C-Suite Partnership for Consumer Success

The CEO and CIO of Campbell Soup have cooked IT into plans for moving the company forward

Denise Morrison, CEO Joe and I first worked together in the late 2000s at Campbell’s North America, where he was VP of IT and I was president. One project we did together was an SAP implementation. The entire leadership team was involved. There was a scorecard and accountability and ownership every step of the way. As a result, we had a flawless implementation.

Now, as we work together again with me in my new role as corporate CEO [beginning Aug. 1], we have to take SAP and the information it gives us to the next level and realize all its benefits.

For example, food price inflation is a big issue in our industry, and we watch commodity costs very closely. The information we get through SAP is instrumental in identifying and managing our supply-chain costs.

Joe Spagnoletti, CIO With a single-instance global system, we understand the total impact of our decisions. We can’t change something in one place without affecting something somewhere else. Rather than working in silos, we’re collaborating more.

Morrison The leadership skill that you need to work across an enterprise like ours is one of influence. Joe’s perspective on the end-to-end process enables him to influence business issues across the organization. It’s enormously valuable.

Spagnoletti We’re very fortunate that our leadership understands that IT is woven through all the things we do and that we shouldn’t make decisions without considering that.

Morrison Another of our business goals is accelerating the innovation pipeline. We have to be in touch with consumer needs, and the processes and analytics IT provides help us turn insights into great products.

Spagnoletti There’s too much information available to not take advantage of it. Sharing data with our customers enables us to more effectively undertake joint business planning opportunities and identify opportunities to create more value.

Morrison You can waste a lot of time with a customer on a sales call reconciling when an order shipped and when it’s going to deliver. If you can practice good data synchronization and share information in advance of a call, you can devote the time to something that’s going to drive growth, as opposed to chasing down an order. Joe and I have had conversations about what the world will look like in five to 10 years in terms of how we connect with customers, consumers and suppliers, and what steps we need to take to win in that world. IT will be a strategic partner in that effort.

As told to CIO Executive Council VP Rick Pastore. View a video ­interview with Campbell’s CEO and CIO at www.enterprisecioforum.com.

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This story, "C-Suite Partnership for Consumer Success" was originally published by CIO Executive Council .

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