Fertilising the digital future with data.

Crop breeding and seeding specialist KWS SAAT SE drives a digital transformation in the agricultural industry, relying on Adobe Document Cloud to support paperless document processes.

KWS

Established

1856


Employees: about 4,950 (2016/17)
Headquarters: Einbeck, Lower Saxony, Germany
60 subsidiaries in more than 70 countries
Revenue: about €1,080 million (2016/17)
www.kws.com

KWS

More efficient storage thanks to best-of-breed text recognition

Objectives

Digitally transform document processes

Improve collaboration across corporate sites

Accelerate document signing processes

Results

Faster and more transparent document signing experiences

More efficient storage thanks to best-of-breed text recognition

High budget predictability thanks to an ETLA


“Adobe Document Cloud provides tools and services that are ideal for leveraging global document management to accelerate the digital transformation of our business processes.”

 

Jens Hittmeyer
Head of Corporate Information Technology, KWS SAAT SE


Most of us might not be familiar with the name KWS SAAT SE, but there is a good chance that you have tried and enjoyed the sugar that is based on sugar beetroot seeds. Headquartered in Einbeck in the German state of Lower-Saxony, KWS is the world‘s fourth largest producer of seeds for sugar beetroot, cereals, corn and rape. Despite a competitive agricultural market, the company keeps growing. Its approximately 5,000 employees generated revenues of over €1 billion in 70 countries in its 2016/17 fiscal year.

KWS SAAT SE has a history that dates back as far as 1856. Today, it pioneers the digital transformation of 21st century agriculture, with data being the main “fertiliser.” In order to reduce the time to market as much as possible, KWS relies on camera drones, big data and artificial intelligence to determine which breeds have the greatest potential. Apart from providing seeds, the company also supports customers through powerful precision-farming tools, for example, by analysing and monitoring sowing and harvesting.

Whether it’s new technologies, vibrant markets or changing customer needs, KWS drives the digital transformation of more and more of its own business processes in order to master the flood of data that is being generated in its global organisation spread across 70 countries. One milestone on its digital journey is a centralised Shared Service Centre, which is based in Berlin, Germany. It brings together all administrative tasks of all business units worldwide in one location. In order to achieve seamless processes, paperless or almost paperless, collaboration is key. KWS relies on Adobe Document Cloud and a customised framework agreement to help make this major digital transformation endeavour a success.

Global Transaction Centre goes digital using Adobe Document Cloud

Whether it’s settling an invoice, performing legal contract reviews or preparing a new employment agreement, 270 employees at the new Shared Service Centre, internally referred to as the Global Transaction Centre, manage these and many other operational document processes. KWS wouldn’t be able to make this happen if it wasn’t for a robust document processes infrastructure that promotes collaboration between the Berlin-based staff and the teams in locations ranging from Argentina to China.

Adobe Document Cloud provides tools and services that are ideal for leveraging global document management to accelerate the digital transformation of our business processes,” says Jens Hittmeyer, Head of Corporate Information Technology at KWS SAAT SE. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Adobe’s complete PDF solution, plays a pivotal role in capturing and incorporating documents into the company-wide SAP system. In addition, KWS has opted for cloud-based e-signing service Adobe Sign to migrate from paper-based to electronic signatures.

“Comparing different PDF solutions, we were impressed at the quality of Adobe applications. Text recognition is second to none. E-signing is very mature and superior integration with existing systems like Salesforce and SAP facilitates deployment significantly. Also, when it comes to IT security, Adobe provides a level of security that competitive solutions don’t offer,” says Hittmeyer.


“Adobe’s digital document solutions help us master every step on our path to becoming a paperless company. We will see an enormous potential for efficiencies.”

 

Jens Hittmeyer
Head of Corporate Information Technology, KWS SAAT SE


Leveraging digital document management to increase efficiencies

KWS SAAT SE wants to further expand collaboration across corporate sites and dramatically accelerate document processes. “Adobe’s digital document solutions help us master every step on our path to becoming a paperless company. We will see an enormous potential for efficiencies,” emphasize Hittmeyer.

Moving forward, there will be no more need to internally route documents that came in via physical mail. Instead, documents, such as paper-based invoices, will be scanned in Berlin, made searchable by using OCR tools in Acrobat Pro and then uploaded to the company’s storage system. Afterwards, the cost centre manager will find an approval request in the SAP interface.

The first use case for Adobe Sign will be mutual confidentiality agreements. Usage will then be increased gradually to include other types of agreements. Instead of printing, signing and scanning documents, stakeholders will sign them on their desktop or mobile devices.

The signing process will be initiated via the web-based Adobe Sign interface. All stakeholders need to be able to send and receive requests is a common web browser and an email account. “In our day-to-day business, it’s a boon that a signing process isn’t delayed for several days but can be continued on-the-go using a tablet and Adobe Sign,” says Hittmeyer.

Tailor-made solution based on an ETLA agreement

KWS has been benefiting from Adobe Document Cloud capabilities since November 2017 when it entered into an Enterprise Term Licence Agreement (ETLA). Thanks to its three-year life, it provides medium-term budget predictability. At the same time, it enables KWS to add licences for Acrobat Pro DC and Adobe Sign on an as-needed basis and deploy them with just a few clicks using the Adobe Admin Console. So the licensing agreement simply scales to the company’s success.

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