From master Weese to a joint stock company
The company was established by Jan Weese, master baker, who after his marriage to Dorota Schreiber took over a honey-making workshop after her first husband. His grandson, Gustaw Weese, converted the workshop into the then modern plant.
The company was owned by the family till 1939, and its yearly output was 500 tons of honey cakes. In 1939 the Weeses family sold the plant for 100,000 zlotys to Społem cooperative.
During WWII the factory was partly destroyed. First production was started again in 1946 r. After the war Kopernik was nationalized; later, in 1966, by a decision of the minister of food industry and purchase it became a part of a multi-factory enterprise named Pomorskie Zakłady Przemysłu Cukierniczego.
In 1982 the company regained its identity and independence. As a result of changes in politics, economy and law in 1991 Kopernik becomes a joint-stock company.
The modern present
Kopernik skillfully joins tradition and modernity. Today’s plant is composed of three fully automatic sections, with 500 employees and a yearly output of 10,000 tons. Kopernik produces honey cakes of many flavors and shapes, including non-coated and coated ones, or in chocolate. It is also an important producer of non-coated and coated wafers.
A sweet secret
There few sweets lovers in our country who do not know Katarzynki cookies. Toruń delicacies have also many admirers abroad. The plant exports not only to the EU, but also to the US, Canada, Israel, Japan and even Kuwait. Why are those sweets so popular?
Even now the technology of producing honey cakes is to a large extent based on unique and strictly secret recipes of 16-century masters. It is only known that the unique flavor of Toruń honey cakes is obtained thanks to the best quality flour, exceptionally subtle honey, abundant only in forests and fields near the Vistula and oriental spices like ginger, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.
A new stage in the company’s development started in June 2004, when the works on SAP implementation began. Even before that the company went through a short, but intensive period of coming to the decision on implementing an ERP system.
Przemysław Myśliwy, Member of the Board, comments: ‘Our products are of top quality and very strong brand – it is half the success. The other half comes from management best practices. We needed a tool to get full knowledge about profitability of our products. We were looking for a system that ensured reliable information to help us take right decisions on production plans, offer development or sale strategy’.
An ERP system had to be checked and tested in the industry and adjusted to its specificity. Kopernik managers also expected it to support the company’s operations in a comprehensive way: from sales analysis to purchase and production management to accounting and personnel management.
The system had to possess a wide functionality but also to be flexible, i.e. adjustable to the current and future needs of the company.
Kopernik SA is a middle-sized business, so a long implementation was out of the question, as it would require too much commitment from the employees to the disadvantage of their daily duties. The target solution was to start as soon as possible with full implementation security and at the lowest possible cost.
Solution: SPRINT Food Industry
Here is how the chairman of the board of Kopernik, Antonina Szulc, comments on the choice of the system: ‘Our honey cakes have always been famous for their top quality. We do not compromise when it comes to quality.
Our attitude to choosing the ERP system was similar – we had no doubt that SAP was the best investment’. SAP is considered an expensive solution but Antonina Szulc points out: ‘We have found a satisfying solution – SPRINT Food Industry. In one package we gained a few vital qualities: the best ERP system, quick implementation, a solution which is flexible and tailored to our needs. A good argument for a choice of this offer was the possibility to use the system in outsourcing”.
Kopernik decided to use SAP in full outsourcing. The company did not have to invest into hardware (servers) nor train its own IT specialists in SAP administration. SAP system in Kopernik is located in a server owned by SNP, located in SNP outsourcing center. All administration operations are done by service specialists from SNP.
SPRINT Food Industry – what is it?
It is an industrial system, based on mySAP Business Suite solutions, targeted at developing companies operating in food sector. Thanks to using ready-made (preconfigured) functionalities, SPRINT allows to reduce the time and costs of implementation of a wide SAP scope even by 50%. The system supports company management in the areas of finance and controlling, materials management, production and sales.
It includes a number of functions typical of his industry, like expiry dates management, material and series classification, quality control, handling dispatches for representation and advertisement. The package is offered by SNP Poland within a global initiative mySAP All-in-One. The solution was the first such system to be certified by SAP Poland.
The implementation was carried out by the consultants from SNP. About 30 employees of Kopernik participated in the works.
Piotr Łopatka, consulting director in 7milowy and project manager, comments: ‘The participation of Kopernik employees was not limited to checking the SPRINT model. Their suggestions for solutions especially in areas such as production planning or personnel and payroll helped to work out an effective model of supporting Kopernik business by SAP system’.
Karolina Ziółkowska, managing the project for Kopernik, points out: ‘The commitment of our employees turned out to be the key for success of the implementation, even though in many areas we used ready-made solutions included into SPRINT package. Thanks to that we could focus particularly on good preparation of those system functions that support processes specific for Kopernik. Thanks to SPRINT methods participation in implementation did not disturb our employees in their everyday duties‘.
Piotr Łopatka adds: ‘The smooth course of consequent phases of the implementation was greatly influenced by the fact that Kopernik management set this project as an internal high priority‘.
In December 2004 the system users were trained and the solution was ready to work.
At the beginning of January Kopernik started working in SAP system.
Chairman, Mr Szulc, says: ‘The success of the implementation was a result of all of those factors: experience and commitment, openness and enthusiasm of all the people working at the project both for our company and for SNP. I think that we will see the effects before long’. As for expectations from the new tool, Przemysław Myśliwy adds: ‘Within the project we received a set of best practices in food industry management, included into SPRINT Food Industry. I expect that those practices, worked out during SAP implementations at leaders in food industry in Poland and in the world, together with our experience will help us leave our competitors behind’.
Antonina Szulc sums up: ‘Besides another good offer we now have a new asset – a system that will help us not only in everyday work and operational decisions, but also in specifying directions for further development’.
The scope of SAP implementation in Kopernik SA
- financial accounting (FI)
- fixed assets accounting (FI-AA)
- treasury (TR)
- controlling (CO)
- materials management (MM)
- production planning (PP)
- sales and distribution (SD)
- human resources management (HR)
Confectionery Factory Kopernik SA is the oldest confectionery plant in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe. It was established in 1763 and its beginnings date back to the very beginnings of honey cake making in Poland. Now the company is an unquestioned leader in Poland in producing honey cakes, wafers and biscuits and Kopernik is among the best recognized sweet brands in Poland.