Operating in Chile for over 65 years, Empresas Iansa is a food company that produces natural origin products, having an important presence in national and international markets through its industrial, retail and agricultural business divisions. World leaders in sugar beet production and highly efficient in the cultivation of tomatoes, chicory, cereals, and seedlings, among other crops, they also market agricultural supplies. Iansa produce diverse products for human and animal consumption, such as concentrated fruit juices, tomato and other vegetable pastes and pulp, different varieties of sugar, non-caloric sweeteners, honey, manjar (dulce de leche), and puffed cereals, as well as bovine and equine feed, based on beet by-products, such as beet pulp and molasses.
For some time now, the retail division has concentrated its efforts into diversifying beyond the sugar business, searching for products that preserve the essence of the Iansa brand, besides being healthy too. Thus, Iansa Life was created with the purpose of bringing the Iansa brand closer to new consumers through a value proposal that preserves the tasty and sweet essence of Iansa but is also healthy and offers balanced meals without sacrificing flavor. Recently, Iansa Agro was also launched, a line of dry and ready-to-eat legumes that rescue their genuine taste and natural origin.
The new sales channel integration project
Francisca Araya, IT Business Partner of Empresas Iansa says: “Consumption habits have been changing in recent years, making our digital transformation necessary in order to be in sync with the market’s requirements and needs. For this reason, the company wanted to integrate new digital channels to its strategic focus, and the incorporation of our official store in Mercado Libre was a first step, in addition to continue to enhance existing digital channels.
The project with Novis consisted of setting up and boosting sales through new digital platforms and marketplaces (online sales portals), starting with Mercado Libre. The scope of the project was to enable sales of products such as sugar, sweeteners, honey, among others,” she explains.
The project was done by means of the SAP® maintenance and operation service delivered by Novis to Empresas Iansa for over a decade, which is called SAP AMS.
How does the process work?
The sale takes place on a marketplace with a delivery time commitment and ends with the generation of the sales slip. When a customer completes a purchase through Mercado Libre, the corresponding sales order must be automatically generated in SAP, which requires the integration with that platform to include the customer’s data, payment conditions, SKU, quantity, the depot from which it will be sent, and the value of the associated shipping costs.
The dataflow is as follows: The integration is done via a module that allows Mercado Libre to retrieve product stocks and prices, and then send to SAP the purchase data such as customer information, SKU, quantity, payment conditions, and other, ending with the automatic generation of the sales order and the delivery ready for its dispatch in SAP. Also, the available stock is sent and updated based on the sales logs. “The result is that tasks at the plant are curtailed to supplying the already generated order and issuing the sales slip for shipment to the customer”, explains Francisca Araya.
She adds that the project was quite a challenge for the company since it was not working with any marketplace yet. “Thanks to Novis consultants’ knowledge, support and recommendations we were able to find the best solution; one that could be sustainable over time and made possible an automated process. Their observations and suggestions, which considered not only SAP but the overall dataflow, were certainly a great contribution when it came to making crucial decisions, and thus we were able to achieve the best results,” she says.
“It’s been almost three months since going live in production. The fact that the process is automatic and almost error-free, has allowed for a smooth operation as it does not generate work overloads. In addition, cut-off times were established for dispatch processing, so all the tasks are very well organized.
We are monitoring sales, which are growing daily, so we are very satisfied and have also been adding new products quickly. We look forward to incorporate new features continuously to meet customer needs.”
– What would you recommend to others who are evaluating similar projects?
“The first recommendation is to define thoroughly what are the expectations and verify that the marketplace meets them. E-commerce is becoming more and more powerful; there are many alternatives within reach and the available options should be studied in detail.
A second advice is to seek the support of consultants who understand business dataflows, as well as have a general and complete vision of the process. This will enable you to find the best solution in order to simplify the operation and its impact. For the implementation of a project with future scalability, it is important to be able to rely on an expert consultancy during the process.
We have been working with Novis for quite a few years, so we trust their contributions as expert consultants, always applying a business approach and not just merely technical, and we know they are focused on delivering the best solutions for the company. We have also worked jointly on large projects of impact, completing them all successfully.”, concludes Francisca.
Carlos Del Valle, Business Manager at Novis Novis, emphasizes that the solution proposed to Empresas Iansa is characterized by:
“Its implementation time is also fast; in the case of Empresas Iansa, the development of the integration took about a month”, he says.
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Article by Gilda Valderrama, editor at Novis Bulletin.