“Grupo Bimbo has to create the right product, distribute it at the right time, and sell it at the right sales point in every country where it has presence. With more and better data, global systems, and faster, standardized processes, we can achieve this while also making the lives of our colleagues on the front lines easier and more efficient.”
Global operations with limited visibility
With more than 200 bakeries on 4 continents, Grupo Bimbo operates in 33 countries and has one of the largest distribution networks in the world. Every day, the company delivers more than 13,000 varieties of products via some 53,000 routes that are equivalent to going around the world 100 times.
The company grew over the years through acquisitions and expanding operations, and along the way had amassed a mixture of homegrown applications that existed alongside the company’s global software. Grupo Bimbo wanted to use new technologies like AI and data analytics on all of the data its systems were producing, but getting that information from the various systems was difficult and complicated.
Even Grupo Bimbo’s dedicated employees couldn’t overcome the limitations of these isolated systems. As a result, the company had higher levels of expenses and waste because of that lack of visibility.
Moving to the cloud
While Grupo Bimbo had long run on Oracle E-Business Suite, different versions of the on-premises application were in use around the world. Instead of moving all operations to the same version, the company decided to make one of the biggest global shifts to cloud applications that Oracle has ever seen.
“We needed to rethink our processes in order to take advantage of the SaaS offering,” says Juan Pajon, business technology global senior vice president at Grupo Bimbo. “It was a big change from the way we used systems before, and we needed to adapt—and that was the best way to extract juice from the system, by redefining our business processes.”
Working with Oracle Consulting on the multiphase implementation, Grupo Bimbo started by establishing a global template. It rolled out those applications first in its newly acquired operations in Morocco in 2017. After deploying Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Oracle Fusion Cloud Supply Chain and Manufacturing (SCM) applications in that country, it began implementation in Peru and Chile and expanded to include Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM).
Next came operations in Mexico and, in the middle of that process, the company began implementation in Colombia, Paraguay, and Argentina. Along the way, the global template expanded to include Oracle Fusion Cloud Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) in countries with more complex operations.
Grupo Bimbo is currently implementing Oracle Cloud ERP, SCM, HCM, and CX in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China—and recently went live with Oracle Payroll in China.
In parallel with this worldwide, phased rollout, Grupo Bimbo implemented Oracle Fusion Cloud Transportation Management (part of Oracle Cloud SCM) in all of its operations globally.
Better insight, big opportunities
With its old system, customizations made implementing updates or innovations difficult, so Grupo Bimbo would perform updates only every three or four years.
Today, the company updates its Oracle Cloud Applications every quarter, which gives the company access to new functionality and features faster. And while the cloud applications cost less in total than on-premises solutions, Pajon says that wasn’t the biggest factor in deciding to move to the cloud. It was the benefits that a steady stream of new innovations bring to the business.
“What’s more important is the agility, scalability, and how we can react to customer and operational needs faster with a cloud solution—and by the cloud, I mean not only SaaS, but also PaaS and IaaS,” he says.
With the cloud-based transportation management system, Grupo Bimbo supply chain teams have insights that help make individual shipments more efficient. Not only does that save money, it helps the company reduce emissions—a key focus of Grupo Bimbo’s extensive sustainability programs.
Grupo Bimbo is also using its improved visibility to better understand staffing and to proceed with ambitious diversity and inclusion goals. Oracle Cloud HCM is enabling the company to recruit talent all over the world—which, as more jobs can be performed remotely, lets Grupo Bimbo recruit the right skill sets regardless of location.
“We want to show that even though we are the biggest baking company in the world and have 75 years of experience, we don’t take things for granted,” Pajon says. “We are driving innovation in our industry and defining the future of baking.”