Desch Plantpak’s environmentally friendly plastic packaging has helped horticulturists work more efficiently and better serve end customers for over fifty years. The company has four factories in the Netherlands, one in the United Kingdom, and another in Poland. The largest factory and the head office are located in Waalwijk, which is also where new production methods and innovative products are developed.
Dynamics AX 2012 R3 forms the foundation for Desch Plantpak’s production, purchasing, warehouse management, and logistics processes, says project manager Robbin Hettinga. “When I started at Desch at the end of 2020, I was confronted with a heavily customized ERP system that had not been developed for ages. As a result, performance and data quality were poor. There was a lack of overview and a considerable backlog of orders that had yet to be completed.
Robbin decided that it was time to intensify the cooperation with the ERP supplier and reached out to Fellowmind. “Together, we went to work on an action plan. Fellowmind’s consultants performed a Value Effort Analysis to ensure the right focus and prioritization. We gained insight into which improvements would positively impact our business. The analysis showed that improving data quality and reviewing custom-built components had the highest priority, as they led to much frustration and efficiency loss among users.
Currently, the team is busy optimizing the data structure, which involves cleaning up the history and closing a large number of open orders. It was crucial for us to get the master data, which had become contaminated due to personnel changes, in order. After all, an ERP system can only deliver the right results when fed with the correct information. The clean-up is quite a challenge, as you cannot simply process everything automatically and in bulk.
Another challenge that we will soon tackle is reviewing the custom-built elements of our ERP system. Over the years, many components have been added, but not everything works properly. In many cases, documentation is also missing. We intend to tackle these issues to remove delays in the system and ensure it better supports (future) activities.”
Robbin was quite shocked at the state of Desch’s systems but now feels more in control. “We are well on our way to improving the foundation of our IT. Every three months, we do a release where we implement valuable improvements for the business. Our key users are closely involved in the processes and improvement steps, which helps with support and prioritization. In the past, colleagues used to complain about the system, but they are now much more supportive. Because we inform the organization about each release, users know where they stand, and their positivity and commitment increase.”
Robbin is pleased with the partnership with Fellowmind. “It’s a true collaboration; we constantly challenge each other to find the best solutions. Fellowmind was very helpful in identifying priorities, and we went back to basics to focus on optimizing performance before looking at nice-to-haves. The team is dedicated and works in a highly structured manner. That helps manage expectations and achieve the best results.”