The Hershey Company: where collaboration and productivity are a recipe for goodness

Today’s Microsoft Office 365 post was written by Carlos Amesquita, chief information officer at The Hershey Company.

hershey-pro-pixI have to admit that I love working for a company with such iconic brands. As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the Kit Kat bar, but today we have a new product, Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe, a large Kiss in a golden wrapper that’s filled with hazelnut cream. Every time I see them in the bowls of treats that are all over the office, I take one. The story of innovation at our company means that we have long-established brands that everyone knows and loves, and new tastes that continually surprise with their goodness.

But what I love even more than chocolate is the opportunity to lead a very progressive company through a digital transformation, where technology plays a key role in driving the business forward. Hershey is a highly collaborative company, and we sought out a technology solution that would enhance the strong spirit of teamwork in our corporate culture. Moving to the Microsoft Cloud was a natural evolution toward enterprise connectivity, helping us meet the fast-paced changes in the global snacking industry and stay ahead of customer behavior.

Just like goodness is at the core of The Hershey Company, enterprise connectivity is at the heart of our transformation. It’s about empowering our employees with the right information when and where they need it. The wealth of cloud-based tools available to us are like those Hershey bowls of treats, offering the collaboration, connectivity and mobility that make us feel satisfied that we are contributing our best work to the company. A better work-life balance is the natural outcome of more mobile, agile tools that we use to work anytime, from anywhere. I may access files on my laptop today, but tomorrow I’ll use my iPad and the day after, I’ll be on my smartphone, reading the latest version of a document. I’m staying productive without even thinking of the technology I’m using.

Personal productivity is the core of our intranet (The Conche) roadmap. Like most people in the company today, I sign in to The Conche as the foundation of my workday. Daily bulletins, corporate information, business tools, collaborative sites—everything is available in multiple languages for Hershey employees around the world. With greater awareness of what’s going on in the market and among our competitors, everyone at Hershey is better prepared to address business challenges.

We’ve also enhanced decision making by using machine learning in our cloud computing environment to monitor our factory production lines. Thanks to the power of predictive analysis, we are looking at saving millions of dollars through reduced errors and more predictable, consistent line production.

Another advantage of our new cloud-based business tools is that we will be able to take collaboration even further, expanding our network of information beyond the walls of our enterprise. We will also be able to establish closer relationships with retailers and key suppliers by sharing data through collaborative sites on The Conche and online document storage. And we can invite our partners to become part of our communication network to enable spontaneous chats and videoconferences using rich, interactive web conferencing. All this will help us gather valuable information, exchange ideas and, in the long run, make better business decisions.

When The Hershey Company chose Office 365 to support our vision for enterprise connectivity, we embraced business transformation that increased productivity, collaboration and mobility. This not only rewards our employees, but also, as our industry changes, we know that our improved ability to predict customer tastes will help Hershey create new treats, while staying true to the iconic snacks people love. This is a very exciting moment for our company—combining our heritage of goodness with modern technology, we are transforming our business!

—Carlos Amesquita

Read the case study for more on the Hershey digital transformation.

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