Sometimes growth can feel like a mixed blessing. Don’t get me wrong—nearly every company wants to expand and prosper. Yet when the right systems aren’t in place, managing a sudden increase in customers or products can be overwhelming.
One customer that has responded well to swift growth is Glasbest, a Netherlands-based company that produces and packages foods with long shelf-life in glass containers. The company, which creates and packages its own food products and also packages the food made by third-party producers, suddenly found itself a victim of its own success. Simply put, it was adding new customers, packaging materials, and raw food ingredients at a rapid rate.
In its early years, the company had easily managed all of its customers and materials using spreadsheets. Yet, with the skyrocketing number of customers and products, the business suddenly had become too complex. To improve efficiency, Glasbest executives realized they needed an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Glasbest Chief Executive Officer Robin Heetkamp says, “Being an SMB company with growing ambitions, it is very important to improve business processes in order to become more professional. The added value of an ERP system is crucial here.”
After a thorough analysis, Glasbest executives decided on Foodware Lunchbox, an ERP solution offered by Microsoft partner Schouw Informatisering. Based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2, Foodware Lunchbox had a reputation for stability, flexibility, and security. It was considered easy to deploy. And it included the automation capabilities that Glasbest needed.
In the end, the decision came down to the experiences of other Schouw Informatisering customers. “During the selection phase, all providers promise you that everything is possible,” says Heetkamp. “So I called some entrepreneurs I know that all implemented ERP. A number of them had selected Foodware Lunchbox and they were very satisfied.”
To date, the benefits have been impressive. Not only was the ERP system easy to deploy, but from inventory to production management to business administration to logistics, Glasbest has improved efficiency by connecting all of its processes. By connecting sales orders to purchase requirements, for example, the company has speeded up its purchasing process. It has also automated staff planning. “All functionality is properly present in the system, and it all works,” says Heetkamp.
The new ERP system is also helping Glasbest to better manage product design specifications. “Right now we are working to enter all of our product specification information into the same single system,” Heetcamp says. “Having all of this information in one place will make quality control a whole lot easier in the future.”
Glasbest offers a great example for how ERP systems based on Microsoft Dynamics can help companies cope with rapid growth. With an ERP system that’s dramatically improved efficiency, Glasbest is paving the way for a long shelf life—both for its products and for the business as a whole.