Searching for a needle in a haystack isn’t fun for anyone. However, for Hoogwegt International’s employees, it was becoming a daily reality. Finding specific supplier and customer information was an increasingly time-consuming task due to the constantly growing data. But there was light at the end of the tunnel.
Hoogwegt International needs a maximum of information about its suppliers and customers. As an international trader in dairy products, relevant data is essential to efficiently match supply and demand. This includes ISO certifications, quality marks, product specifications and production flows.
Whereas until a few years ago Hoogwegt mainly traded ‘standard’ commodity goods, today there is an increasing demand for specialty goods as customers have more and more specific requirements. For example, a product must be halal, contain a certain percentage of protein or meet another product specification.
These specific wishes are the reason why Hoogwegt switched to Infoland’s document management system.
“Because we are an intermediary, it is important for us to adequately match the supplier and our customer,” says Karin Lubeek, project manager at Hoogwegt. “We therefore collect as much relevant data as possible from all our suppliers.
Until 2016, we did this in a special directory that was available to all Logistics and Trade employees. But as demands from the customer side increased, the number of documents from suppliers and customers grew enormously. At one point, we were working with hundreds of folders and thousands (!) of subfolders. The situation was just not workable anymore.”
Besides the fact that the number of documents kept growing, the system was not secure and the expiry dates of documents were extremely difficult to keep track of. “In addition, you had to know how to search the directory. If the customer’s name had changed (which happens regularly) and you did not know the new name, the search was impossible. We were continuously falling behind.”
Hoogwegt took a thorough approach to the search for a new, suitable document management system. Three suppliers, including Infoland, were challenged to come up with a proof of concept that met a number of requirements.
First of all, the application had to be workable for both the end users and the document managers. In addition, the system had to have sufficient capacity to handle the quick upload of a lot of data. Finally, the system had to have a strong search function.
“Infoland came out best in the test with Zenya. What set them apart was the fact that the Zenya DOC (the document management system) can be integrated with other Zenya modules. This is of great value to us because we can build on it and professionalise.
Zenya also offers multiple user portals in the module, where you can determine per user group which specifications should be shown or not shown. Our four operating companies benefit greatly from this. Instead of searching in one big database, they can now search in their own Google-type environment.
You enter a word, it doesn’t matter if you know it exactly, and a clear list of results will be displayed instead of several hundreds of search results. If this does not produce the desired result, you can still perform an overall search via the ‘in all’ functionality in the search bar. Searching is so much faster and easier.”
In addition to saving time, Lubeek says the security and updates are also hugely improved. “Documents can no longer be deleted just like that.
The system also helps keep track of due dates by sending timely reminders. It also makes a big difference that the entire module is available via the Zenya Search app. In this app, we have collected frequently used documents.
Our traders in particular (who are on the road a lot) really benefit from this app. On their smartphone, they can look up documents and immediately forward them to the customer they are visiting at that moment. And that makes this app very valuable to them.
It would be nice if there were something similar for a desktop or laptop. This will also make it easier for our logistics staff, who do not have a company smartphone, to email information. We have put that question to Infoland.”
Thanks to the system, we can easily and quickly retrieve excellent information about our suppliers and record it in a structured way.”
At Hoogwegt, the document management system has proven so successful that other workflows, such as supplier assessments and sample requests, will also be simplified and improved over time. “Thanks to the system, we can easily and quickly retrieve nice information about our suppliers and record it in a structured way. We are definitely very satisfied users.”
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