The Hershey Company: Innovating moments of goodness

This Hershey webinar was presented by experienced innovation experts Jeff Schmitz, Sr. Director of US Commercial Operations, and Nate Forney, Sr. Manager of Project Portfolio Management and Analytics of Hershey. A summary of the webinar is below. To view the webinar in full, click here: Hershey’s Digital Transformation Journey.

The Hershey Company needs no introduction. As one of the most successful, enduring brands in the consumer goods space, The Hershey Company’s 125-year heritage has evolved into today’s company purpose: making more moments of goodness for loyal consumers and prospective loyalists.

Innovation drives The Hershey Company every day; it takes 16,000 employees across 80 brands sold in over 90 countries to make those moments of goodness. Aligning priorities, processes and product portfolio strategies is critical for continued success as consumer tastes change.

The Hershey Company knew it had to transform to meet consumer demands and knew that the flow of critical information – between consumers, customers and within the company – needed to be faster and more streamlined than ever before.

Hershey Chocolate Bars

The needs

  • Embrace the change necessary to start thinking differently
  • Enable growth to take place for the right projects and for the right consumers
  • Capture and communicate new product portfolio information for seamless sharing across the organization

The challenges

  • Lack of a cohesive set of product portfolio data and prioritization
  • Disconnected and discontinuous legacy ERP systems and processes
  • Undefined cross-functional project collaboration and decision-making best practices

How Sopheon helped

Throughout its digital transformation, The Hershey Company laid the groundwork necessary to be successful with its product portfolio management. Next, it sought a partner that could implement a new, systemized approach to executing the company’s new, more streamlined processes.

The Hershey Company chose Sopheon's Accolade software to bring the new approach to life. The singularity of this new approach – creating a single source of “truth” and transparency for cross-functional new product development – was a perfect match for Accolade's ability to streamline digital transformation execution.

Working together with The Hershey Company, Sopheon helped design and implement:

  • Revised Stage-Gate® documentation with the gate decisions made by viewing analytics directly inside Accolade, eliminating PowerPoint® from most Stage-Gate® presentations
  • Created a simple, consistent P&L process for all project types, for “apples-to-apples” comparison of risk and opportunity
  • Consolidated eight different Stage-Gate® meetings and 30 different project types to three meetings and eight project types for more efficient decision-making
  • Brought cross-functional teams together on a single platform for prioritization, workflow and resource management
  • Enabled better company-wide resource allocation and communication through Accolade

What our customers say

“Sopheon pushed us hard and we were able to leverage their expertise within Stage-Gate® and the PPM space to put The Hershey Company in a better spot to become a snacking powerhouse. They helped us create a better overall solution that helps us tie together formerly disconnected processes and bring forth a unified vision for product innovation."
Nate Forney

Senior manager of portfolio process and analytics, The Hershey Company

Benefits and lessons learned

Watch this short video to hear about the tangible benefits of transforming Hershey’s PPM process and some lessons learned along the way.


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