Boosted Sales & Operations efficiency at RUNGIS express GmbH
The fresh food supplier has increased per-order purchase values and improved gross margins by 2-3% with Board Intelligent Planning.
As a fresh goods supplier, speed is key for RUNGIS express GmbH. Easy-to-use Board Intelligent Planning, including simple self-service analyses and fast, customized reports, helps the sales team provide customers with tailored support and the best possible service. Thanks to Board, the procurement department benefits from increased transparency and is able to purchase fresh goods daily in the required quantities and at the best price. The result is higher customer satisfaction, larger values per order, and a gross profit margin increase between 2-3%.
- Industry: Distribution & Wholesales
- Department: Sales, Supply chain
- Turnover: €150 million
- Employees: 700
RUNGIS express GmbH is one of the largest premium ultra-fresh food suppliers to German hotels, restaurants, and caterers. With over 45 years of experience, it is an established brand known for well-founded food competence, support oriented to individual customer needs, and trusted, long-term partnerships.
The challenge: Accelerate fact-based decision making
RUNGIS express GmbH was using Excel and a range of smaller tools from its ERP program to manage Sales & Operations Planning and reporting. This legacy approach was disconnected and unintuitive, creating inaccuracies that led to numerous problems, especially when dealing with ultra-fresh produce. Reporting was also cumbersome and time-consuming.
Thomas Bartmann, Business Intelligence Analyst at RUNGIS express GmbH recalled the challenges the organization faced:
“Too often, the required information reached the responsible persons too late. This slowed down the management of the company and delayed necessary decisions. The pressure was on to act much more rapidly in our fast-moving business.”
A study from the Business Applications Research Centre (BARC) was the starting point in the search for a suitable software solution. Four providers were eventually shortlisted, with the Board Intelligent Planning Platform coming out on top. Board was selected based on its appealing user interface, intuitive operation, and, above all, the ability for RUNGIS express GmbH to administrate the software and develop applications independently.
The solution: Intelligent Planning that perfectly supports sales and procurement
Board's Intelligent Planning Platform quickly proved to be the right fit for R express’ Sales & Operations activities. With the solution in place, planning, analysis, and reporting are closely linked, and applications can be developed using Board’s code-free interface without external help.
"I'm not an IT expert," said Bartmann. "But it was no problem at all to familiarize myself with Board and create my own applications. If I'm really faced with a tricky task, I get quick help from Board Support. Or, I visit the Board user community where there is so much expertise willingly shared. It’s a great place where you benefit from the experiences users in other companies have already had."
Bartmann provided an example to illustrate how easy and intuitive it is to work with Board:
"Our CFO puts together his own dashboards swiftly and easily. He knows best what information he needs and doesn't have to specify his requirements or explain to someone else what he is looking for.”
Board is used at R express’s operational sales controlling level as much as it is for strategic procurement planning. The platform primarily supports the sales team in the acquisition and support of customers and the procurement function in purchasing. Board automatically loads transaction data from the ERP system and invoice data from the accounting system. Text-based customer and prospect information from the CRM system is incorporated, making it easy for the sales team to acquire new customers and develop existing ones.
"Every customer manager immediately sees their customers’ results and always knows where they stand. This increases transparency. Since they can analyze their figures in self-service mode, they are able to react to their customers' buying behavior at any time," said Bartmann. "The goal is to keep customers as long-term partners of the business."
The procurement team at RUNGIS express GmbH faces very specific challenges. The company makes about 60% of its sales from ultra-fresh products, such as fish and seafood that are caught fresh every day. According to the catch, the availability and price of the products changes very quickly, sometimes even hourly. Margin planning in Board enables the procurement team to react quickly and flexibly in this environment.
"Sales triggers procurement according to customers' orders with a lead time of a few days. Procurement confirms quantities and prices while permanently monitoring the markets. The data flows into Board and is then also visible to sales. Depending on prices and available quantities, the sales department can react quickly in consultation with its customers and, for example, increase quantities when prices are favorable. Conversely, managers can offer customers alternative products if prices rise or goods are only available in limited quantities. This service is something that customers really appreciate and we were not able to provide it so effortlessly before Board," said Bartmann.
Logistics planning in Board is also currently being implemented: "This is a project that will take us a significant step forward. Optimal route planning, but also the planning of the quantities to be transported, will make us even more efficient and will help us save costs."
Benefits: Faster processes, better control, and higher margins
Around 100 of R express' 700 employees are using Board. Since all important numbers are available at the push of a button, Board brings a high level of transparency to orders and forms the basis for close, trusted cooperation with customers.
"The HORECA sector suffered heavily from the Coronavirus pandemic. This was also a tough time for us because these were our customers. Board helped us to successfully ramp up the business again after the lockdowns and restrictions. We were able to see exactly which regions and segments were picking up again and react in a targeted way," reported Bartmann. "This gave us a head start on the competition."
Sales reports on each individual customer illustrate precisely which products and quantity were ordered. This enables the sales team to provide customers with even more targeted support and helps to steer the business better.
"We have managed, with the help of Board's insights, to significantly increase the quantity per order and optimize delivery. We were able to reduce spoilage and improve our pricing. All this means that we have been able to improve our gross profit margin by 2-3% without screwing prices and despite the difficult business environment," concludes Bartmann.