Confectionery Van Strien

No customization thanks to functionality in SI Foodware


At Banketbakkerij Van Strien they work passionately to make the tastiest butter biscuits, pretzels, almond paste cookies and fresh cream profiteroles. The range of more than 200 different types of biscuits and pastries are marketed in bulk packaging and in various consumer units. The entire process, starting with the purchase of raw materials to the sale and delivery of the biscuits and pastries, is registered and managed in the ERP combination Microsoft Dynamics NAV and SI Foodware, the food & beverage sector specific add-on from Schouw Informatisering.

Head of Administration at Banketbakkerij Van Strien, Tanja Vergeer, views this combination as not only an ERP solution, but as an opportunity to work more efficiently: "You can generate specific reports quickly for all business processes. And if information is needed in addition to the existing reports, this can be easily extracted from the system using the Exsion tool. We use these reports to manage our processes and to optimise them. This is a way of increasing the efficiency of the business operations."

Ready for a new ERP system

Van Strien has been a family of bakers for at least six generations, and it is still an independent family-owned company. The extensive modern bakery in Oud-Beijerland employs about 50 people. Most of them work in the bakery making the most delicious biscuits and pastries every day. To bake quality products they use only the best ingredients: fresh, 100% natural and premium quality. The process begins with selecting the ingredients, something that Banketbakkerij Van Strien is particularly critical about. They always want to know where an ingredient comes from and what has happened to it. The products therefore contain as few E numbers as possible.

This ambitious vision stands in sharp contrast with the way in which people formerly worked in the bakery. Recipes for the biscuits and pastries were kept in old notebooks that were lying around the bakery. The production was recorded in an aged IT system that did not have an integrated financial system and which was rather slow. Tanja Vergeer: "The system was printing invoices at night because the whole process took many hours to run. We really were ready for a new system."

Looking for an integrated standard ERP solution

An important basic premise in the search for a new IT solution, was that "all business processes should be better integrated" Vergeer explains. "This is more practical and faster" she continues. A second requirement was a standard solution without customisation. After a selection process which considered ERP solutions from SAP, Unit 4 and others, Microsoft Dynamics NAV was chosen. Vergeer: "This package offers a good foundation for our business operations". It transpired that Schouw Informatisering offers this solution with extra functionality for the food and beverage industry. "The SI Foodware add-on developed by Schouw Informatisering contains all food-related functionality that we were looking for outside the Dynamics NAV standard system. And this meant that customisation would be unnecessary. Besides, Schouw Informatisering has good references" adds Tanja.

Practical applications

With the introduction of this system, recipe books became redundant. Recipe lists and material records in Dynamics NAV and SI Foodware give the bakers clear insight into the raw materials they require for processing the ingredients. And via the system they can easily check whether all the ingredients needed are in stock. So replenishment orders can be placed in good time, automatically. Another efficiency gain is printing labels for the packaging. Van Strien has several production lines and multiple printers. In the past, labels had to be printed by hand. Now with Dynamics NAV the labels for several production lines can be printed from one system concurrently. This saves a great deal of time on the work floor.

In the ‘office' part of Banketbakkerij Van Strien, the accessibility and integration of the system are particularly praised according to Vergeer: "That the system is so accessible, is for many users partly due to the familiar Microsoft Look & Feel. When you first see it, you have the idea that somehow you already know your way around". Easy contact maintenance is very important to the sales department. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in which all contacts are managed is also fully integrated in the ERP system. "This makes it very simple for our sales representatives to manage their contacts and process orders".

Managing processes using reports

According to Vergeer "it is not only in the practical production issues that Dynamics NAV and SI Foodware increase efficiency". The integrated system also gives a clear overview of all business processes. For instance, it is simple to create and print reports that provide insight into waste and production loss. In turn, this facilitates comparison of productivity per day or per week. If production in a certain week is lower than average, the reason is easily identified. And this enables users to adjust the processes in time for a higher yield. And according to Vergeer, this is "clearly beneficial" for the net production.

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