Smithfield cloud ERP sows analytics opportunities

Smithfield Foods, purveyor of Nathan’s Famous and other pork product brands, consolidated three ERP systems into one SAP S/4 HANA cloud platform in push to better serve the business.

Smithfield cloud ERP sows analytics opportunities

Failed ERP implementations halt the careers of even the most seasoned IT leaders. But successful ERP projects buoy them.

Just ask Julia Anderson, who cut her teeth installing ERP systems as the CIO of North America for ketchup giant H.J. Heinz Co., before Smithfield Foods lured her to tackle a similar project.

The CIO of Smithfield, a $15 billion hog producer and pork processor, recently consolidated three SAP enterprise systems responsible for managing business processes for the company’s fresh meats, processed meats and corporate groups, onto a global SAP S/4 HANA system running in a managed cloud.

The initiative, dubbed One SAP, is a bold move. By 2022, some 70 percent of enterprises that move major ERP functions to new systems will be perceived as “not successful,” stilted by launch delays or major comprises, according to Gartner. But as a newer, relatively unproven environment, S/4 HANA courts more risk. And few companies — let alone an enterprise the size of Smithfield — elect to host ERP in the cloud.

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