growth at Campari