HPI Agro | SAP Business All In One
The Platform for Sustainable Business
SAP is PT Hartono Plantation Indonesia's digital cornerstone that plays an essential role in increasing work effectiveness and efficiency and leads to the company's cost-saving success.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought horrible circumstances. The virus epidemic affects many aspects of life and has changed the way people work, learn, and communicate. The pandemic also has impacts on the business sector.
Many companies were forced out of business. Others took an unexpected step to survive, and some even pivoted to a different business. However, some have managed to survive and even thrived during the pandemic, PT Hartono Plantation Indonesia (HPI Agro) is one of them.
The company's ability to grow in a challenging environment cannot be separated from the new spirit of HPI Agro. The new spirit encapsulates the company's Vision, Mission, and Values that were launched in 2020.
Robert Halim, President Director of HPI Agro, says that the new vision, mission, and values align with HPI Agro's objective in having the right mindset in building the company. In addition, the new values were designed to be easily understood and implemented by all HPI Agro employees.
"IACE is HPI Agro's new core value. IACE is an acronym for Integrity, Agile, Collaboration, and Excellence," says Robert.
Robert explains that Integrity is the principal value to successfully manage a large company with multiple plantation areas such as HPI Agro. Without integrity, the controlling process will be challenging to carry out.
The company also needs to be Agile to adapt with the fast-changing weather and fluctuating commodity prices. The company needs to design systems and ways of working to keep up with the changes. Persistence and the agility to adapt define the company's Agile values.
"Agro companies have a huge pool of human resources. Therefore, collaboration is critical so that there are no silos in the company. At the same time, Excellence means that all HPI's employees and management must work professionally. All must be committed to the task until the end," explains Robert.
However, these values are not yet sufficient. HPI Agro views that corporate culture transformation can only be achieved through employees and management cohesiveness. Thus, to make continuous improvement a mindset embedded in every element of the company, HPI Agro launched the Lean Six Sigma Project or BISA Program: Bring Improvement to Synergy in Action.
Productivity will increase once the mindset is embedded. Moreover, cost saving in the production process can also be achieved. These two elements are crucial given the continuous fluctuation in commodity prices driven by market conditions. So, increasing productivity while reducing costs is a central pillar for success and growth.
"I believe that making a successful company requires the efforts of many people, not just one person or the sole responsibility of the head of the company," says Robert.
Good Agricultural Practices
Continuous improvement is indeed HPI Agro's company spirit. Since its establishment in 2008, HPI Agro has been committed to improving the quality of its work system and good governance. Part of the Djarum group, the company continues to build compliant plantation business that obeys the law. On the other hand, HPI Agro is also committed to managing its business processes by prioritizing sustainability. This is undoubtedly important and brought positive impact to stakeholders such as the community around the operational area, the government, and the country.
HPI Agro carries out the practice of sustainable plantation management by applying the principles of Good Agricultural Practices. One example is implementing the Zero Burning Policy principle for land clearing and using only heavy equipment.
Furthermore, the cleared land is then planted with leguminous cover crops (LCC) to suppress weed growth, increase soil organic matter content, maintain soil moisture and prevent erosion. Fertilization is also carried out appropriately regarding the type, dose, method, and time to ensure plant nutrients are met and generate optimum yields. In addition, HPI Agro also applies a water management system and conducts environmental conservation along the watershed.
Since the company began to plant palm oil in 2010, HPI Agro now has 32 plantations with more than 20,000 employees. Not only that, the company has expanded its business in five different units: palm oil, sugar, essential oil & spices, agro research & new crop development, as well as agro trading & partnerships.
System Modernizing with SAP
HPI Agro can increase its productivity by transforming corporate culture, diversifying business units, and modernizing its operating system. In 2013, HPI Agro implemented SAP Business All in One to replace its old manual system based on data processing applications and various forms. SAP has long been known as a reliable system solution package for companies, including the plantation industry.
Partnering with PT Soltius Indonesia, a subsidiary of Metrodata Group, the SAP implementation process was carried out in six months, from March to September 2013. The project was named JAGUAR, describing HPI Agro as a fast, strong, and courageous company.
One of the biggest challenges in implementing SAP within the company is the lack of human resources with computer skills. Thus, employees were trained from the basics, from holding the mouse, typing the keyboard to operating the SAP system.
To make it easier for employees to adapt to this new system, the HPI Agro and Soltius Indonesia handed out leaflets about operating procedures and information about SAP printed in large font letters.
To build engagement, the leaflet had a quiz with various prizes. This method succeeded in making employees capable of using the SAP system when the system went live on September 2, 2013.
Almost all the main functions in the SAP Business All in One were successfully implemented and used. Starting from Financial & Controlling, Procurement & Inventory, Sales & Distribution, Production Planning & Execution, Plant Maintenance, Project System, Human Capital Management, to front-end systems specifically for the agribusiness industry to support operations in plantation estates.
Reaping Benefit from the Right System
The company also maintains employees' skill and knowledge about the SAP system. Periodically, HPI Agro held tests, and those who scored well will get a promotion and salary increase. The employees are also made as role models within the company.
The company has obtained many benefits from the implementation of the SAP system. For example, manual work reports, which initially took one and a half months to make, can be reduced to just ten working days with SAP. In addition, speeding up reporting system enable management to make faster decisions resulting in productivity increase.
The SAP system brings more benefits since it was implemented in HPI Agro nearly eight years ago. As a result, Robert says, SAP has become a digital cornerstone for HPI Agro. With a solid system, correct design, and valid transactions, the data results have a high level of accuracy. Moreover, auditors, both internal and external, strongly believe in the SAP system.
Robert also says that the preventive maintenance module enables the company to manage thousands of fleets. Without the support of this module, Robert adds, the company would undoubtedly find it difficult to keep track of its fleets in terms of maintenance, planning, to cost per kilometer. SAP makes managing these fleets much easier.
The same module is also beneficial in the plantations business. The agro-industry invests first before reaping the rewards. In oil palm plantations, harvesting time is about three years after planting. The same applies to sugarcane. The care and growth development of these plants is recorded on the SAP system.
"Why this plant block has good results, while the other blocks aren't, all can be seen from the data inputted into the SAP system. This data becomes the basis for us to make decisions," says Robert.
Another benefit is the increase in the company's income. Robert says that the growth is not coming from revenue but cost saving. The company can control operational costs by knowing and solving inefficiencies.
Regarding the plan to develop a digital technology system, Robert emphasized that SAP Business All in One will remain the cornerstone of HPI Agro's digital technology. System development will be developed from existing SAP systems as well as software and applications that will be integrated with SAP.
A Down-to-Earth Partner
HPI Agro appreciates the capability and dedication of the Soltius Indonesia team that helped the company's success in maximizing the benefit of implementing SAP. A plus value is that Soltius Indonesia sent a technical team who understands about plantations business.
HPI Agro also sees Soltius Indonesia as a "down-to-earth" consultant, as reflected in his response to listen and take input from the HPI Agro team. Soltius Indonesia's consultants are even willing to go to the plantation to see firsthand where the SAP is applied.
"The services provided by Soltius Indonesia have greatly helped HPI Agro. We will continue to use SAP as the digital backbone, which should be used optimally, "says Robert. 
Implementing SAP Business All in One as a cornerstone of a digital system that supports company operations.