Conveni

Fresh Thinking in Convenience Food

The convenience food industry

In this the modern-fast paced world where all adults in the family are frequently in full-time employment, we often have less time for cooking. However, we are also increasingly aware of the importance of the presence of healthy, fresh, high quality foodstuffs in our diets and we are no longer willing to accept the sub-standard ready-meals that were available in the past. Luckily there is a new breed of convenience food company which deliver the very highest in food standards to their customers using tasty, fresh, natural ingredients. A richer population more than willing to spend their hard-earned cash on consumables which will save them time without forcing them to compromise on nutrition means the market is wide open for food and beverage manufacturers in the convenience market who place an onus on quality and who know how to scintillate consumer taste buds.

Meet Conveni

You just need to take a look at the Conveni website and the craving for an authentic pizza with light, fresh dough smothered in mozzarella infused with fresh herbs kicks in. Conveni started life as a producer of instant noodles back in the 1970s. In the mid-nineties they were approached by Dutch supermarket giant Albert Heijn who asked them if they could make fresh pizzas with top quality ingredients. Conveni were up for the challenge. A family-run business, they are now doing a roaring trade as one of the largest fresh pizza producers in Benelux, producing around 60 mouthwatering pizzas a minute, with customers all over Europe including house-hold names such as Lidl, Albert Heijn and Dr. Oetker. In recent years they have also expanded their product range to include fresh pasta sauces and soups as well as healthy ready-meals which have all received a hearty reception from the market.

Meet Conveni

You just need to take a look at the Conveni website and the craving for an authentic pizza with light, fresh dough smothered in mozzarella infused with fresh herbs kicks in. Conveni started life as a producer of instant noodles back in the 1970s. In the mid-nineties they were approached by Dutch supermarket giant Albert Heijn who asked them if they could make fresh pizzas with top quality ingredients. Conveni were up for the challenge. A family-run business, they are now doing a roaring trade as one of the largest fresh pizza producers in Benelux, producing around 60 mouthwatering pizzas a minute, with customers all over Europe including house-hold names such as Lidl, Albert Heijn and Dr. Oetker. In recent years they have also expanded their product range to include fresh pasta sauces and soups as well as healthy ready-meals which have all received a hearty reception from the market.

Success and a setback

Conveni’s emphasis on freshness, innovative product development and quality led them to great success. They had to acquire another factory to keep up with demand meaning they were running 20 production lines with 200 machines but success and expansion brought their own challenges with them. It became more and more difficult to keep track of all their data and to make sure that their 300 employees had access to consistent, reliable and current information. For a time, a combination of several different solutions for finance, management analytics, time-keeping as well as a custom designed manufacturing solution worked reasonably well but eventually Conveni outgrew this too. Their production process had simply become too complex for these solutions, which were all working independently, to deal with. And even more worrying was that the system was completely dependent on a very small number of staff members who were able to manage it all. It was increasingly clear that further company development would soon cease to be possible within the current system parameters. It was time to look for a more comprehensive ERP system that could handle all the intricacies of their business.

What Conveni needed…

An all-in-one system for key business functions

The first, most conspicuous issue was the problems that had manifested through the use of multiple business systems. It was time-consuming to enter data multiple times and there was always a danger of inconsistency. Conveni wanted to look for one solution that could handle all their business needs. They decided that SAP Business One was the answer. With a single database, SAP’s solid reputation for reliability and the ability to customize the solution with add-ons to adapt it to their needs yet still affordable and relatively easy to implement, it wasn’t a difficult decision. However SAP Business One lacks some features needed by advanced manufacturers as a stand-alone solution, so the search turned to finding the right add-ons for the Conveni way of doing business. They had some quite precise and specialized requirements.

Lots of ingredients means lots of data

As consumers and consequently retailers are more and more interested in fat, salt, sugar, cardohydrate and allergen content, Conveni really had a non-negotiable need to produce accurate ingredient declarations with ease and efficiency.  With  80 different kinds of pizzas and 15 soups and sauces containing in excess of 600 ingredients  and that’s before we even get started on the fact that Conveni add 10-12 new products to their range every month, that is a lot of data and Conveni wanted an ERP system that would help them keep that data accurately, give them full transparency over their inventory and make their stock fully-auditable at the touch of a button, help them make sense of the masses of data and then use it to their advantage.

 

 

 

 

 

My intention is to use a KISS system (Keep it Simple, Stupid) not some convoluted system that nobody can use. CompuTec can help us to make it KISS for the team on the factory floor. No thinking, no decision-making and no confusion.  Simply press a button and the system tells you what to do.

 

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Herman Jeurissen
ICT Manager, Conveni


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Real-time data

At Conveni their 600 fresh ingredients arrive in the morning and by evening the final products made using those ingredients have already left the factory. With a lead time of one day on each and every sale order, Conveni needed a system that could operate in real-time to keep up with their fast-paced business.

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Shelf-life management

Conveni has an agreement with each of their 150 mainly private label customers which contains an individualized minimum guaranteed shelf-life clause but their customers still expect fresh, natural ingredients. In order to deliver on their promises to their customers, they needed a system to help them track the shelf-life of every piece of inventory and allocate them to production orders accordingly.

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Quality

The food and beverage industry is beset by all kinds of rules and standards from various regulatory bodies. This problem was multiplied by the international nature of Conveni’s activity and on top of that each Conveni customer has their own quality requirements. With a reputation based on quality products, it goes without saying that Conveni needed a solution that could incorporate the most vigorous quality control mechanisms  throughout every stage of the production cycle.

 

 


The target is that we will have one data source and that source will lead the whole company.

 

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Herman Jeurissen
ICT Manager, Conveni

 

Process automation

Conveni also wanted to make sure the flow of information in their new system would be flawless. They wanted decision-making to fall only to those with the expertise and knowledge to make the best decisions and to allow their production employees to find out what they should be doing and when they should be doing it at the touch of the button with no room for doubts or confusion. In sum, they wanted to automate their production process so that the potential for human-error could be mitigated as much as possible.

Process automation

Conveni also wanted to make sure the flow of information in their new system would be flawless. They wanted decision-making to fall only to those with the expertise and knowledge to make the best decisions and to allow their production employees to find out what they should be doing and when they should be doing it at the touch of the button with no room for doubts or confusion. In sum, they wanted to automate their production process so that the potential for human-error could be mitigated as much as possible.

Compatibility with advanced technology

Conveni prides itself on its modern factories and innovative production processes. In the future they hope to add even more sophisticated, more intelligent machinery to their machine park. Conveni wanted to choose an ERP system that their intelligent machinery would be able to communicate with and let them use the data collected by it to analyze their production and make better decisions about their operations in the future. It was imperative for them to work with a solution provider that was also focused on technological advances so they sought a software whose developer emphasized innovation and keeping their product at the cutting edge of new technology.

 Why ProcessForce?

 

Conveni looked at all the major players on the market and narrowed it down to a few different options. When they met with CompuTec Partner in the Netherlands, Logres, they were especially impressed, not only because ProcessForce could fulfill all of the aforementioned requirements and more but because of the flexibility we could offer them. Because we are constantly working on expanding ProcessForce functionalities we are able to offer a system that can be tailored here and there to each client. Whereas some solutions need businesses to change their operations to fit with the capabilities of the solution, here at CompuTec we think that our solutions should work for our client, in the way that the client wants them to work to the greatest degree possible. Logres and CompuTec consulted closely with Conveni and together we came up with a solution that would work for them and support them in meeting their business objectives now and would continue to do so in the long-term.

 

CompuTec thinks in terms of possibilities, not limitations. They haven’t said “Ok, here is what our system can do and if you reorganize how you do things, it will work well for you”. They really looked carefully at what we need, what we want and used their ideas to enhance that. They gave us a feeling that the product revolved around us and where it could take us, not the other way around.

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Herman Jeurissen
ICT Manager, Conveni

The Future

Conveni is an enterprise with big plans for the future. Their aim is to go beyond being the biggest fresh pizza producer in Benelux and become the biggest fresh pizza producer in all Europe. They are currently rapidly expanding throughout the Scandinavian market, already well established in the UK and Ireland with a growing presence in the rest of western Europe and they have no plans to stop any time soon. For a flourishing business like Conveni they can’t just think about what they need now. They have to invest wisely in their company’s future too. Conveni chose SAP Business One and ProcessForce because not only can the system expand with the company, but it provides them with the tools to make better business decisions and plan their expansion while minimizing risk.

If you would like to find out more about how CompuTec can help your advanced manufacturing business or you are interested in joining the CompuTec global partner network, please give us a call on +48 722013388 or drop us an email by clicking here.

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