De Aviateur is a large, private label supplier to the European retail sector and manufactures as many as 100 different types of large and small cakes. Ron Leeuwenkamp, Commercial Director De Aviateur: “We manufacture cakes and pastries. Our aim is to produce top-quality products. We prefer to automate our processes as much as possible in order to achieve this. This ensures that we can supply products that are of a high quality at the best, and lowest, prices on the market.”
Since 2011, De Aviateur has been working on an IT strategy with its automation partner, Schouw Informatisering. The company has been helping them to make their operational processes as effective as possible. Ron Leeuwenkamp: “We are happy with the results. And I think that this is because Schouw is very active in the food sector. It knows the retailers, it knows the manufacturers, and is therefore familiar with the playing field as a whole. That makes them a very good fit for us.”
Central to De Aviateur's automation strategy is Microsoft Dynamics, combined with the food-specific add-on, Foodware. The company's head office and several of its manufacturing sites use this solution, all working from the same database. This enables De Aviateur to work faster, while the risk of errors is reduced, according to Ron Leeuwenkamp: “Using one system means that fewer mistakes are made as the system is less prone to error. When an order comes in, it is automatically converted into a production order by the system. The production order is then automatically sent to the shop floor, or in other words, the bakeries. The whole process continues like that until the final product is ready, and an automatic signal indicates that the order is finished. It then comes back into the system, without you seeing an invoice or a packing note, through modern EDI systems. And all of this happens within just one system. This makes it all much simpler. It means that you don't need to put as much information into different systems. You have just one database and everything comes from that.”
By choosing Microsoft Dynamics and Foodware, De Aviateur has laid down the foundations for further expansion in terms of functionality. They are currently looking at optimising their scanning solution, which is linked to Dynamics, with the aim of gaining control of all pallet movements within and between the various sites. Ron Leeuwenkamp: “If we then automate this using the WMS, we will receive our ingredients and then know exactly what we have. We will also know where they are, as we can allocate a location to them. If an ingredient is taken out from its location, we also receive a warning: Hey, stop! There is one with an earlier best-before date. So that one should be used first. This is of huge benefit to us. Of course, the FIFO system is always a better system. Ron continues: “What it also means is that whenever there is a movement of goods towards a third party or between bakeries, it doesn't matter which, it is always recorded and the stock levels are always correct. For me, that is the main objective: knowing where stocks are and being able to manage them.
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