Nestle USA installs SAP

by Grant HEnson

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Nestle USA, the U.S. subsidiary of the Swiss food conglomerate Nestle SA, embarked on a transformative journey to reorganize its business processes through the implementation of ERP packages.

The Need for Change

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Nestle USA underwent a series of acquisitions, resulting in seven divisions that collectively offered popular brands such as Nescafe, Nestle Toll House, Lean Cuisine, and Baby Ruth. However, the lack of standardized systems and processes hindered efficiency and led to redundant practices.

For example, Nestle USA was purchasing vanilla at 29 different prices from the same vendor. This inefficiency was unacceptable for a company of Nestle USA's size and scale.

The ERP Solution

In 1997, Nestle USA decided to implement an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system to standardize its business processes across all divisions. ERP systems are designed to integrate all aspects of an organization's operations, from accounting and finance to manufacturing and sales.

Nestle USA chose SAP, the world's leading provider of ERP software, as its ERP platform. SAP offers a wide range of modules that can be customized to meet the specific needs of any organization.

The Benefits of ERP

The implementation of SAP ERP at Nestle USA resulted in a number of benefits, including:

  • Increased efficiency: Standardized processes and procedures led to significant improvements in efficiency across all divisions.
  • Reduced costs: The elimination of redundancies and the optimization of processes helped Nestle USA to reduce its costs.
  • Improved decision-making: The availability of real-time data and insights from SAP ERP enabled Nestle USA to make better decisions about its business.
  • Enhanced customer service: The improved efficiency and accuracy of Nestle USA's operations led to better customer service.

The Success of the Transformation

The ERP transformation at Nestle USA was a success. The company achieved its goals of standardization, efficiency, and cost reduction. Additionally, the ERP system helped Nestle USA to improve its decision-making and customer service.

This case study demonstrates the power of ERP systems to transform businesses. By standardizing processes and procedures, ERP systems can help organizations to improve their efficiency, reduce their costs, and make better decisions.


Nestle USA's ERP transformation is an inspiring example of how a strategic IT investment can lead to sustainable growth and success. By implementing SAP ERP, Nestle USA was able to streamline its operations, improve its efficiency, and enhance its competitiveness. This case study provides valuable insights for other organizations that are considering an ERP implementation.

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