Digital items top consumers holiday gift lists, and in the spirit of the season, Cargill’s Global Edible Oils business is putting the power of digitalization at its customers’ fingertips. This month the company is launching MiApp in North America, Cargill’s Market Intelligence mobile application, which provides customers with continuous visibility on global commodity prices that can immediately impact the cost of edible oils, as well as access to breaking industry news and Cargill’s market intelligence.
The MiApp tool builds on the business’s digital offerings to customers which include the launch of myCargill.com, a 24-7 customer portal for a pilot group of edible oil customers in the United States, now expanded to pilot customers in Malaysia.
“At Cargill, we think innovation, including technology and digitalization can help us address some of the greatest challenges facing the global food system,” says Gonzalo Petschen, group leader for Cargill’s global edible oils business. “Our customers are asking for faster, round-the-clock access to information, and MiApp and myCargill.com are two great examples of tools that can help us better meet their needs.”
MiApp is the first digital mobile app to provide this type of 24/7 commodity information tailored to the needs of food industry customers. “Most of us use digital technology, like mobile applications, every day in our personal lives because they provide convenience and simplicity. We wanted to bring these same digital benefits to our customers, helping them stay current on market risks when managing their business objectives,” Cargill’s global price risk solutions lead, Tom King, explains. “This is an opportunity to make smarter decisions that can yield better results and help separate a business from the competition.”
MiApp combines market news, risk management and customer insights in one app, providing new, digital access to Cargill’s daily market reports. For over 25 years, Cargill has partnered with its customers, who are always looking for the latest market news and commodity price information, to help them manage food ingredient price risk. The app was successfully launched this summer in Europe to a select group of edible oil customers and has since grown to more than 100 customers.
King expects the app to grow quickly, using an agile approach. “As we consider periodic updates to MiApp, additional content and contributions from other Cargill business groups covering adjacent food ingredients will be included. As a next step, MiApp will be launched early in 2020 in South America and the Asia Pacific.”
Since its launch this spring, the myCargill.com customer portal has doubled the number of edible oil customers participating in the U.S. pilot, while expanding platform features. Cargill is the first edible oil supplier in North America to offer this type of platform.
Customers who could initially place orders online, review order history and invoices, view food safety information and access product specifications, can now also view contract balances. “Customers want real-time access to contract balances to assist with purchasing decisions,” says Julie Robey, marketing leader for Cargill’s global edible oils business in North America.
“Where once we manually prepared Excel spreadsheets, myCargill.com gives customers instant insights any time day or night.” Early feedback from customers is that they particularly like the feature’s pace indicator, which lets them know whether they are pulling ahead or falling behind in ordering.
Pilot customers also report that it has been advantageous for their R&D teams to use the platform when developing new products and solutions. “Our customers tell us they are very happy with myCargill.com, and they continue to ideate with us to create more features,” says Robey.
Cargill has been rolling out myCargill.com in phases, including to a pilot group of edible oil customers in Malaysia this past summer. The phased rollout will continue throughout 2020.