Cargill debuts e-commerce platform to “streamline edible oil buying experiences”

Cargill debuts e-commerce platform to “streamline edible oil buying experiences”

13 Mar 2019 --- Cargill is launching a new digital platform, to “streamline and enhance” customers’ buying experiences, as well as provide a fast and easy-to-use option to manage orders and instantly access key information such as food safety data and technical product specifications.. The platform will first be available to a pilot group of edible oil customers.

“Creating food is not a nine to five job, but until now, necessary tasks such as ordering the best oil for French fries or reviewing technical specifications for a new shortening required contact with a Cargill representative,” the company reports. 

“We expect customers will like using for the same reasons people turn to digital solutions in their personal lives; they are quick and easy to use. This site makes it easier for customers to connect with Cargill,” Gonzalo Petschen, Managing Director for Cargill’s global edible oils business in North America tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “We expect it will be transformational in the way we work with them.”

During the initial launch, a pilot group of global edible oil customers will be able to:

·        Explore our portfolio of oils and shortenings

·        Place and manage orders online

·        Review invoices

·        View food safety or product specification information

“Over time, more and more customers around the globe will be able to place orders online, read food safety information, access product specifications and documentation, review contract balances and invoices. Plus, additional features such as market intelligence and real-time order tracking will be added,” Petschen explains. “This digital platform will help us better meet their needs which fits well with our intent to provide them with solutions, not simply ingredients.”

“As our platform grows over time, we intend to create a unified Cargill experience for customers. So if you think of a house, is designed to be the digital front door for customers to access products and information throughout Cargill,” says Petschen.

Click to Enlarge“We are rolling out in phases,” he says. The initial launch to a pilot group of global edible oil customers in the US is underway. As the rollout continues, Petschen expects to add customers, geographies and features. “We also expect to learn a great deal, quickly incorporate customer feedback and like all things in the digital world, continually update the platform.

Cargill’s food business is primarily B2B with a global supply chain. So developing a digital platform that works for ordering, for instance, a truckload of edible oil, versus a bottle, requires integration across multiple, current databases within Cargill to ensure supply meets demand.

“We think innovation, including technology and digitalization, can help us address some of the greatest challenges facing the global food system,” Petschen explains. “Our customers are asking for faster, round the clock access to information, and our digital platform will help us better meet their needs.”

The rollout of to food customers follows a successful launch in Southeast Asia whereby Cargill’s agricultural supply chain customers can use the site to view commodity sales contracts, create warehousing contracts and schedule pickup of purchased cargo at port warehouses.

How does it work?
A customer enters with log-in information provided by Cargill. They then see their dashboard which includes products, documents, their orders and more. Under products, there is a dropdown menu showing the range of oils and shortenings available for purchase, such as frying oils and shortenings, salad and cooking oils or shortening cubes. Ordering is similar to e-commerce sites customers use in their personal lives. Customers see a picture of the product with a description, then click on it and choose the quantity and it is placed in their cart for purchase.

“They can search documents by type: such as technical or marketing information; and easily access their order history,” Petschen adds.

The platform will be expanded through a series of releases using an agile approach. “We expect to learn a great deal, quickly incorporate customer feedback and like all things in the digital world, continually update the platform,” he concludes.

By Elizabeth Green

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