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Van Dijk Bakery

Digitalization helps Van Dijk bake up a storm

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How IT supports a family business to reach a new level

Since 2011, production planning at the family-run business has been supported by the CSB-Software. With the software evolving over time, it now integrates all stages of the manufacturing process, monitoring and control of the finance and quality systems, as well as all supply chain elements. In addition, CSB supplies part of the hardware.

Since 1931, Van Dijk Bakery, based in Zwartsluis in the Netherlands, has been creating its range of delicious luxury and traditionally produced muffins, cakes, and biscuits. A family business now in its fourth generation, Van Dijk today employs around 90 people, with revenues of approximately €25 million. The company is one of the leading suppliers of a wide range of private label products both in its home market and throughout Europe.

Computer-aided creation of masterpieces

At Van Dijk, product development starts on a small scale with new recipes initially made by hand. Only when the company is satisfied that everything is just right, is production then rolled out on a larger scale. But all of Van Dijk’s products have one important thing in common – each and every one is a masterpiece.

The confectionery market remains competitive. Retailers and consumers have high standards and expectations. In these circumstances, quality has to be maintained while production efficiencies are maximized. Using the right software is imperative. Initially, Van Dijk installed a system to cope with the wholesale purchase of its supplies, but it became clear that a more universal ERP system was required in order to help increase production.

ERP takes business to a new level

Van Dijk was impressed by the extensive functionality of the ERP system from CSB. On top of that, the system was able to meet the company’s specific requirements of ensuring that all its relevant KPIs could be gathered together in one place and easily accessed from the system on request. The system has fully integrated all stages of the manufacturing operation – from receipt of goods, stock levels and production to forecasting and sales and onward delivery to customers.

Van Dijk now benefits from optimized planning and forecasting processes while finance and quality systems can be carefully monitored and controlled. “We now have a much fuller and more comprehensive picture of our operations,” explains Van Dijk’s CFO Rene van Diermen. “This high level of knowledge and information means we can react more quickly to any issues that may arise, enabling us to continually maximize production and throughput. The system simply has taken us to a new level.”

As well as the software, the strong experience of the implementation team was also a critical factor in making sure that the system was finely tuned to Van Dijk’s requirements. “Having the right level of knowledge of our market helped to enhance the team’s understanding of our precise requirements,” confirmed Rene van Diermen.

Combination of software and hardware

The hardware supplied by CSB adds a further degree of flexibility, with six industry PCs, including printers and scanners, on the shop floor supported by seven mobile scanners operated via Wi-Fi. The mobile devices in particular ensure that processes can be comprehensively monitored at all times, including regular checks of ingredient inventory levels.

Equally important, the system provides full traceability, both for the various ingredients used in each recipe and for the finished products when in the supply chain. “Effective traceability is a vital part of our quality control procedures, helping us both to demonstrate the provenance of our own ingredients and ensuring we can respond swiftly in the event of any problem or complaint,” says Rene van Diermen.

A long-term partnership

The successful working relationship between Van Dijk and CSB stretches back 11 years. And just as Van Dijk’s delicious recipes evolve and change over time to meet changing consumer tastes and market demands, so too does the software to support production – and, ultimately, to ensure further improvement of Van Dijk’s efficiency levels. “Together with CSB we have been able to ensure we can maintain our high levels of quality to our customers in the long term,” concludes Rene van Diermen. “CSB provides all the necessary supply chain management tools in a single system.”

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