When Dutch fruit and vegetable wholesaler, importer, and exporter Willem Dijk AGF's software became outdated, director Willem Dijk jr. went in search of a replacement package that would meet the company's need for further automation. "On the sales side, we've kept developing over the years in aspects like just-in-time deliveries, quality, and short lines. That, however, didn't translate into the warehouse. That wasn't becoming more automated, so we couldn't progress there. The world keeps moving on, and you have to keep up regarding automation," Willem begins.
Willem Dijk jr. deploys new software for automation of the warehouse, among others
Automating the warehouse
He admits the lack of automation was becoming especially problematic in the warehouse. "When you order pick from a paper list, the order pickers must know the products, which makes for a long, inefficient familiarization process. With costs and staff shortages as they are, that's hugely inconvenient."
Once the warehouse is automated, and scanners can be used that will show order pickers where products are located, he expects productivity to increase. That, in turn, can boost their growth target. "We're committed to continued development and annual growth. I think productivity will improve, which will let us generate more sales with the same team," Willem says.
Here, Willem Dijk AGF's central focus is efficiency. "That includes increased productivity which saves hours and thus costs. These days, you cannot randomly pass on all cost increases to customers. Then you'd be heading towards unaffordable fruit and vegetables. That's why we try to reduce costs by increasing efficiency, which lets us cut part of the cost increases. Those then don't have to be included in products' prices."
A single package
Willem Dijk AGF really wanted to have the entire business use a single software package. "Commerce: purchasing, sales, quality, commissions, but also transport, warehousing, the warehouse, and order picking. And linked to that, administration. All in one package," Willem explains. He found that in Addition Solutions' ADS software for the fruit and vegetable trade. It uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Dijk jr. deliberately chose a broad fruit and vegetable application with diverse functionality that can be set according to your needs. He would rather slightly adapt the company's way of working than use a totally customized package. "Customization can become a problem with the further development of a package; it's harder to keep up with updates. One of the important reasons for our choice is that, with Business Central, we can always keep up with future updates without first having to consider their impact on the customization." Willem Dijk AGF will go live with the new software soon.
With the new scanners, working with paper lists is a thing of the past for Willem Dijk AGF
Quick quality control process
One of the novel features this new software offers is a commission module. Before, how much third parties earned for their deliveries, after sales, had to be laboriously calculated. Now, Willem says, those costs and earnings can be made transparent in a report generated directly from the system. There is also a link to the app of the drivers who deliver the Willem Dijk AGF orders to clients. "We'll monitor the drivers digitally, so we'll only have to phone planners in exceptional circumstances. At present, that's all done telephonically. That's going to be a tremendous improvement," he continues.
Willem states that quality assurance is essential to the company and in the software. "Currently, people do quality inspections and re-inspections, which is fine. We're a family business with a solid core of quality inspectors who've been with us for a long time. But we can improve and make that more efficient too." That will be thanks to automating product quality re-inspections. "Our quality department could, thanks to those automated re-inspection times, make quick work of the inspections," he concludes.
Willem Dijk AGF expects to be able to work more efficiently through further automation, thereby achieving higher productivity
For more information:
Willem Dijk jr.
Willem Dijk AGF
De Ossenboer 2
7547 RJ Enschede
Tel.:+31 (0)53 486 47 50