Hello, Morris. Could you tell us about the history of the Nufarm’s relationship with Capgemini and your role in this partnership?
Morris Lieberman: Nufarm Limited is one of the world’s leading crop protection and specialist seeds companies. Headquartered in Melbourne, we have manufacturing and marketing operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, and sell products in more than 100 countries across the globe.
Nufarm’s relationship with Capgemini goes back to the beginning of 2017 when we chose Capgemini as a partner to help us implement a global ERP platform and shared services function. My role is to lead global transformation for the Nufarm Group, including our NOVUS program, for which I’m responsible.
I’ve been involved in developing the partnership from the very beginning, and I’m extremely proud of the relationship we’ve built – the energy, enthusiasm, and passion our people from both organizations share towards the common purpose of delivering improvements to Nufarm globally.
Could you tell us a little more about the NOVUS program?
NOVUS is part of a global transformation program to simplify Nufarm’s business processes across the globe, starting in Europe. This involves implementing an Oracle ERP system to fundamentally transform our finance function, with a simple, standard set of processes that make life easy for our customers, suppliers, and our workforce.
NOVUS also involves implementing a number of applications to support our Oracle ERP, such as Ariba, Concur, and other third-party products. On top of this, it includes implementing a global HR system, global purchasing, and other components to achieve “One” Nufarm globally.
Why did Nufarm engage Capgemini on its transformation journey?
We were looking for a company that had the experience and capability in technology and history in process improvement to increase and enhance the entire productivity journey of our global organization. A partner that would help us implement a global ERP platform and take responsibility for shared services within an aggressive nine-month period.
We also feel very strongly that Capgemini has very similar values to us, as well as the capability and people to help us simplify our global business. We were impressed by the caliber of their people, and the people we now have in our service lines are passionate, driven, experienced, knowledgeable, intelligent, fun – in fact, all of Capgemini’s values, which aren’t just written on the walls of their centers, but are lived and breathed by their people every day.
What has surprised me the most about the partnership with Capgemini is simply the passion of the people. There many companies that offer the same kind of services, but the passion of Capgemini’s people maintains a constant and consistent drive to improve how Nufarm operates. I keep saying Capgemini’s people, but they work as if they are actually Nufarm’s people.
What were the business challenges Nufarm originally faced, and how did Capgemini address them?
Nufarm had acquired a number of businesses across the last 30 years, none of which we’d actually integrated into the business, and which all had disparate systems and tools. Another major challenge was around setting up and operating a shared services function within a very short timeframe.
The journey we embarked on with Capgemini was to standardize our processes globally, transforming the whole way of working by putting in place a standard business model and operating model supported by shared services. Capgemini has enabled us to implement standardized processes much faster than we would have been able to achieve on our own, helping us meet our timeframe and to go live as we planned.
The Capgemini team also overcomes a number of smaller challenges across all work streams on a daily basis. Independent of Nufarm asking for things, they are always pushing us, coming up with new ideas, innovation, opportunities, and improvements, which are driving us into a better and more permanent direction.
So it’s not only about being a shared service provider – I see it more as a partnership to transform and improve the way we operate globally, which includes base level shared service functions and operations.
What were the business outcomes Capgemini delivered to Nufarm?
The collaborative partnership between Nufarm and Capgemini has accelerated the delivery of more efficient operations at a substantially lower operating cost. We standardized over 1,800 processes on a single ERP in less than six months, implementing new scanning and intelligent document management tools, a digital knowledge base, and a query management tool that deliver upwards of 85% first time response rate.
The shared service center, single ERP, and new process model has given us enhanced reporting, transparency, and availability of data that is helping us make faster business decisions. This, in turn, is giving us the ability to be much more agile and client centric, enabling us to focus on what we do best – help things grow.
How has Capgemini helped Nufarm to further its transformation agenda?
From the initial discussion to having all five countries all up and running wouldn’t have been achievable if we didn’t have Capgemini helping us. They went from not having a relationship with Nufarm to putting shared services in place across the whole of Europe in less than six months.
Capgemini are already supporting six countries in Europe, as well as Australia, and there are another 10 countries in Europe that they will support in the near future. We are very fortunate to have a global company such as Capgemini with its global reach and experience to be there to help us transform.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone embarking on a transformation journey?
When an organization is thinking about transforming or improving the way they work globally, it’s paramount they have these three things: senior management commitment, the capability at an organization level, and access to skilled resources. This doesn’t mean you need to own all of these things yourself, but you certainly need to be able to put them together harmoniously to be able to deliver on your strategy and objectives.
As an organization we don’t have people sitting around waiting to work on projects, and we didn’t have the capability in shared services. By engaging Capgemini and having access to their resources, we’re able to ramp up more resources or reduce them as our business dictates. Having Capgemini as a partner has given us flexibility in our workforce.
Morris Lieberman is an experienced global executive with extensive experience at business transformation and CIO at global director level in the Oil & Gas, Chemicals and FMCG industries globally.