Turkey supplies 75% of the world’s hazelnuts. Ferrero Hazelnut Company (“HCo”) aimed to claim a big portion of every year’s crop. Allocation aspirations were threatened by competition or crop partial failure. HCo trades semi-processed (i.e. dried, cracked, and roasted) hazelnuts to both Turkish and international users where quality and meeting quantity obligations are imperative.
HCo operates under a sub-division, namely Ferrero Precious Agriculture Program (FPAP), in which a team of agronomists drives sales by engaging with suppliers (i.e. the farmers) and end-processors respectively. Essentially FPAP to function in the world of modern B2B buyers had to integrate backward to its suppliers in an emphatic quest for traceability.
FPAP is the first stop in the supply chain. Production lapses compromise delivery to the end-users – all of which use the semi processed hazelnuts as raw material. An HCo study revealed that tracing the product all the way back to the beginning of the farming process was the key to controlling the whole supply chain, and consolidating an automated sales enablement platform.
The complexities were immense: a disrupted supply could be as a result of myriad reasons. FPAP was determined to connect its agronomists with the farmers as a way of creating more fruitful suppliers and cement loyalty to Hco at the same time.
Life of a hazelnut farmer isn’t easy. Such diverse factors as soil condition, over-farming land, weather conditions, farm location, breaking down archaic habits, teaching modern technology, unnecessary wastage, types of tree selected, and timing of processes are just a few of the dynamic variables at play. Also, farmers are stressed by continuous challenges that pressurize their time when it comes to listening to agronomists.
Before Pitcher, FPAP was ill-prepared for the task. Basically, the company agronomists offered little the farmers could relate to. Data presented in the form of graphs and charts were only available in hard copy, thus making omnichannel engagement a distant concept; there were no electronic devices involved for immediate access; information was outdated and in any event more generic to the industry than specific to the farmer in question.
FPAP agronomists mostly failed to engage the farmer distracted by his or her plethora of problems that had immediate resolution. In summary: from a supplier viewpoint company agronomists were unable to prove their points with real-time, pertinent information that would turn farmers’ heads. There was a dire need to onboard reps quicker to sell smarter where it counted most – on the farms with the farmers and their personnel.
The HCo and FPAP Goal inside the problem arena
FPAP, aimed at bringing together all players operating within the supply chain under the influence of a single organization. This covered such diverse activities as farmers’ hazelnut cultivation strategies, agronomic research & development, sourcing, industrial transformation and the sale of semi-finished hazelnut products. It was determined to do this by supporting sales with smart resources wherever the company could find them.
How Pitcher addressed the Problem and met FPAP Goals
The turnaround took around 3 months. By using real-time situations on the farms, electronically communicated resolutions could be constructed and powerfully demonstrated to the farmer once the farmer raised an issue: right then seconds after the complaint. For the first time, FPAP representatives could Deliver the Right message for every conversation. It was simply a case of Discover, replicate, and automate.
Once the farmers realized that FPAP could make their lives more hassle-free they became more talkative. And the more they talked the more resolutions in real time could be shown to the farmer – interestingly, in multi-color. In no time FPAP made a seismic difference to the farmers’ lives, helping them to be more profitable (i.e. achieving a greater output per square foot of land, with less fertilizer cost). Traceability was becoming a practical strategy by pinpointing hot-button areas that, once addressed, steadied the supply chain. Pitcher Training and coaching solutions paid huge dividends.
Alongside this FPAP made maximum use of Ferrero’s farms owned directly by the group. These function as HCo’s agronomic “research laboratories” - a true model with a triple function: experimentation - to verify the adaptability of the different varieties of hazel trees to local agricultural and climatic conditions and experiment with different agronomic techniques; demonstration - to encourage and promote the cultivation of hazel trees to local farmers; productivity - to set aside a significant part of the hazelnut harvest to FPAP.
In practice, the Pitcher addition totally integrated a food supply chain. It does so with clearer monitoring of the supplier and user, demonstrating a capability to make faster action plans, and equipping sales teams to implement their visit plans more effectively with the help of the sales enablement platform. The electronic collection of the whole data reduced FPAP’s hardcopy expenses dramatically, creating more effective performance and time-saving (with the help of the Pitcher visit planning feature).
Pitcher application improved FPAP communications: farmers got fast, positive improvements in production and at the same time it enabled the sales force to promote FPAP services to processors convincingly. Reps now know how to sell the way buyers want to buy and turn new prospects into new customers. The Pitcher App was intuitive and easy to navigate; it delivered data driven, innovative content recommendations that impacted sales. It facilitated a way for FPAP agronomists and reps to build trust with farmers and users respectively. FPAP were unanimous in their verdict that Pitcher was one the best service and technology providers in the business.
Pitcher is absolutely an industry-leading resource for any agro-company like HCo that’s intent on protecting its brand. It provides a global, proven single enterprise-grade platform that incorporates scale excellence for any sized business. Considered to be in the echelon of the best service and technology providers anywhere, FPAP welcomed Pitcher to be its partner for all strategic consulting solutions and any AI or machine learning additions that may emerge in the near future.
HCo with Pitcher by its side redefined its scope of action: while previously it acted only at a procurement level, today it has both acquired considerable know-how in processing the raw ingredient and become one of the world’ major players in the hazelnut sector. FPAP, in particular, can reach more farmers in less time, thereby delivering value fast to both processors and farmers. Moreover, FPAP could differentiate its farmer’s journey making it a better-personalized user experience. Of course, all thisgelled perfectly with the end goal of tracing hazelnut faster, exceeding farmer and hazelnut targets and maximizing Hco’s ROI.