Geo Pols, CFO Cérélia
Every day, millions of pancakes and fritters are rolling off the conveyor belt at Cérélia. Delicious ready-to-eat products that end up on the shelves under several brands. The production process is so specific that the Cérélia chose a custom solution 14 years ago. "We did not want the burden of a standard ERP package," says CFO Geo Pols.
It remains a true treat for young and old to devour. Pancakes. Fritters. Thanks to Cérélia no one has to stand in the kitchen to bake them. The ready-to-eat products are in great demand. Not only in the Netherlands. Especially in continents like Asia and America Cérélia is growing rapidly. Pols is responsible for the finances. 14 years ago he was involved in the choice of an ERP package. "If we wanted to automate our specific processes with a standard package, we would need many modules. Then you get all the ballast from the package as well. Moreover, you are less flexible, while we did not intend to adjust our approach to an ERP package. We therefore chose to develop our own package: IBIS. That is short for Integral Bioderij Information System."
The past years IBIS grew along with the organization. First IBIS was used for the automation of the sales and logistics processes. Meanwhile, IBIS is the center for almost all business processes. Order processing, logistics, inventory, sales, billing, production, planning, personnel: it's all in there. "It has become a broad package", nods Pols. "Totally aligned with our business. That is the advantage of customized software. At the same time, we keep asking if standard or custom software is to be used for solving automation questions. Thus, DNA has linked an existing application to IBIS for accounting. Standard solutions are also used in very specific areas. DNA then develops the link between IBIS and the standard package."
Automation can save Cérélia much time. Pols gives the example of the Customer Service department. "This department is responsible for customer logistics, from order intake to delivery. 14 years ago this department counted two people. We have recently employed a third. But all these years, we have done a multitude of work with the same people. Partly thanks to IBIS."
As a producer of food Cérélia has to meet strict requirements. One of them is tracking and tracing. In case of emergency Cérélia should be able to figure out within 4 hours which materials were used in production and who has supplied them. But also what products are made from these raw materials and to which customers they are provided. Therefore, all raw materials and products are specified in IBIS and made traceable.
Another advantage of IBIS is its ability to make optimal use of storage space. "We have a dynamic storage system", says Pols. "IBIS determines where the products are stored. The required space will also be taken into account. For example, we have a number of pallets with a maximum height of 1.40 meters. IBIS ensures that this space is also used with the pallets that actually fit. That is a small example of how a good automation system contributes to the efficiency in the company."
Each month Cérélia has a meeting with DNA. In addition to the monitoring of the ongoing projects, we are always focused on the 'long term'. That's why we discuss wishes and developments still to be realized in the future. “The cloud is such a topic. We currently use a Citrix environment, but that may change in the future. Another example is the arrangement of our sales organization. If we expect to expand with sales offices in other continents, what does that mean for IBIS? These are issues that we discuss with DNA."
It is not surprising that after 14 years of co-operating intensly a close relationship has developed between Cérélia and DNA. DNA is not only responsible for the continuous development of IBIS, but also for network management. "That broad expertise of DNA we particularly appreciate. We can actually contact DNA for all our questions in the field of automation. The solutions they offer, are solid and reliable. They are no fast guys, but reliable specialists. That appeals to us. We are not waiting for fancy products, but for solutions that contribute to a reliable business!"
Geo Pols, CFO Cérélia