Top-performing consumer goods companies have three things in common: strong brands, leading market share and a competitive cost structure. Maple Leaf Foods had two out of the three covered. Headquartered in Toronto, its portfolio includes many leading national brands such as Maple Leaf, Schneiders and Dempster's. As for market share, Maple Leaf holds the No. 1 position in Canada's fresh bakery product, fresh pasta, and chilled prepared meats categories. It also holds No. 1 spots in other categories throughout North America and the United Kingdom.
However, after 15 years of growth by way of acquiring multiple businesses - many of which were made up of several acquisitions themselves - Maple Leaf found that operating in a disjointed environment created unnecessary complexity. After all, running 35 separate ERP systems across the company does not lend itself to the competitive cost structure that is needed to win in today's consumer goods market.
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