Kruger: Multicompany Initiative and New Information Systems


Kruger recently extended its role to represent another consumer packaged goods company. This has implied a general overhaul of its information systems – especially with plans to develop that activity and represent yet other CPG companies.

The application in place until this year – though well suited to the needs of the representatives – was a highly customized one. That being the case, and with new processes now required, one of the options was to keep investing in developing add-ons – or to resort, failing that, to a partly parallel system to handle the client company’s data. A more profitable approach has been to look for an integrative solution with the flexibility to fit everything in one package – and with the potential to accompany future growth. After a review of several offers, Kruger chose to implement the Companion® Suite, by CIS Group.

Companion® meets the challenges that arose, for instance when master data had to be imported from the outside source, and updated regularly in the receiving application – despite differences in format. The embedded interface engine, Companion® Link, handles all types of data transfer and transformation, maintaining a permanent connection not only with one external system but in fact with any number of new client companies in the future.

Another complexity was the need to add new elements to the representatives’ routine for the capture of in-store merchandising information. The Companion® Suite, being used by companies in a large array of vertical markets, actually offered all of these required elements in its standard version.

All that client information, as well as the sales transactions, can be tagged in Companion® as distinct from Kruger’s own data, in a multi-company fashion. And now being in possession of the various business intelligence tools provided by the application, Kruger has all the elements in place to admirably deliver the all-important, full-scale reporting and analytics expected by the client company.

The graphical indicators in a user’s personalized Dashboard will show him an illustrated overview, useful to quickly distinguish trends. Data drilling, on the other hand, can be used to display information from macro to micro, to help with analysis in order to rapidly identify root causes and make accurate decisions. Using the report generator that completes the set, Kruger may define its own choice of datasets and criteria to produce any number and type of reports and will remain able to create new ones to match the evolution of business models or the needs of new clients to come.

As for the representatives, from a store call perspective, the time taken to move about through the application, even now in multi-company mode, must be as close as possible to what it was before. With store processes to be added, the set of tasks may have to be unique for each banner. In fact, as a rule, retail strategies tend to be account-specific. Fittingly, the application can be given a precise behavior, a different workflow, and contextual information for each individual store. This serves to set the proper focus – by location – to sell the promotions, and trade marketing programs as they were negotiated with head offices.

Different functions and screens will help the representatives fulfill their other responsibilities: execute the planograms, increase the number of facings, obtain 100% distribution, check and affix shelf tags, resolve out-of-stocks and ensure product rotation, among others.
About Kruger

In 1904, Joseph Kruger, a New York City paper merchant, settled in Montréal and founded Kruger Paper Company Limited, later incorporated in 1921. When he died in 1927, his son Gene, who was just 25 at the time, took the helm of the business. Bernard, his younger brother, joined him later. During the second half of the XXth century, The Company successfully took up the challenge of making paper. The winning strategy involved acquiring mills and then fitting them out with state-of-the-art equipment to make them more efficient. Gene Kruger kept the company growing by acquiring other sites, not only in the same industry but also in new industry sectors: hydroelectricity, containerboard and packaging, tissue products, forest products and recycling. The Company expanded into renewable energy projects in 2004, and into wines and spirits in 2006.