ICA Signed in Brastad, attribution - W.carter, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia CommonsInfor has announced that ICA Sweden, part of ICA Gruppen, has selected Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise. The Swedish firm, part of the ICA Gruppen, has a market share of 36%, with around 1,300 stores in Sweden. The Infor solution will replace an in-house IT system. ICA Sweden opted for the multi-tenant cloud-based Infor solution as part of a wider transformation the whole group is undertaking.

ICA Sweden includes a franchise operation where independent ICA retailers own and run their own stores. They are free to localise their stores within brand guidelines and introduce discount schemes that work within their store. ICA Sweden offers several centralised services, including purchasing, logistics, IT and market communication, where the economies of scale matter.

In 2022, ICA Sweden posted revenues of SEK 97,252 million and had an average of 8,723 employees. ICA (the whole group) was ranked the sixth most valuable brand in Sweden by Kantar in 2023, ahead of Absolut and Volvo. In terms of turnover, ICA Gruppen was ranked 9th largest by turnover by Statista (though that list seems to exclude Ikea).

The company includes several brands, including Maxi ICA hypermarkets, ICA Kvantum, ICA Supermarket and ICA Nära stores. The new solution will enable the firm to update processes across areas. These include order management, inventory management, warehouse management and finance. Infor did not reveal which modules it would implement or how the firm would phase the project.

Why Infor?

ICA noted that about 70% of the processes it requires are delivered out of the box by Infor. The industry specific nature of the Infor solution appears to have been one of the contributing factors in the decision to opt for the multi-tenant cloud platform. ICA is currently looking to fill out the project team to deliver this project. As of writing, it was seeking Business Analysts with expertise in Infor M3 (the original name for Cloudsuite Distribution Enterprise.

Richard Belec, program owner for the ERP program at ICA Sweden, commented, “ICA Sweden has a huge delivery responsibility towards both customers and traders, and we take that very seriously. Therefore, we have been extremely careful in both selection and evaluation of the partner who will help us move our IT solutions to the cloud. With Infor, we get a good solution that is able to meet most of our needs as standard, and we feel that our cultures match each other very well and paves the way for a successful collaboration.”

The decision to update its technology is one of the enablers of the ICA Gruppen strategic framework.

Nina Jönsson, ICA Gruppen CEO, commented in its Q3 report (translated), “During the year, we gradually launched our strategic framework, which we call Ambition 2030. We have identified four customer-centric areas that are linked to our overall vision “We make every day a little easier”. The areas are;” Find personal solutions”, “Save time & energy”, “Make sustainable choices” and “Get value for money” and to these we have linked what we see as important enablers; “Cost-effectiveness”, “New technology” and “Attracting talent”.

“The four areas cover many of the issues that are important to today’s customers and where we can make a significant difference in everyday life by strengthening our joint offering, across our operations in food, health, banking and insurance. We have exciting years ahead of us.”

ICA has certainly made a quick start on delivering against this framework with this announcement.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Malte Ekedahl, SVP and GM at Infor in the Nordics.
Malte Ekedahl, SVP and GM at Infor in the Nordics.

For Infor, this is a significant win in Sweden. ICA Sweden is one of the largest firms in the country, and once the project has been completed, it should provide a very useful case study to expand its footprint further.

Malte Ekedahl, SVP and GM at Infor in the Nordics, commented, “Infor considers ICA Sweden as one of Sweden’s crown jewels, and we look forward to an outstanding journey together. We expect that, together, we will create a new best practice for modern distribution solutions. We see major movements in this market right now and are in discussions with several significant players.”

If other firms sign up, they will benefit from the local knowledge that the implementation team will gain. This could be the start of some significant growth for Infor in the region. The question is, who will miss out?


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