Global bakery ingredients business increases revenues and enhances customer experience with AI-driven product and pricing recommendations
Infor, the industry cloud company, announced that global bakery ingredients business Zeelandia Group has deployed its Infor Coleman AI (artificial intelligence) solution. These new AI capabilities are improving the accuracy and speed of product selection and pricing strategies and helping to sustain business growth despite ongoing market challenges.
Already deployed at Zeelandia’s facility in the Czech Republic, Infor Coleman AI capabilities will soon be rolled out across the Netherlands, followed by the group’s other worldwide operations. Zeelandia started its digital transformation journey with Infor in 2017, moving its enterprise resource planning (ERP) to Infor CloudSuite Food & Beverage, now live in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The cloud ERP solution provides a modern technology platform, Infor OS, to derive more value through innovations, including the application of Infor Coleman AI.
A global player in the bakery ingredients business with operations in over 30 countries and sales across 100 countries, Zeelandia Group was facing unprecedented market challenges. The higher cost and lack of availability of bakery ingredients required new sales and pricing strategies to maintain long-term customer loyalty while meeting profit goals. Given the group’s broad product portfolio and large customer base, Zeelandia recognized that it needed to digitally transform the organization to achieve these goals.
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Zeelandia worked with Infor to explore the potential of using Infor Coleman AI capabilities to create machine-generated recommendations for products and pricing.
Previously, preparing to meet with customers to analyze what products to recommend was proving time consuming and error prone for the Zeelandia sales team due to a manual sales reporting process. Determining the appropriate products for each customer could be a challenge, wasting time for the salesperson and the customer.
Zeelandia worked with the Infor Coleman AI team to implement Infor Product Recommender, a solution that generates the top five products to recommend to customers, ranked by the probability of success. Presented through a web or mobile dashboard using Infor Birst analytics, a salesperson simply selects a customer and product recommendations are then displayed. A salesperson can have up to five customer meetings in one day, so Product Recommender can save them almost a third of a day of prep work.
With AI-driven product recommendations, Zeelandia has achieved these benefits:
- 83% faster time to prepare product recommendations for a customer, from around 30 minutes to 5 minutes
- Better customer experience with intelligent, personalized product recommendations
- Increased revenue per transaction and share of wallet per customer
- Improved marketing conversion for new products or products that are about to expire
The next challenge Zeelandia addressed with Infor’s help was pricing. With the constant changes in cost and the unavailability of goods, the pricing of products had to be adjusted more frequently. This had been a challenge for Zeelandia as the spreadsheet-driven process for pricing thousands of products for thousands of customers was proving time consuming and error prone and was unable to keep pace with the frequency of required price adjustments.
“We have a very complex pricing setup that includes 10,000 individual prices,” said Michal Rada, transformation leader and group ICT director for AI at Zeelandia. “With the current market fluctuations and uncertainty, it was even more challenging to maintain, so pricing was the next obvious target to see what we could do with Infor using artificial intelligence and data science to deliver intelligent price recommendations that would find the sweet spot between customer satisfaction and company profits.”
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With Infor’s help, Zeelandia applied the same concept of AI recommendations to pricing, delivering the following benefits:
- Improved customer loyalty, offering the right price and understanding why
- Meeting profitability goals with optimal pricing
- Reduced time and costs through machine-generated pricing
“Our goal is to be a trusted partner with bakeries by offering them the right products at the right price so that they, in turn, can keep their customers happy and loyal,” Rada said. “With Infor’s AI-driven recommendations for products and pricing, not only do our salespeople save time in preparing for customer meetings, but Zeelandia stays true to what we value most – customer intimacy.”
The innovation journey continues at Zeelandia with Infor Coleman AI being applied to customer relationship management (CRM) data to provide “customer” or “opportunity” recommendations. Next, Zeelandia plans to be an early adopter of Infor’s hyper-automation solutions to gain even more efficiencies.
“Our relationship with Zeelandia is testament to Infor’s ongoing commitment to innovation, working alongside our customers to deliver industry-specific solutions that address the challenges they face on a daily basis,” said Marcel Koks, senior director of industry & solution strategy for Infor Food & Beverage. “We’re already looking forward to the next stage in Zeelandia’s digital journey and will continue to work in partnership with the team to deliver the solutions needed to underpin their ambitious business goals.”
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