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Lamb Weston / Meijer puts the customer first

Lamb Weston / Meijer is well on its way, together with Lamb Weston US, to become the largest producer of frozen potato products worldwide. The implementation of SAP Sales and Service Cloud helps to realize that ambition.

About Lamb Weston / Meijer

Golden yellow, crispy chips. Curly Twisters. Classic Pommes Duchesses. And crispy, full-cream cheese bites. You can’t think of it so much or

Lamb Weston / Meijer has it. The range of frozen chips, specialties, appetizers, and dried potato flakes is available in more than 110 countries around the world. The customer base of the American-Dutch company consists of restaurants, fast food chains, supermarkets, wholesalers, and the food industry.

“The new system had to meet the needs of the business.”

In this interview Hasan Parlamis talks about putting the customer first and about the approach. Several colleagues talk about how they use the solution in their daily work.

The customer first

Lamb Weston / Meijer is well on its way, together with Lamb Weston US, to become the largest producer of frozen potato products in the world. And such a grand ambition can only be achieved if everyone within the organization puts the customer first. That is why Lamb Weston / Meijer decided eighteen months ago to implement an innovative CRM cloud solution: SAP Sales and Service cloud. Acorel is the supporting IT and advisory partner for this implementation.

The wish list of Lamb Weston / Meijer

The choice for SAP Sales and Service cloud was well-considered and certainly did not happen overnight. Hasan Parlamis, Process Improvement Manager: “The new system had to meet the requirements of the business, such as online and offline availability, easy mobile use, a solution that strengthens collaboration between departments, and that brings together customer information and customer insights in one place.” There was also a preference from IT for an SAP solution, because Lamb Weston / Meijer already works with SAP ECC and SAP Integrated Business Planning (SAP IBP).

Before implementation: fragmented information

Previously, Lamb Weston / Meijer customer, lead and market information was stored in a variety of ways, like Excel sheets, mailboxes, notes, and website requests. An IT solution was available for bringing customer information together, but the sales and customer service departments were the only ones using that system. “Because the information was spread over different places in the organization, not everyone was able to speak to customers properly and quickly,” says Hasan. “There was a lot of pressure on our customer service staff because they received a lot of internal information requests. And we lacked an overarching picture of which business was in the pipeline.”

“The information was spread out and there was a lot of pressure on our customer service department.”

Now: one single platform for customer interaction

The project team kicked off in September 2016 and SAP Sales and Service cloud went live in March 2017. Lamb Weston / Meijer opted for a phased implementation, with focus during these first six months mainly on the basic functionality of the CRM system: lead management, account management, contract management, and the management of activities, tasks and the agenda. Hasan: “We now have one platform where our commercial departments work together. In total, they have already registered 28,000 accounts, 23,000 contacts, 20,000 visits and 1,300 leads centrally in SAP Sales and Service cloud. We will expand the functionality later. This way we keep it manageable, both for IT and for the users. We first want to be able to run before we start sprinting.”

“We first want to be able to run before we start sprinting.”

An open system where departments work together

It was a requirement for Lamb Weston / Meijer that the new CRM solution is not only reserved for sales and customer service employees, but that departments such as marketing, logistics, finance, and purchasing can also work with the solution. Because you can only put the customer first if everyone really turns to the same system for retrieving, adding, and storing customer information – is the vision of Lamb Weston / Meijer. Hasan: “Otherwise you will never really say goodbye to individual emails and Excel sheets, which means that still not everyone can provide the customer with up-to-date information. By involving all departments, everything is connected, and we also can involve the customer optimally in our brand. Our internal slogan for SAP Sales and Service cloud is therefore ‘Our new customer interaction platform for connecting, creating, learning, channeling and succeeding together’.”

In addition, the open system also ensures better analyses. Hasan explains: “Because important data from the market is now centrally located, we are better equipped to identify opportunities and check whether our growth is in line with our ambitions and the situation in the market. And because we work much more efficiently with SAP Sales and Service cloud, we also have more time to seize those opportunities. This way we achieve more results faster.”

"We all have the same image of our customer."

Fast implementation thanks to workstreams

Lamb Weston / Meijer managed to implement SAP Sales and Service cloud in a relatively short time frame. This is partly due to the way of working that implementation partner Acorel introduced, based on so-called workstreams. “At the beginning of the project, we had a huge list of tasks that we wanted to perform together,” Hasan explains: “Then the project team of Acorel suggested to start working in separate workstreams, each with a well-defined task; a workstream for data migration, for reporting, for testing, communication, training, you name it. That division into workstreams gave us focus and accelerated implementation.”

This best practice was one of the reasons for Lamb Weston / Meijer to choose Acorel after conversations had taken place with various SAP implementation partners. “During those conversations there was an immediate click with Acorel, because they listened carefully to our ideas but were also not afraid to challenge us and ask critical questions,” Hasan recalls. “They have in-depth product knowledge and understand our business. In addition, they had a clear vision of the implementation from the start. And yes, of course we’ve had discussions about the balance between standardization and customization, but that’s only a good thing. That forces you to think about it carefully. I can honestly say that working with Acorel is pleasant and open. Lamb Weston / Meijer and Acorel are an energetic team.”

“The collaboration with Acorel is pleasant, open and energetic”

A nice view of the future

Now that the foundation of SAP Sales and Service cloud is in place, Lamb Weston / Meijer is thinking of the next step; start to sprint. Hasan and his team want to expand the solution with five new features: quote & order management, opportunity management, service tickets, SAP Jam Collaboration and business analytics. “I can envision that we will soon recognize opportunities, that we will convert those opportunities into leads, we will prepare quotations, and transfer signed quotations directly to SAP IBP, all via SAP Cloud for Customer,” says Hasan. “We will use SAP Jam Collaboration to work cross-departmentally in work groups on quotation processes, and to involve external partners and customers in our business.”

"With this platform I have full control over my customers and processes"

Acorel Managed Services

SAP’s CRM cloud solution is releasing new functionality ever quarter, allowing all users to automatically benefit from the latest functionality. As a result, the project for Lamb Weston / Meijer was never actually completed. Hasan: “We see it as a solution that we can continuously develop and improve, so that we can always keep the adoption rate high, as well as customer engagement.”

Lamb Weston / Meijer works together with Acorel Managed Services for the further optimization of the configuration of SAP Sales and Service cloud and for 3rd line specialist matters.