J.P. Beemsterboer Food Traders has imported and exported coarse agricultural produce, like potatoes, cabbages and onions since 1943. The trading company expanded their offerings over the years to include fruits, rice, Chinese garlic, mustard, vinegar, milk products, chicken, meats and various types of preserved foods from all over the world. J.P. Beemsterboer currently exports those products to over 80 countries, with West Africa and Latin America being the most important consuming markets.
According to Gino de Graaf, Head of Administration at J.P. Beemsterboer Food Traders, this expansion can be continued with the aid of a mature ERP system: "Microsoft Dynamics NAV perfectly facilitates that growth, because it can handle the increase in articles effortlessly." The extensive possibilities of this ERP system, combined with its high reliability, are of great importance to J.P. Beemsterboer Food Traders. Gino de Graaf: "We no longer have double data entries. From sales, purchase, logistics right up to administration: within all departments our company has access to reliable up-to-date data."
From all over the world, people contact J.P. Beemsterboer Food Traders on a daily basis to place orders. The customers are often wholesalers themselves who provide the products to the catering industry, the market and small traders. Gino de Graaf: "We accept the orders and process them immediately in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The orders include large quantities. For these orders, we are dealing with one or more containers of a specific product." Beemsterboer does not have its own warehouse and is therefore - in terms of pricing - always dependent on the daily price, the speed of delivery and the availability with its many suppliers.
In addition, many other factors - such as customs and the quality of the available stock at the suppliers - play an important role for each request. Based on those details, a suitable quotation can be produced by Microsoft Dynamics NAV for the customer. And that is one of the biggest advantages of the ERP system, according to Gino de Graaf: "We can process all those factors automatically in our quotations. And this allows us to send out quotations very fast. With our previous ERP solution this was something we really struggled with."
In search of a 'mature' ERP solution
J.P. Beemsterboer used other business software until 2008. Over the years, it became obvious that the system was no longer able to cope with the complexity of the quotations and the increase in the number of clients and articles. This, combined with the lack of reporting options, was the reason for the Food Trader from Warmenhuizen to look further. "When we started looking for a mature ERP system with expansion options in 2007, we soon found Microsoft Dynamics NAV", Gino de Graaf clearly remembers. "It is a standard company-wide solution with a proven track record." This solution is used a lot by small and medium-sized enterprises."
Gino de Graaf was also very pleased with the look & feel of the Microsoft solution. "The user interface has a very familiar feel and has been completely integrated into Microsoft Office programs such as Word and Excel. Additionally, a big name like Microsoft is synonymous for quality and you know that the continuity of the development of Dynamics NAV is guaranteed." Soon, Schouw Informatisering emerged as the implementing partner, according to Gino de Graaf. "If you work in the food industry and you look at Microsoft Dynamics NAV, you quickly arrive at Schouw Informatisering. They know the sector and offer a good added service with SI Foodware, their Dynamics NAV add-on, which meets specific requirements in this sector. We also got on just great with this automation expert."
Working with Microsoft Dynamics NAV
J.P. Beemsterboer Food Traders has worked a few years with the combination of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and SI Foodware. The added value of this ERP system is clearly noticeable for the company. Gino de Graaf: "We no longer have double data entries. From sales, purchase, logistics right up to administration: within all departments we have access to reliable up-to-date data." Combined with the reporting options of the BI, this provides Beemsterboer with a strong instrument to analyze and steer the business processes.
This Business Intelligence enables the Food Trader to assess the margins by country, by article, by customer and by supplier, at any moment. Those reports are produced very quickly. Gino de Graaf: "Added value like this is why Microsoft Dynamics NAV and SI Foodware are true investments that are more than earned back."
Just like J.P. Beemsterboer Food Traders, Microsoft and Schouw Informatisering are moving ahead, and Gino de Graaf will continue to closely monitor the development of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and SI Foodware. He is particularly interested in working with the role-based user interface of Dynamics: the Role Tailored Client. "During a meeting of the independent SI Foodware user club, Schouw showed the new possibilities of the Role Tailored Client. The role-based structure in which each employee can arrange his own screen looks very promising. It is very interesting to see how this ERP system is continuously improved."