The food industry requires problem-free routines and exacting delivery reliability. Because of this, timing plays a critical role in our sector,” says General Manger Xavier De Pannemaeker of specialized food company, Revogan. “If a customer calls us, they want to know when they can expect delivery. They are not only interested in hearing the day but also the actual time that they will receive their goods. Automation is therefore a core essential in our environment.”
Revogan develops specialized dietary products, vitamins and food supplements, which is why 12 of the company’s 32 employees are dieticians. The firm is headed by Xavier De Pannemaeker and Edouard de Maurissens. “Our primary focus is on people who need to follow a special diet due to medical reasons,” adds de Maurissens. “Our strength lies in the way we research and get to the bottom of every question our customers demand. If there are no foodstuffs that match our strict quality standards available in the market, our R&D department get to work on seeking out a partner that can help us to produce the required dietary product.”
Over the years, the company has developed some 450 different products, ranging from sugar-free ranges for diabetics to special foods for those who have difficulty swallowing. Delivery to medical centers and health stores is achieved by the company’s own logistics department, using specially equipped vehicles with separate compartments for dry, chilled and frozen goods.
“Our market has undergone extreme change in the last few years, placing increased demands on our IT systems,” comments De Pannemaeker. A few years ago, Revogan realized it needed to find a user-friendly IT solution that allowed the company to quickly access up-to-date information and swiftly act on requests. New legislation regarding traceability of products supported the decision to move towards new technology such as RFID.”
Operational up-time vital
After an in-depth study of what the market had to offer, Revogan finally selected IBS Enterprise. “The ERP package offered not only the functionality we were after, but also the expertise with which to reorganize our warehouse,” explains de Maurissens.
“Another important motivating fact was that the IBS ERP system can run on the IBM System i. This is because stability and operational uptime are vital in our sector. If we are able to use technology to quickly process orders, we become more competitive. We’ve made use of the IBM System i since 1992 and it has never let us down.”
Proactive customer service
IBS Enterprise looks after all the important aspects of Revogan’s operations; order capture, delivery processing, procurement, inventory and financials. In this way, the company’s logistics are streamlined, which leads to increased customer satisfaction.
Customers that are not physically called are handled proactively. For this purpose a call-plan is in place that issues an automated alert which reminds staff that the customer needs to be telephoned and which gives them all the relevant information. Again, this means more customer satisfaction at minimal cost.
In addition, the use of PDAs has been integrated. Sales representatives are able to process orders at customer sites, resulting in reduced errors and speedier deliveries. They have all the information they need at hand: order history, total order prices and inventory level status, etc.
Customer service levels at top-notch
IBS Enterprise software uses a single module to handle all orders, right down to pallet level. Orders are divided into zones for room temperature, chilling or freezing and are then packed accordingly into the compartments of the delivery vehicles. The solution also generates delivery plans that detail each order’s destination and customer, abolishing guesswork and time consuming searches for drivers.
“How much this all means to us in financial terms is difficult to say at this stage,“ comments De Pannemaeker. “However, the warehouse works far more efficiently now and we enjoy full traceability that costs us nothing in time. Customer service levels are top-notch and we’re convinced that the introduction of IBS Enterprise was crucial in consolidating our market-leading position.”