Alessandro Spadola, CEO of Caffè Moak, a roasting company in constant growth, shares the experience of a company that, through technology, has become increasingly competitive.

Thanks to the solutions offered by SAP, Caffè Moak can now count on more streamlined business processes and effective integration between technology and competitive development.

Caffè Moak is today a quality brand “made in Italy” in the production and marketing of Coffee (ground and beans). What are the strengths of the company?

Our policy has always been to make quality products. This is the result of daily research to improve the taste, the body of coffee and to give the perception of a different product. On the other hand, having grown a lot in recent years, we have also invested a lot in innovation to present our product even better.

Technology and competitive development are an inseparable pair. What are the aspects of company management for which it was necessary to adopt the SAP ERP solution?

Over the years the company, which started as a family business, has grown a lot, especially in the market. Internally, however, each department was separate from the other and creating the connection between the different business areas was the most complex challenge. Our view was also to include our staff, who followed the entire historical evolution of the company. SAP helped us exactly because it is a software that integrates all business processes and connects them. It has helped generate a change of mentality in employees as well. SAP is innovative and allows us to make our world more and more competitive.

Before SAP, you had a different management system. Many companies have experienced initial problems in switching from their previous management system to SAP. What was your experience? How important was the support of Software Business consultants?

It was a fairly complex transition that lasted more or less a year, probably a year and a half. The complexity was what we expected: connecting multiple departments, that had also different schedules and habits. In such a context, the goal of standardising working methods was not easy to achieve and various problems arose. The company that managed the implementation for us helped us. If I had to start again today, I would work differently with them, to avoid causing too many problems for the team.

After more than 2 years from SAP implementation, what have been the benefits of the solution? In which aspects has the company improved and, in your experience, has there been a return on investment?

To date, we have not completed the implementation project 100%, but we have created that important structure that allows us to have certain data, in any department. Today we can count on constant monitoring, to understand where mistakes are made, and correct them more quickly. Now we’re in the second phase, which is external digitalisation. I consider it the most beautiful part that we implement daily with new apps, which are capable of providing us with a considerable amount of information, resulting in reduced time for important decisions.

Many consider SAP a system only for large companies and not suitable for small and medium-sized businesses, what is your take on this?

In order to use SAP you need to have a certain type of mindset that is probably easier to find in larger companies. I’m talking mostly about an organisational mindset. Often in small companies, everyone does everything and it’s a natural and normal thing. In a medium to large company, on the other hand, with an organisation chart and different roles, everyone has a specific task and it’s easier to implement a multidimensional software such as SAP.

Caffè Moak is operating worldwide, how important is the support of a system like SAP in the internationalisation process of the company?

We currently have two direct subsidiaries abroad and the goal is to make these companies work with the same system, so that we can track the production chain from beginning to end. Now we will start with a trial period in the German subsidiary, and in one or two years we will have more knowledge about how the system works. In Italy, on the other hand, the various branches are all connected thanks to SAP, including the warehouses and we have data updated in real time. In this case, too, it is crucial to strongly involve people. If human resources understand beforehand the validity of the SAP system, we will have important results afterwards.

To conclude, in a global, interconnected economic system, which is now being challenged by the effects of the pandemic, what role will the integration of digital technologies play in helping companies consolidate their position and compete?

Digitalisation is a necessary step that needs to be taken. Covid-19 held us back, but companies still had to find a way to move forward, so we used all the necessary tools as well. When we use digital technologies more, we often realise that many meetings are not even necessary, but this does not diminish the importance that human contact can have for a company like ours. However, I think that in the operational field, the more you digitalise the better.