“This data adventure is a real revolution – it’s a cliché to say it, but it’s true. It’s going to provide tremendous acceleration for all of our businesses.”
Bruno Neyret, Savencia Group Chief Digital & Information Officer

Artefact’s data strategy and governance experts worked with Savencia Gourmet to help them design and deploy a data governance strategy to serve as an artificial intelligence transformation accelerator for the company. Savencia Gourmet-FSP relied on Artefact for its outside perspective and AI methodology.

Challenge: Lay the foundations to meet ambitious data roadmap goals

Savencia is an international food group with over 25,000 employees operating in 29 countries. The company has a major dairy processing branch as well as a gourmet branch catering to chocolate, seafood, and deli products. Their development is based on product differentiation and innovation, high-quality products and strong and unique brands. To achieve its ambitious data roadmap goals, Savencia Gourmet turned to Artefact to design and roll-out a Data Governance program.

For Bruno Neyret, Savencia Group’s Chief Digital & Information Officer, the success of the company’s data roadmap rests on four pillars:

  • Evolution of data standards: “A review of all our Savencia benchmarks to obtain clean data in order to be able to work with it properly.”

  • New infrastructure: “Platforms and infrastructures that allow all subsidiaries and business lines to work under the best possible security conditions, and access the best solutions.”

  • Data governance: “With clearly defined roles at each level of the organization so that everything happens in an orderly and methodical way.”

  • Team acculturation: “Possibly the most important… From management to operational teams, so that everyone can maximize the potential of data.”

Solution: Prioritize value-driven use cases to rapidly demonstrate tangible results

Julien Ho-Tong, Partner at Artefact, says, “This initiative originated from a discussion about establishing a strategy around artificial intelligence. Artefact, as a data and AI strategy consulting firm, was tasked with providing an external perspective and a methodology to tackle this issue. We have commonly decided to first make sure that foundations (i.e. Data Governance) was taken care of. “

“Our main challenge was to prioritize the initiative by potential value because we weren’t short of ideas, it was about selecting one or two initiatives to start with, so as to quickly show pragmatic results.”

Alexandra Durand, Head of Data & AI at Valrhona Selection (part of Savencia Gourmet), adds: “We simply took use cases that spoke to everyone: financial, performance or activation use cases for our markets. Our idea was to move forward and achieve collective success.”

Savencia Gourmet and Artefact quickly realized that the groundwork for data quality, data availability, and data governance needed to be laid. “Data governance, more than a concept, is the idea of bringing together the right data experts, working as a federated organization,” observes Alexandra. “It involves identifying the real data experts within business lines and IT teams, and getting them to work more closely together so they can respond to alignment issues and push recommendations up to the strategic committee level. We work on foundation projects, then on artificial intelligence to see how it will impact our businesses.”

Conclusion: A work in progress with business-wide acceleration at its heart

Artefact worked extensively with Savencia Gourmet on the culture surrounding data and key roles. Regarding his role, Garrett Dalton, CDO at Savencia Gourmet said: the “mission is to accompany a real digital and data transformation. If we think of data as being the new energy source, we need to change our perspective of how we exploit it – just as we are renewing our relationship with how we use energy.”

Valrhona sources its cacao from over 15,000 different plantations in 17 countries, and guarantees 100% of its traceability with a program that accompanies all its source data.

“The next step involves everything about getting the data to the people who need it: we have a transformation program (for our Production) that we call ‘Lighthouse’ in one of our artisan chocolate companies called Weiss, and it’s about leveraging the data to make better (operational) decisions and to be more innovative & productive,” Garrett explains. “This is not as easy as it sounds, as it involves challenging ‘mindsets’ and working more closely, often in an Agile fashion, across functions who traditionally have operated rather separately i.e. Manufacturing, IT – and Data.”

Another example is about exploiting e-commerce data to better understand customers and propose the right solutions at the right time, for the right customers.

He adds: “We’ll truly benefit from data transformation once we’re accompanying the end-to-end nature of our companies: including everything from sourcing, to planning, production, supply, purchasing, customer experience (écoles du chocolat…) and customer after sales etc.”

“This data adventure is going to provide tremendous acceleration for all of our businesses, and we’re excited about pushing ahead,” concludes Bruno.