FrieslandCampina optimizes its international trade with Quinso

Since 2017, Dutch Customs has been working with a new system for receiving and assessing export declarations: AGS. To communicate properly with that new system, many organizations had to redesign their own customs environment. FrieslandCampina uses SAP Global Trade Services (SAP GTS) as a solution for their export declarations. Quinso was responsible for the lightning-fast implementation.

When you think of dairy, you think of FrieslandCampina.

Every day, the dairy group’s products find their way from more than 20 Dutch production sites and warehouses to more than 100 countries worldwide. All locations work with SAP Global Trade Services (SAP GTS), an administrative solution for import, export and trade compliance. The solution aligns not only with the new obligations of Dutch customs, but also with FrieslandCampina‘s IT strategy.

Implementation gaining momentum

When Friesland Foods and Campina merged, FrieslandCampina opted for a single consolidated IT environment. That is why the dairy group has been converting all business units to solutions such as SAP ERP and SAP EWM one by one since 2011. Within that large-scale project, Quinso was implementation and expertise partner for SAP GTS.

Almost parallel to FrieslandCampina’s internal IT transition, Dutch customs is moving to AGS, a new declaration system. Stefan Goos, business consultant at FrieslandCampina: “Customs set a deadline for our system to communicate with the new AGS. At the time, we were still in the middle of our own SAP migration. And so together with Quinso we chose to pull the implementation of SAP GTS forward centrally. Even for business units that had not yet migrated to the new IT environment. Within four months we finished the job.”

A challenging project

Every week, hundreds of containers of FrieslandCampina dairy products pass through EU borders. Therefore, migration had to take place without disrupting export processes. “It was important to properly align the completely new customs message specifications with our internal organization, processes and solutions,” says Goos. “Quinso led that process in the right direction. They carried out the necessary analyses beforehand and knew exactly in what areas changes were needed, both technical and process-related.”

A smooth implementation

In September 2016, the actual realization phase began. Goos: “It was quite a challenge to work continuously within a moving environment. Some were already working with a version of SAP GTS that we had to update, others not yet. We were even dealing with three different ERP systems, to which we had to connect SAP GTS.” On Jan. 8, 2017, the first eight business units went live and a few weeks later the remaining two. “The live corridor was super exciting,” Goos says. “But everything went smoothly. It was really just a working day like no other. Employees and customers didn’t notice anything about the transition.”

A new way of working

Over a hundred FrieslandCampina employees now process export declarations through SAP GTS. Within 12 minutes, the entire process is completed: from filling out and sending the declaration to clearing customs and printing the necessary documents. This reduced the lead time considerably.

As a result of AGS and opportunities at the time, FrieslandCampina unified the declaration process for all business units. Allard van Nes, senior manager Indirect Tax and Customs at FrieslandCampina: “Previously, some people already filled out export declarations a few weeks before the export date. On the day of transport, necessary additions or corrections were then made. Now everyone completes the declaration once at the moment the container is ready for departure, based on current and complete data. As a result, fewer actions and corrections are required.”

Everyone speaks the same language

That the project has been so successful is mainly due to the good cooperation. “We were perfectly matched; it was a well-oiled machine,” says Marcel Jetten of Quinso. Goos agrees. “One colleague complimented us: ‘If only every implementation went so smoothly.’ And that success is mainly in the people. At Quinso, they know exactly what they are talking about, both technically and in terms of content. As a result, we speak the same language.” Van Nes adds: “Customs is a separate world that you really have to understand in order to translate into a well-functioning IT solution. Quinso shares my passion for that world and that offers great added value in these kinds of projects.”

The main results

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Global Trade Services

With GTS, you perform global compliance from a single platform that integrates trading services across your enterprise.