2 page Case Study
Posted: 2/21/2014
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Food Union Major Latvian Food Manufacturer Drives Productivity with Cloud-based Collaboration

The leading Latvian dairy producer, Food Union, underpins its drive for fast and intensive growth by deploying Office 365 Enterprise to enable industry-leading collaboration and communications. The move provides a productivity foundation for greater expansion, as the company seeks to become the leading supplier in the Baltic States and Russia. 

Business Needs

Food Union is a Latvian based company that specializes in producing dairy products, cream cheese, butter and ice-cream. It is one of the main suppliers of ice cream and cream cheese to the surrounding Baltic States and Russia/CIS.

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* Office 365 connects people easily and reliably across different locations and makes daily business operations smoother and more productive. It is also cost-effective. *

Roman Nenchin
Chief Information Officer
Food Union

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In 2013 ice cream and cream cheese were the fastest growing business lines for Food Union, so the company became the second largest ice-cream producer in Russia and the second largest cream cheese importer in Russia in HoReCa segment. Food Union employs over 800 people and has an average annual turnover of €100 million.

The company’s ambition is to become the leading supplier in the region and certainly sales of its two leading ice cream brands, Ekselence and Pols, and cream cheese brand RASA have been the drivers behind the surge in 2013 sales. However, to facilitate the planned growth the company needed to switch from its existing communication infrastructure to a platform that would be more cost effective and easier to maintain.

Its infrastructure consisted of Lotus Notes, file sharing servers and Skype for communications between employees in over 20 locations. Roman Nenchin, Chief Information Officer at Food Union explains the challenge: “Within the context of business expansion and future growth plans we wanted to set up an infrastructure that was reliable and could accommodate what would be ever increasing volumes of information transfers and communications between our business locations.”

For example, daily sales reports needed to be sent to its Riga head office to help inform both decision making and supply chain management. Management needed to be able to access information from different locations to help shape tactics and strategy, while new employees, coming into the fold from acquisitions, needed to be able to plug straight into the company network to ensure effective working practices and productivity.

Solution

Food Union’s was essentially seeking a communication and collaboration infrastructure that would deliver standardized services irrespective of location, improve employee productivity and efficiently connect remote employees for greater productivity.

When Roman Nenchin joined the company as CIO, the decision to deploy Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise had already been made by senior management. “It was easy to see why,” he says: “The Office suite is a cloud-based service that effortlessly scales to meet increasing demands, such as adding new users.”

This solution provides standardized communications via a familiar Microsoft interface with which many Food Union employees were already familiar. And given that it is cloud-based, employees can access the same work documents and communication tools whether they are at home, in the office or on the road.

Food Union tasked a local Microsoft partner, BELAM, with carrying out the migration. The migration consisted of swapping out Lotus Notes for Microsoft Exchange and implementing Active Directory, replacing Skype with Lync Online, and the file sharing service with Microsoft SharePoint. It also included Yammer, a social networking platform used by increasing numbers of businesses for internal communications.

The many features of Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise, including a full suite of Office-based applications, deliver business-class email, document sharing, and web meetings, while also providing IT with greater flexibility and control. “The migration was smooth and straightforward” says Nenchin, “with BELAM only having to develop software to enable document transfer from its existing file sharing system to SharePoint.”

Benefits

The implementation of Office 365 Enterprise has provided Food Union with a flexible, efficient and cost-effective foundation from which to launch its growth strategy and help it meet its strategic objectives of becoming the leading supplier in the region. “People within the company have certainly expressed satisfaction with the platform. Office 365 connects employees easily and reliably across different locations and makes daily business operations smoother and more productive,” emphasizes Nenchin.

It is also cost-effective and boosts efficiency in the IT department. “I have administrative access, which is important, but I don’t have to manage the infrastructure, which frees up my time to concentrate on other tasks,” says Nenchin.

  • Significantly lower operational costs are helping free up capital to be used on other business-enhancing initiatives. “Because it is a cloud-based service I don’t have to manage servers, equipment or power, the cost-savings are clearly apparent, and I can concentrate on business-development,” explains Nenchin.

  • Fixed monthly payments mean costs are easily factored into budget planning while free upgrades to the latest software versions within Office 365 ensures Food Union benefits from new features and developments at no extra cost.

  • Fast and cost effective deployment across the company ensured that Food Union quickly benefited from this productivity platform. For example, with SharePoint users simply click on a link to gain access to daily sales reports. In turn, this is driving more informed decision making across the company, leading to greater efficiency.

  • Reliable and cost-effective collaboration enabled by business-class email, and web-based communication via Lync Online, is helping underpin communications and growth. When new employees come into the company, their profile is simply configured into the network and they have immediate access to colleagues and their specific areas of work, which is driving productivity.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 800 employees

Organization Profile

Food Union is a Latvian-based food manufacturer of dairy products, aiming to become the main supplier in the Baltic States and Russia. Food Union is the largest dairy producer in Latvia uniting Rīgas piena kombināts JSC and Valmieras piens JSC, and excels in three business lines: cream cheese, butter and ice-cream. It averages an annual turnover of €100 million.


Software and Services
Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises

Vertical Industries
Food & Beverage

Country/Region
Latvia

Languages
English

Partner(s)
BELAM

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