Barry Callebaut

With Salesforce, we can devote more time to developing great chocolate and delivering a state-of-the-art customer experience.”

- Steven Vandamme, CIO

Chocolate manufacturer accelerates digital transformation and elevates customer experience with single go-to-market platform

If you like chocolate, then you’ve probably tasted one of Barry Callebaut’s products. Around a quarter of all consumer products containing chocolate or cocoa can be traced back to Barry Callebaut. In 2016, it supplied food manufacturers, restaurants, bakers, and caterers around the world with more than 1.8 million tonnes of chocolate and cocoa products. And it wants to supply even more in the years to come.

“We are the heart and engine of the chocolate industry,” said Steven Vandamme, CIO at Barry Callebaut. “Our goal is to grow by 4-6% per year and keep earnings before interest and taxes above the threshold.”

The company has been making chocolate for nearly 175 years, and invests heavily in developing the most innovative chocolate products. For example, in 2015 it responded to increasing demand from regions with warmer climates with innovative chocolate recipes that have a higher melting point. Thanks to its constant customer-centric innovation, Barry Callebaut is the global market leader in supplying chocolate and cocoa products to commercial customers (global food manufacturers) and local gourmet artisans.

Becoming the undisputed leader in customer experience

To consolidate its leadership, Barry Callebaut has one vision across all segments: to be the undisputed leader in customer experience with a fully personalised journey. “We’re not just passionate about products, we’re passionate about our customers,” said Benoit Dewaele, IM Application Manager for Western Europe. “We’ve done a great job connecting with people through industry events and awards; now we want to extend that success to the digital world.”

Quality of service is particularly important given its growth trajectory. “Rapid business growth had made interacting with our customers overly complex,” said Dewaele. “Service levels were not meeting expectations and customer satisfaction levels dropped as a result.”


Thanks to Salesforce, we can be totally connected to our customers and evolve from just selling chocolate to delivering personalised customer experiences at scale.”

Pascale Meulemeester, Vice President, Global Gourmet.

Integrated go-to-market platform

To realise its customer-centric vision, Barry Callebaut embarked on an award-winning digital transformation initiative, founded on complete visibility of every customer. “For a 360-degree view, we needed a single go-to-market platform to drive our digital transformation around service, sales, and marketing, and transform our customer relationships,” said Vandamme.

Barry Callebaut also made a strategic choice to deploy a cloud-based platform. The company knew that the cloud would give it agility to innovate around the customer experience and deploy these innovations fast across devices, regions and segments.

The company started with Salesforce in 2012 – it was a tactical decision at the time to explore and pilot CRM. Later on, Salesforce became Barry Callebaut’s strategic go-to-market platform for all customer interactions, with the Salesforce extended functionality implemented in spring 2014. “Salesforce is the best-in-class cloud excelling in reverse compatibility, uptime, ease of deployment, and ease of use,” said Dewaele. “We get a constant flow of new features that deliver better outcomes for the business and our customers.”

Barry Callebaut’s platform is founded on Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Salesforce Communities, Pardot and Platform. It is used by more than 1,500 employees and integrated with the company’s enterprise resource planning system, enriching every customer interaction with product, order, and invoice context. “With Salesforce, all our people – from customer care and sales, R&D and quality to sourcing, finance and supply chain – now interact with customers on one platform,” said Vandamme.

Personalised service for every customer, everywhere

Barry Callebaut achieves that all-important 360-degree view, which means its customer care teams deliver a seamless and personalised experience to thousands of customers in every segment and region. For example, agents can now identify a caller just from their phone number, immediately pull up their history and address queries instantly.

Every call to the team is tracked in Salesforce, which enables Barry Callebaut to measure key performance metrics, such as response and resolution times, and identify improvement opportunities. With a single point of contact and complete transparency of the queries raised by customers, as well as the responses given by its customer care teams, Barry Callebaut has improved its first time resolution rate.

By integrating its complaints process as well, Barry Callebaut is able to provide feedback within five days. In the future the company also plans to capture Net Promoter scores in Salesforce, enabling it to monitor loyalty and customer satisfaction on an account level.

“With Salesforce, our customer service team supports customers across every business line and geography,” said Philip Fimmers, Customer Care Director EMEA. “It enables us to deliver a richer service and a more efficient service.” 

Apps to automate and accelerate global business processes

Barry Callebaut has also introduced a number of apps to simplify and digitise key customer-oriented processes, including the development of new products and the onboarding of new customers. “With Salesforce, we can create custom apps that empower people to work more effectively,” said Vandamme.

The New Product Introduction app, for example, enables cross-functional collaboration for all global stakeholders across sales, R&D, sourcing, finance, and supply chain. “From sourcing raw materials to packaging, we need to consider a range of issues when evaluating the business case for a new product,” said Stijn Vermeulen. Chief Data Officer. “With all this information in one place, the app improves our decision-making and accelerates our time to market.”

The New Customer Introduction app, ensures a similarly consistent approach when screening prospects. “There are a number of steps to be followed when converting a prospect to a customer – for example setting margins and conducting credit checks,” said Dewaele. “The app makes the process quicker for us and our customers, and helps us determine what products we can sell and at what margin to new customers”.

360-degree lead profile for faster field sales

To exploit future sales opportunities, the Gourmet team logs new event leads in Salesforce. This 360-degree lead view drives targeted sales and marketing activities, such as the distribution of a customer newsletter. “By merging and personalising our offline and online sales activities, we aim to drive higher conversion rates,” said Freek Van der Knaap, who heads up the West-Europe Gourmet business at Barry Callebaut.

With a centralised record of sales opportunities and activities, the Gourmet team now has better visibility of its performance and pipeline. “We run regular reports to help us identify the leads to prioritise,” said Van der Knaap.

Data insights into customer opportunities and engagements will be essential for the company’s future success. “We need to become more data-driven so we can position our products better, service our customers better and achieve our digital ambitions,” added Van der Knaap. 

Sustaining competitive advantage with continuous innovation

To sustain such growth and its market-leading status, Barry Callebaut needs to keep innovating. “To deliver the best customer experience, we need to evolve and enrich our sales processes, service channels, and marketing strategies,” said Vandamme.

100% digital self-service

For example, Barry Callebaut’s customer care team wants to introduce new digital channels for service delivery. It is already developing ‘MyBarryCallebaut’ on Salesforce, which will enable customers to find answers to frequently asked questions, download invoices or food safety certificates, find innovative recipes, and log questions or complaints anytime.  First pilots of the “MyBarryCallebaut” portal have received very positive customer feedback.

“Customers don’t want to have to call us every time they have a query about an ingredient or an invoice,” said Fimmers. “The community will provide 24x7 access to key services and information, enabling our customers to get answers faster.” 

Personalised supplier relationships

Barry Callebaut is also set to build a supplier relationship management solution on the Salesforce platform. As Vandamme explained: "Supplier relationship management is just reverse CRM. In addition to strengthening customer relationships, we’ll be able to manage relationships and activities with suppliers with a 360-degree view."

Scaling sales with digital lead nurturing

With more than one million potential artisan customers in Europe alone, Barry Callebaut needs to scale it sales operations. With Pardot, the Gourmet team will be able capture and nurture online leads more effectively, and maintain B2B2B relationships through offline and online activities.

“We’ve got great brands with great stories, but we need to reach more influencers,” said Van der Knaap. “With Pardot and Sales Cloud, we will be able to maximise our return on investment from our sales and marketing activities to increase conversion rates.”

Digital transformation for success

Barry Callebaut is already reaping the rewards of its customer-centric digital transformation. 

Rapid growth

On average over a 3-year period from 2015/16 to 2017/18, Barry Callebaut grew 4-6% in terms of volume. “Salesforce has transformed how we develop our products, measure our performance, and engage with our customers,” said Vandamme. “It has driven a shift towards becoming a digitally-enabled and data driven company. This will help accelerate transformation and innovation, and support us on our customer-centric journey.”  

Customer satisfaction

By adopting a single go-to-market platform, Barry Callebaut will also be able to increase satisfaction rates and quality of service by integrating customers’ offline and online journeys.

“Most companies don’t have much of a relationship with their end users,” said Pascale Meulemeester, Vice President, Global Gourmet. "Thanks to Salesforce, we can be totally connected to our customers and evolve from just selling chocolate to delivering personalised customer experiences at scale.”


With Salesforce integrated with its ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, Barry Callebaut is also able to easily roll out new business process applications for knowledge workers. Salesforce has become "the" digital workspace for knowledge workers.

“We’ve empowered our people around the world to collaborate more intelligently and service our customers more effectively. With Salesforce, we can devote more time to developing great chocolate and delivering a great customer experience,” said Vandamme.


●       Processes supported

●       Customer care

●       Opportunity management

●       Marketing activities 

●       Business analytics 

●       Product development 


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