Agricultural e-Business supplier Kramp has been delivering products to the agricultural sector for 70 years, and now operates within 24 countries across Europe. With over 3000 employees, Kramp is the leader in agricultural e-commerce and has seen rapid international growth.

Technology is critical to Kramp’s success. Their ever-evolving web shop is the result of cutting-edge digitalization. With around 250 employees working within IT at Kramp, the company is creating the future of agricultural supply.

60%

time saving on architectural impact analyses

90%

impact analysis integrity (+10%)

1000+

hours saved per year

The challenge

When Mirko Schuurman joined Kramp as Director Architecture, the organization was working on a cloud strategy, and his team was embarking on an Application Portfolio Management initiative. Until that point, the team was using visual drawings, creating pictures of applications and their functions, and (roughly) capturing how those came together.

But there was a big challenge with keeping information up-to-date – as soon as someone started to reference information and print it out, it was quickly obsolete. The team was unable to visualize the relationships between their different applications, and the integration details were stored separately in a different system, with no clear overview. The challenge of outdated data and disparate sources was an enemy to their efficiency and effectiveness.

At this time Mirko was also busy creating a digital roadmap for Kramp – one with many moving parts. His objective was to take Kramp from best-of-suite to best-of-breed. With the team busy with disjointed lists of data, applications and attributes, and architectural pictures created and stored in sub-par tooling such as MS Powerpoint and Visio, it became clear that they needed a professional platform to manage their architecture. The search was on for a tool that would tie these different domains together; a place where they could bring applications, processes, data and infrastructure together into a cohesive whole.

Why BlueDolphin by ValueBlue?

Kramp had clear requirements that their chosen tooling needed to meet:

  • They needed the ability to create strong relationships between applications, processes, data and infrastructure
  • The tool needed to offer attribute functionality
  • They wanted to be able to create clearly visualized overviews, and overlay attributes using color
  • They needed to be able to easily build application overviews that showed the relationships between applications and application functions
  • And overall, they required a tool that would enable them to do this in a flexible way

Mirko and his team evaluated Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture tools and connected with ValueBlue. One of the key strengths of ValueBlue’s BlueDolphin software was our convention model – allowing users to define the artifacts and modeling method. This combination of best practice and flexibility enabled Kramp to adapt the standard model to their needs and build their architecture in the right way for their organization.

“We were looking for an enterprise tool that would tie different domains together, and with BlueDolphin, we found that.”

Mirko Schuurman

The solution

In BlueDolphin, Kramp found a user-friendly platform that enabled them to do this. They began with Application Portfolio Management, finding this the most concrete and tangible use case to underpin their digital transformation efforts. From 500+ applications, the team started with a list of the top 100 that they most urgently needed to address. Initially creating a structure of the applications and their attributes, and paying attention to the metadata, during this process, the team at Kramp also kept in mind how they were ultimately going to link their application landscape to processes and servers. With BlueDolphin enabling architects to collaborate with the rest of the organization, assembling and assessing the applications and their attributes went swiftly.

This upfront strategic thinking served them well, as they later moved on to Business Process Management – modulating their processes and beginning to structure the relationships between processes and applications. Kramp trained members of the team in BPMN and began capturing, for example, which process is performed by which application, and which business actor is involved in a process.

“BlueDolphin gives an overview of your architecture, your applications, your processes and your infrastructure in a flexible way.”

Mirko Schuurman

The results

A complete picture for quicker results

Now over a year on from the implementation of BlueDolphin, the team have expanded their repository of attributes using a modular approach, from 20 to 50, in order to make more robust overviews. By starting small and expanding the activity as they gained more experience, they were able to reach their goals more quickly.

This way we can see all of the applications that are in cloud, that are expensive, and which fit into the architecture – or don’t. This makes the process much more real and vibrant.

Having the complete picture really helps to reduce the number of surprises you encounter. This really helps projects get done faster.”

The team is also benefiting from improved communication and greater effectiveness. They’re now able to start new projects much more quickly, as they are able to easily define the current situation and confirm it’s accuracy, instead of questioning the current state each and every time.

What’s more, they’ve achieved consistency in their naming conventions which has a significant impact on the quality of the data they work with.

 

60% time-saving on impact analyses

Where previously, the identification of relationships and dependencies between applications, processes and data was stored in an individual’s head, this information is now complete, up-to-date and accessible for everyone at Kramp.

Project scope is much easier to define, and impact analyses are significantly faster to perform.

With approximately 100 projects and 100+ impact analyses initiated each year, BlueDolphin is a significant contributor to the team at Kramp saving an enormous 60% of time spent on impact analysis – somewhere in the region of 1000 man-hours on a yearly basis. What’s more, the integrity of these analyses has improved from 80% to an incredible 90%, with BlueDolphin playing no small role in these improvements.

With BlueDolphin, Kramp can now:

  • Easily determine and manage the completeness of information
  • Define project scope much more easily
  • Easily see which applications need to be phased out
  • Perform much quicker impact analyses
  • More efficiently identify relationships and dependencies
  • Benefit from higher quality data thanks to consistency in naming conventions

Enabling Kramp to transform for the future

Having grown to revenues of almost EUR 1Bn, Kramp is currently working towards their 5-year strategy; one of the cornerstones of which is “Scalable and Efficient”. After multiple historic acquisitions, Kramp will continue to streamline the systems in their IT landscape, in order to minimize exceptions and different set-ups that come up across the 26 countries they operate in. Much of this work is particularly complex – take, for example, the rationalization of ERP systems that cover multiple functions and contain complex relationships with other applications, data and processes.

Over the last couple of years, Kramp has begun to define their key business processes at a high level and connected these to applications and business actors within BlueDolphin. Now, the organization is starting to capture full BPM process flows, utilizing BlueDolphin as the tool to connect processes with the other domains.

These initiatives are continuing to gain traction across the business, creating more and more synergy and helping the organization work on their digital transformation in a more agile way.