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Customer Snapshot: Overview

16 days saved per PO

Dole delivers fresh fruits and vegetables from farms around the world. When procurement practices became too cumbersome, Dole sought out a fresh technical solution that would improve communication with growers, leading to faster decision-making and better prices. Sourcing a variety of fresh produce from suppliers around the world contributed to cultural challenges.

Dole Food Company Inc.

US$4.4 billion

Number of Employees

Consumer Products

Westlake Village, California, USA

Customer Website

Line of Business
Sourcing and Procurement

SAP Solutions
Ariba Procure-to-Pay

Dole needed to be sensitive to cultural differences while maintaining best practices and global company standards. They looked to SAP to create a single solution that would work for everyone and help Dole Run Simple.

Customer Snapshot: History

It All Started With Pineapples

Today Dole imports a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables from both their own farms and some 7,000 independent growers located all over the world. And their Packaged Foods business provides consumers with a growing line of innovative products, allowing them to enjoy fruit in more convenient ways!

Dole is now the world’s largest producer, distributor and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Customer Snapshot: Business Model

A Commitment to Freshness and Quality

In 1899 James Dole arrived in Hawaii with $1000 in his pocket, a Harvard degree in business and horticulture and a love of farming. He began by growing pineapples. After harvesting the world’s sweetest, juiciest pineapples, he started shipping them back to mainland USA. To enable as many people as possible to enjoy this delicious fruit, he developed a technique for canning them. He wanted to make the sunshine and taste of Hawaiian pineapples available for everyone. This is how he built the Company: on a reputation of quality. And it remains true to this day.

The Challenge

Processing Delays Led to Stale Purchase Orders

Dole processes 48,000 purchase orders each year from farmers across several countries and regions. Processing each PO took more than two weeks, which was a significant delay for the world’s largest producer, distributor and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables. They needed to centralize all data and standardize and automate the tools, information, and practices used to manage procurement processes across the region, to save precious time and money. The company looked to SAP to streamline the entire procure-to-pay process.

Enter SAP

A Fresh Take on an Old Problem

Dole discovered that the Ariba® Procure-to-Pay solution could more effectively manage all of their spending for business units across Central and South America with built-in flexibility to adapt to the unique environment and culture of suppliers in each country.

Better Business

Their Business is Growing Stronger

With all data in a single accessible location, not only has the supplier chain been improved through more direct communication with growers, but top-level access to information has never been easier. Where it used to take 16 days to process a single purchase order, now hours later, the information has been processed, stored and is up-to-date, ready for top-level access.

Better Business: Benefits


An Open Channel of Communication

Purchase orders now come straight from farmers in the fields

Better Business: Run Simple

The Purchasing Process Transformed

When Dole implemented their new centralized solution, all spend data was collected in a single location to enable automation, visibility, access and most important communication with suppliers on location. They instituted a system of best practices to standardize and automate processes across all suppliers regardless of culture and geography for faster, more efficient pricing, sourcing, purchasing and billing. The result of this streamlined procure-to-pay process is a stronger, more robust supply chain.

Ariba Procure-to-Pay put all of our spend information in a central location and automated our processes. This simplifies our procurement organization, so we can focus on identifying new suppliers and commodities and on better pricing. — Adriana Miranda, Customer Service Supervisor, Dole Food Company Inc.

Journey Ahead


More Buy-In Means Even Better Communication

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