Successful introduction of the new CRM software at ERBACHER the food family

Christoph Ryser April 21, 2023

“Go Live in December!” was the clear statement of the project team when we met for the first briefing in Kleinheubach in June 2022. And: “We need an experienced change manager to help us take our organisation along on this high-speed journey.”

Background: The ERBACHER food family decided to replace the CRM solutions that existed in the business divisions and country organisations with varying degrees of performance and to transfer them to a new, company-wide uniform system. In view of the heterogeneous initial situations, expectations and also moods within the food family, it quickly became clear that the planned transformation would not only be a technical challenge. In particular, it was important to get the relevant stakeholders from the business involved in the phase leading up to the go-live and to make them active participants in the transformation.

We started with a short exploratory phase: personal change dialogues with all stakeholders to work out the key factors for the success of the transformation and to prepare the people for this challenge. On this basis, a concrete change master plan was developed, which we implemented together with the project team in the weeks leading up to the go-live.

What were the parameters for success in this transformation, which was also challenging from a change perspective?

  • A convincing story with target group-specific added value, which was decisively developed by the key players from the organisation.
  • An implementation plan that was not imposed from above, but “fought for” together with the project members (sponsors, business process owners and key users) in alignment with day-to-day business – step by step, realistic and very pragmatic.
  • The absolutely necessary closing of ranks between IT and business, to spread the responsibility over several shoulders. Combined with the realisation in the business that it cannot function without this leadership.
  • A professional project organisation with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Ultimately with the right people in the right place.
  • Open and honest dealings with each other. Nothing concealed or glossed over, but problems clearly addressed at all times and efforts made to find joint solutions.

As planned, the Go Live took place in December. Almost silently and – typical for food family – quite unagitated. The hypercare phase immediately afterwards ensured that the processes were further optimised, the CRM system was adapted here and there and additional users were brought into the system.

Together with the project team, we are pleased that the food family has achieved its goal and now has a standardised, but also flexible and, above all, accepted and gladly used CRM system in use within the organisation – for the optimal design of the food family customer journey.