The Story Of Chocolatey Success: Cavalier Adopts CRM And Business Intelligence To Get Ahead

Meet Cavalier, a Belgium based company that produces sweet chocolates without any added sugar. Cavalier was facing a problem: it was  getting too big and chunky! The software it used no longer fit its size.

To put things in perspective, Cavalier has grown to become a company with over 199 products and more than 50 employees, selling to over 50 countries around the world. Its chocolates are advertised as tooth-friendly delicious pieces of candy that contain antioxidants, are rich in fibers, and contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals. In a few short words, the company sells healthy chocolates.

The company had its own enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution and used a number of other technologies to cope, including in-house business software for managing customers. Because of its global recognition, its needs started to surpass its software’s ability to meet them. Problems included the lack of its software’s ability to accommodate for future growth, a lack of interoperability between Cavalier’s many tech solutions, and a lack of control of its supply chain. To make decisions that will move it forward, Cavalier needed to find a new solution.

So Cavalier turned to Belgian consulting firm Expertum, which recommended a fully-scalable solution through SAP called SAP Business All-In-One. This solution, offered by one of the biggest enterprise solution providers, has an ERP platform coupled with a customer relationship management (CRM) solution and supplier relationship management (SRM), things that Cavalier badly needed. Added to this, SAP’s all-in-one (AIO) solution also has a business intelligence (BI) platform, which will let the chocolate maker point to problem areas and make decisions based on financial and operational reporting.

Since adopting SAP AIO two years ago, Cavalier has had the following benefits:

  • Increased transparency of the data coming through the system.
  • Increased scalability.
  • “Last year, we had a growth of 55 percent,” said Felix Verdegem, CEO of Cavalier.
Verdegem also had something to say about small businesses thinking about using SAP’s services: “At first, we thought that SAP would be too big of a step for us because only the giants were using it. But then, we met our consultants from Expertum and they told us about SAP’s ‘Rapid Deployment’ program, which at the time we adopted was called ‘Fast Start.'” The SAP Fast Start program for SAP All-In-One is designed under the premise that a large part of a business’ operations is very similar to other businesses’ operations. Since they are similar, a “one size fits all” solution can seriously mitigate implementation problems that small- and medium-sized businesses can encounter during deployment.

Integration was slightly lengthy. It took three months for Cavalier to absorb the new solution. This was a necessary sacrifice to ensure that business processes were streamlined to provide for growth and nourishment. According to Expertum, customers must adjust their processes to fit the solution, not the other way around.

Since the company has been behind the wheel of a software-based command center, it has benefitted from the ability to expand and increase their product portfolio, allowing it to get all the wiggle room it needs to compete with rival chocolate makers around the world.

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Miguel Leiva-Gomez is the owner of The Tech Guy, a blog that presents futuristic and current news about technology with a light touch of humor, catering to the average consumer and prospective investor. Miguel has been working with computers and gadgets for more than a decade, working together with people to help them solve their problems and breaking down complex concepts into simple bite-sized pieces that the average Joe can chew.

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