Galderma’s products rejuvenate complexion, but after many years of the business evolving and expanding into new sectors, its data systems were showing their age.
The world's largest independent global dermatology company, founded four decades ago as a joint venture between L’Oreal and Nestlé, had long gone without a tech revitalization. After Nestlé divested, then a private equity consortium acquired Galderma in 2019, the imperative to rapidly transform its application environment and exit the Nestlé infrastructure, became more pressing.
The business was posting growth, but Galderma lacked the integrated platform needed to support its ambition of becoming the leading dermatology company in the world, Galderma CFO Thomas Dittrich told Finanz und Wirtschaft editor Beatrice Bösiger during a webinar hosted by the Swiss publication.
The legacy of ownership changes and acquisitions was a patchwork of disjointed and often duplicative systems—finance, procurement, HR, IT and supply chain were all siloed.
Positioning itself for the future, a simple refresh wouldn’t achieve the company’s ambitious goals. Galderma needed a solution that would rapidly unify systems across geographies and lines of business to unleash a wave of innovation by unlocking and analyzing vast amounts of data.
The problem, and the opportunity, is of the kind Oracle SVP Jüergen Lindner told Bösiger he hears about often when talking to CFOs around the world.
“The finance function is undergoing a dramatically swift challenge and change here,” Lindner said, one that has certainly been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Business models are shifting along with customer expectations; mergers, acquisitions and divestitures are at an all time high.
“All those challenges really drive a different focus right now on the value of data: securing the data, having accelerated planning cycles but also looking beyond the finance function,” Lindner said during the same session of the Finanz und Wirtschaft webinar.
Every company is contemplating what kind of data sets it has available, how to best structure that data, how to integrate it across lines of business, what advantages that data imparts and how quickly they can start leveraging data science to seize them. The finance leaders who find themselves tasked with funding those projects need to be attuned to how finance, supply chain, HR and other data sets come together. This type of cross-domain expertise makes the finance function more strategic than ever before, Lindner said.
That trend is dovetailing with one that started prior to the pandemic: relentless automation. Artificial intelligence embedded in business software is assisting, or entirely taking over, mundane, repetitive tasks.
“So we're ploughing through vast amounts of data to really simplify not only the business processes, but also the experiences that your employees can have when interacting with the software system,” he said.
Cloud is an essential component of those conversations—often a catalyst for achieving that functionality, Lindner added.
In Galderma’s update, “we went to proven systems and went to cloud-based systems in a short timeframe, knowing the potential and the power that sits behind it,” Dittrich said.
“Galderma decided to pursue an end-to-end transformation that implemented integrated business planning, freed up resources, and pooled what could not be entirely automated and streamlined into shared services, enabling the introduction of new ones,” he said. The project was kicked off in January 2021.
Deloitte led the digital transformation project, moving Galmerma’s on-premises business systems to Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Oracle Fusion Cloud Supply Chain & Manufacturing (SCM) for North America operations, which constitute a significant part of the company’s overall revenue.
Over a few months, while the world was in lock-down, Deloitte UK and Deloitte Switzerland implemented SuperLedger™ to bridge disparate international systems, enabling Galderma to standardize operations and deploy modern analytic tools that freed the company to focus on its highly competitive core business. The platform now aggregates and extracts data from multiple ERP systems spanning India to South America to Russia, empowering Galderma’s finance leaders with a single source of truth for all financial reporting and analysis, as well as real-time visibility into business performance across all those geographies.
“ERP harmonization is under way,” Dittrich told the Finanz und Wirtschaft audience. “Will we ever get down to one? Maybe, maybe not. But we put a layer across to integrate in a very good and harmonious way.”
The transformation has already spurred a boom in innovation across Galderma’s science-based portfolio which includes iconic brands such as Cetaphil, Restylane and Differin, and puts the company within striking distance of becoming the leading dermatology company in the world.
“We are becoming faster, nimbler, and we’re freeing up financial spend that we can invest in expanding, growing, and increasing geographic markets,” Dittrich explained.
Joe Tsidulko is a senior communications director at Oracle, who previously covered enterprise tech for CRN, and long before that, crime and criminal justice.