Luijckx BV Chocolade (part of Barry Callebaut) is located in the Netherlands (Zundert) and produces semi-finished chocolate products. The semi-finished products are distributed by importers and wholesalers to confectioners and industrial bakers who manufacture biscuits and cakes. About 90% of the production is destined for export to about 60 countries. The company also has a marzipan plant in Limburg and manufacturing units in Belgium and Poland. The total number of employees at all locations is 230.
Because the supplier of the previous software package used by Luijckx stopped providing support, and the fact that an increasing number of clients required product specifications, Luijckx Chocolade initiated a selection project for an integrated ERP solution. Luijckx investigated various packages. Ad Vergauwen, Director Luijckx BV Chocolade explains: "The main issues for us were the functionality available and the price/performance ratio. We also looked at whether the solutions offered fitted in with our organisation." Ad Vergauwen goes on to say: "Eventually we chose Microsoft Dynamics® NAV because of the convincing contribution made by Schouw Informatisering, a Dynamics NAV certified partner." Schouw is specialised in the food industry and has developed a special "food" version of the software.
At Luijckx we process molten chocolate, also known as couverture, into a wide variety of semi-finished products. "In the food industry new regulations concerning tracking, traceability and HACCP are introduced almost daily. These describe protocols designed to guarantee the safety of food during the production of foodstuffs", Ad Vergauwen, Director of Luijckx BV Chocolade, explains. "These regulations have become so complicated, that it has become impossible to conform using a manual administration." Since 1986 Luijckx used a package from Ormas, this performed well but was not millennium proof, was no longer supported and as far as the functionality was concerned was no longer up-to-date. "In those days no one asked for a specification of the chocolate used, these days some clients require a specification with each delivery", according to Ad Vergauwen. "The information was maintained in separate files, but there was no integration or interface. The same applies to the information about the regulations concerning ingredient declarations for the various countries." Luijckx manufactures many different products in relatively small quantities and a separate program was used for the complex planning.
Due to the increasing complexity of international trade regulations problems arose in the logistics as well. It became increasingly complicated for management to obtain proper insight into the performance in production and logistics as well as in other areas. Reason enough for the organisation to go looking for an integrated system specially designed for the food industry. At Luijckx this functionality is included in Dynamics NAV and SI Foodware and transpires to be the ideal way to conform to the regulations. Now we can monitor our products from minute to minute and we can meet the rules and regulations in the area of hygiene which are becoming stricter. Dynamics NAV and SI Foodware were implemented at Luijckx from the point of view "What a computer can do, you shouldn't do yourself". During the implementation extra attention was paid to the expectations of the users. The ERP package is available in various languages as standard, even in less obvious languages such as Polish. Most of the information about clients, products, suppliers and recipes could be converted to Dynamics NAV via Excel files. And taking advantage of the opportunity at hand the whole administration was converted to euros on 1 January 2000. Ad Vergauwen: "In actual fact we do everything in Dynamics NAV now: purchasing, sales, production planning, warehouse management, inventory management, relationship management, quality management and Logistics management, ingredient declarations, interfaces with the fax and the Internet. Most functions are standard in the package. However Schouw Informatisering (with SI Foodware) has added functionality for us such as complaint registration, ingredient declarations, technical services, cost calculations for quotes, and quality control. The package is also integrated with Microsoft Office, so that cost calculations can be made up to quotes in the standard house style and faxed or posted to clients."
Because the system is user friendly the users did not need a lot of training. But the biggest advantage for Luijckx in using Dynamics NAV is that the business processes are automated in one integrated business system. The biggest benefit for Luijckx is the integration because this has considerably improved the availability of information. Luijckx can get information from the system which simply wasn't available in the past. In that aspect Dynamics NAV distinguishes itself by its user friendliness and accessibility. Furthermore the package is easily tailored to all kinds of processes which are specific to Luijckx. For us at Luijckx Dynamics NAV is a tool which enables us to further automate and streamline our processes so that we can continue to improve our efficiency.
Because of the integration there is no duplication of effort anymore. And now the same information is available to everyone, this works faster and much better. The implementation also went smoothly because the Schouw Informatisering consultants already had the specific knowledge of and experience in the food sector.
Ad Vergauwen, Director Luijckx: 'Microsoft Dynamics® NAV is a tool to automate and streamline our processes, so we can improve our Return on Investment.'
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