5 years ago

A Look at Campbell Soup Company’s Digital Transformation Success

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Campbell's digital foundation has made it possible for them to have a better process at product innovation.

Did you know that more than six out of every 10 companies, or around 65 percent, have some sort of digital transformation program in the offing? Zooming in on the data, we can see that 31 percent are planning to introduce digital transformation within the next year. Only a third of these companies, or 34 percent, have a digital process in place.

You cannot deny that digital transformation is on the minds of the C-suites. And this early, we are hearing about success stories. One of these early wins is from Campbell Soup Company.

CIO.com’s Martha Heller talked to Campbell CIO Francisco Fraga, and here are some of the things we all should learn.

1. Digital transformation should leverage IT.

For Campbell, digital transformation should use technology to:

  1. Optimize internal operations.
  2. Enable employees to be more effective and efficient, while also exceeding their IT needs and have easier experiences with technology.
  3. Engage customers.
  4. Get employees, partner, customers, and suppliers into the loop.

As such, digital transformations need an agile architecture that is cost-effective, secure, and resilient. The company has moved most of the applications they use to the cloud. And these are just some of the changes they’ve implemented.

2. IT must be the one to lead the digital transformation.

For Campbell, it is IT that should be at the forefront of digital transformation. This is because going digital is not the goal, but one of the things that would help the company succeed with their strategy.

3. Link your digital transformation to your business strategy.

This is very important in communicating the vision and benefits of digital transformation for every stakeholder. Each employee, supplier, and customer should understand how the company’s digital technology resources and investments connect to the company’s strategy.

4. The first steps are most crucial.

For Campbell, digital transformation is a journey. First, they needed to change how the company was organized. Instead of being segregated by business unit, they are now grouped by global services that are important to their stakeholders. They now have a product-based structure, where employees are organized according to function or services.

What’s more, IT is at the center of everything. Every meeting the company has, regardless of which department or function initiated it, has an IT person attending. This is to make sure that IT is totally in the loop with other divisions’ strategies and plans.

5. IT needs to focus on certain things.

With business relevance as the main driving point, IT needs to:

  • Anticipate the needs of the business. This includes knowing where the organization is headed and what they would need to get there.
  • Get the best ideas and bring them to the table. Campbell recognizes that they might not have the best ideas. So they look for the most innovative ideas outside and then adapt it.
  • Have measurable business value for every IT activity or investment.
  • Learn both IT and the business. To propel digital transformation forward, IT needs to be experts in both the technical and the business sides.
  • If the wheel ain’t broke… Campbell believes that it is wise to leverage technologies you already have. If you do not have it, then look for something that is already available. It makes no sense to invent something or wait for the next big thing to come along.
  • Agility, speed, and quality should be the top priority.

Some words of advice

Fraga has some advice for those in the C-suite who are starting on their digital journey. For one, it should be clear to them what they are trying to accomplish, and more importantly, they should realize that digital transformation is only one way to get to that goal.

CEOs should be able to articulate the vision for the company and its goals. Failure to do so will mean that digital transformation will be a waste of time, and that investments in technology will be a waste of money.

After having a clear picture of that vision, you will need to assess your capabilities. Do you have the means and capabilities to achieve your vision? If so, do you have that in house or do you need to hire new talents?

CEOs should also realize that digital transformation would involve a lot of changes with it. However, they should also be careful not to introduce too much change that everything just breaks apart.

One advice for CIOs

Fraga also has this to say to technology managers who are leading the way for digital transformation to become a reality at their own organizations:

“Take time to educate your team and other stakeholders on how relevant the digital transformation is to your business. Once they understand how digital transformation is linked to business strategy, they will be more motivated to make sure that digital transformation does happen and that they get to benefit from it.”

What has digital transformation done for Campbell so far?

The company’s digital foundation has made it possible for them to have a better process at product innovation. They are now able to use data and analytics to deliver insights to teams involved, which includes supply chain, R&D, marketing, and finance. Data analytics also helped everyone come up with better decisions.

The company has also been able to maximize the technology investments they’ve already made. For instance, since they are already using Office 365, they’re now working to fully maximize that software to improve their employees’ daily user experiences.

They are also using APIs to help integrate their complex value chain. Additionally, they are able to engage with their customers better, allowing them to understand them more deeply. This understanding can help them come up with products that they would want and need.

You can do it too.

You can replicate Campbell Soup Company’s success in going digital even if you are a small or medium-sized company that does not have an IT team.  With Four Cornerstone, you get a team of IT experts that can help you with your digital transformation.

Call us today at +1 (817) 377-1144.

Photo courtesy of Campbell Soup Company.

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