Organizational growth can sometimes lead to IT slowdowns. That's what happened when two leading Brazilian food companies merged in 2012. The newly formed company, BRF (formerly Brasil Foods), was the seventh-largest food company in the world and Brazil's market leader, and partly because of its size it now faced a costly problem.
BRF serves global superstore chains such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour, as well as supermarkets, wholesalers, food-service operations and family-owned bodegas, and its SAP system was being hit with 20,000 to 25,000 pricing requests daily. However, it took 17 days to make price changes, which isn't ideal for a business that sells perishable commodities.
Pricing manager Fabio Freitas had to find new ways to improve response times. Following a rigorous review, he decided to try PROS revenue and profit optimization software.
Freitas says the new system's data-science-driven analytics and guidance has enabled BRF to improve its revenue and profitability by lowering operating expenses and increasing margins. Other benefits include increased agility and enhanced forecast accuracy. The company has also established a single source for planning and reporting, and it can now compare retail and consumer price plans to weekly, monthly and annual actual prices.
"It has substantially changed the way we manage our daily routines in pricing," says Rodrygo Sanches, a pricing specialist at BRF. "From the technical side, it enabled us to flip the table, because now we use 90% of our time to analyze data and [make] decisions. All the manual spreadsheet creation was eliminated."