Even astronauts aboard the International Space Station can now drink the best Italian espresso thanks to Lavazza and a specially designed coffee machine. This achievement is just one example of the innovative approach that has defined the famous company since its establishment in 1895.
It is not surprising that Lavazza turned to technological innovation to cope with the IT complexity resulting from the group’s significant expansion in recent years. In transforming the company’s IT, a key role has been played by innovative solutions for managing internal IT services (service management) and new IT projects to support production and marketing (demand management) activities. For these solutions, the Turin-based company opted for ServiceNow solutions, and the results quickly became clear.
“We are now able to do many things that we weren’t doing before. In short, we are far better equipped to manage complexity, even with limited human resources,” explains Renato Baldo, IT Budget Organization and Processing Manager at Lavazza Group.
Doubling in size within a few years
Owned by the Lavazza family for four generations, the company has experienced significant growth in recent years. The group acquired the French companies Carte Noire and ESP (in 2016 and 2017), the Danish company Merrild (2015), the Canadian Kicking Horse Coffee (2017), the Italian Nims (2017), and the Australian Blue Pod Coffee Co. (2018).
In late 2018, following the acquisition, the Lavazza Professional business unit was created, comprising the Flavia and Klix systems and operating in the office coffee service (OCS) and automatic beverage distribution sector. Lavazza is now present in more than 140 countries through its subsidiaries and distributors, generates 70% of its revenue outside Italy, and employs more than 4,000 people. In just a few years, the number of employees has more than doubled, and this expansion has naturally resulted in a significant increase in IT complexity. “Numbers matter,” emphasizes Renato. “Managing the tickets and IT requests for 3,000 people is one thing; managing them for 4,500 is another.”
To cope with the increase in IT complexity, Lavazza decided to improve its efficiency by adopting processes that, thanks to new technological solutions, would allow the group to manage a greater number of activities while limiting the resources required to carry them out.
The need for greater efficiency revealed the limits of the solutions that Lavazza had been using until recently. Demand management activities were managed informally through email exchanges and telephone calls, making it difficult to keep track of requests and project progress. Service management relied on the use of different portals that were not integrated and had limited functionality, making it impossible to analyze the causes of IT service disruptions flagged by users. The group also lacked an efficient CMDB. “We needed to simplify internal communications, eliminate telephone calls and emails, combine everything into one portal, and automate certain activities,” explains Rosario Laganà, Head of IT Service Management.
A flexible, comprehensive platform
In 2018, Lavazza embarked on a selection process to identify new solutions with the help of the Turin-based systems integrator, Solve.it. The chosen products were ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM) and ServiceNow Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM).
Explaining the reasons that motivated the group to opt for ServiceNow, Rosario summarizes: “Lavazza represents excellence in coffee, and excellence seeks excellence. Based on the opinions expressed by key analysts, we opted for the market leader. We also appreciated the greater level of flexibility that ServiceNow offers compared to the solutions offered by competitors.”
Renato mentions another element, the direct integration between SPM and ITSM within the Now Platform: “We saw the opportunity to manage in an integrated manner, using a single solution, more IT processes in different areas. In fact, one of the ways of reducing complexity is also to reduce the number of IT tools that we use. With the solutions offered by competitors, we would have needed more tools to perform the same functions.”