Rapid rates of external and internal growth bringing new coordination and performance challenges

Kersia is a world leader in biosecurity and food safety. It offers solutions and products for all stages of the food supply chain – from farm to fork – including in agriculture, agri-food, food processing, beverages, and water treatment. With commercial operations in more than 120 countries, the company has grown strongly in recent years as a result of numerous acquisitions. These new entities, which all joined the group over a short period, each have their own Information Systems and operating procedures. With new suppliers, customers, and production sites, the acquisitions drove a sharp increase in the number of internal and external players, a need to harmonize activities across different business functions, and a desire to better anticipate production needs.

Kersia, key data

  • 2 100 employees
  • 410 M€ of revenue
  • 35 industrial installations in more than 120 countries across Europe, North Africa, Asia, and America.
  • More than 270 000 tones of products are sold into its markets every year

An Integrated Business Planning process to optimize the management of critical resources

To connect all these players together and enable business functions to better communicate, Kersia took the decision to develop an Integrated Business Planning (IBP) process. This had to be capable of bringing together – in a single tool – demand-based forecasts for sales teams, the scope for the marketing team to manage the product portfolio, production capacities for each site, and the ability to manage the resupply of raw materials. The new tool will be able to produce sales forecasts for each of the group’s markets; by considering these along with their financial implications, it can then generate a production plan for Kersia’s industrial sites in each country. This tool-based process offers the direct benefits of being able to closely link production planning to sales forecasts and improve communication between different business functions. Ultimately, over 100 employees will benefit from this shared process, which will encompass sales teams, plant managers, suppliers, and purchasing departments, as well as cross-functional finance, IT, supply chain marketing, and management teams.

Implementing Anaplan – an ultra-customizable solution

Anaplan, a SaaS planning software, used mainly in finance and supply chains, was chosen as the solution for the IBP process. As the market’s best-in-class product, it offers a highly flexible toolbox, is quick to set up, and can be easily configured and customized. This combination enables Kersia to keep pace with developments, for example, dealing with new integrations. Wavestone drew on its previous experience with Anaplan to support Kersia through the design and architecture phases, construction of the application, and the deployment of pilot versions across several sites. The Wavestone teams also handled change management and the training of end users.

Gauthier Baivier

Gauthier Baivier

Supply Chain and Industrial Performance Director

The Wavestone team was committed and experienced – it was highly attentive to our needs and proactive in suggesting solutions.

Meeting user needs through the agile method

The agile method was used to deploy Anaplan at Kersia, making it possible to continuously determine priorities through constant interaction with users. This approach enables a detailed picture of users’ daily needs to be built up, which can then be used to construct the best solution and gradually transfer existing processes into Anaplan. It’s also a way to continuously build the teams’ familiarity with the new tool and avoid presenting them with a final version, which they’ve played no part in shaping, at the end of several months of work.

Users can test the old system and new solution in parallel, comparing and adjusting them as they progress. Xavier Le Cabec, Site Manager, explains how « the view of production-line loading is quick and easy to grasp, despite the very large number and breadth of our finished products. In addition, the ability to modify the opening and volume parameters in real time enables us to instantly adjust workflows at our production facilities. »

The solution has now been deployed for eight of Kersia’s markets and is being rolled out into new international parts of the group. The initial benefits are clear: users are satisfied with the new tool, management has better visibility across its entire network of operations, and there is scope to optimize for different demand and production scenarios. The tool also facilitates communication between the numerous business functions, processes are clearer, and there is buy-in from all involved.