Since 2010, SAP has been known to be one of the key pillars of Olam International’s IT strategy. The long-term partnership was intended to secure the global food and agri-business’ industry advantage and to keep pace with its growth through scalable systems.
Singapore-headquartered Olam International is a leading food and agri-business supplying food, ingredients, feed, and fibre to over 25,000 customers worldwide. Having a $23.7 billion global business and a value chain that spans over 60 countries, Olam invested in intelligent solutions that enable the company to thrive even in these extraordinary times.
Thiagaraja Manikandan, President & Group CIO at Olam International, shared:
“Digital offers the best opportunity to not only transform our own business operations but transcend beyond to disrupt the entire business ecosystem. Therefore, at Olam, we envisaged an end-to-end extended enterprise digital strategy starting from our farmers up to our customers while digitizing everything in-between as well.”
Olam International simultaneously launched business intelligence initiatives to support its management and operations team in making better decisions, backed by data warehousing. For enhanced collaboration, the global company tasked the IT team to connect the entire organisation through various communication mechanisms.
Leveraging SAP Solutions
As a long-term technology partner of SAP, Olam International leverages SAP solutions for critical operations. For instance, the global company has developed an in-house commodity trading and risk management (CTRM) platform that integrates with SAP’s ERP to support its trading and risk management operations.
Olam International’s CIO stressed:
“Trading and Risk Management is one of the core pillars of Olam’s businesses. Since there isn’t any robust CTRM platform that could fit into Olam’s diversified business needs, we built a solution from the ground-up, leveraging latest digital architectures and tools such as Microservices, cloud-native, etc.”
Olam also utilises several SAP extension modules and third-party bolt-on tools. With SAP’s comprehensive portfolio of solution extensions across all industries, organisations like Olam can simplify IT complexities while reducing risk, accelerating digital transformation, and future-proofing their SAP investments.
Currently, Olam deploys SAP Ariba for indirect procurement optimisation, SAP Concur for expense management, SAP SuccessFactors for HR automation, and SAP Environment, Health, and Safety Management (SAP EHS Management) for workplace safety.
“We have strategically created a set of core technology backbone that is grounded on the ERP and the CTRM solutions, with Analytics on top of it with a strong underlying collaboration and infrastructure portfolio. We also have bolt-on solutions, which work along with the core backbone to create an end-to-end best of breed integrated ecosystem that powers the business,” explained Mani.
With Olam’s global presence, end-to-end integration, supply chain control, and being an essential commodity service provider, the company was able to manage the impact of the pandemic.
The firm’s digital investment also empowered its employees to seamlessly transition to remote working.
“Moreover, we are continuing with our strategic priorities as planned while focusing on safeguarding our people. We also notice an increased productivity in providing technology services to our businesses during this period,” Mani added.
Mani shared that Olam has already identified and started working on11 digital technologies to accelerate the company’s digital transformation, leverage new opportunities, and address the challenges in the post-pandemic era.
About Olam International
Olam International was established in 1989 and is listed on the Singapore Exchange. The firm also has businesses in packaged foods, infrastructure and logistics, commodity financial services, risk management, and sustainability services.
In January 2020, the company announced its re-organisation, creating two new operating groups – Olam Food Ingredients and Olam Global Agri.