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How Technology is Reshaping the Future Food Factory

How Tech­nol­o­gy is Re­shap­ing the Fu­ture Food Fac­to­ry

The food industry plays a vital role in providing sustenance to our society. However, food factories face numerous challenges that can impede their ability to produce quality products efficiently. This publication is published in a series of 3 blogs. This is blog 1 on how the Food Industry enables new technology to be able to improve its business. The future factory cannot do without using technology to have instant insight in its efficiency and effectiveness in order to make the right day-to-day decisions as well as to make sure its development has strategic alignment. By addressing the main challenges effectively using novel technology food factories can increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability. In the upcoming blogs, we will reveal a potential solution to these challenges and discuss its potential impact on the food industry. Stay tuned for the next articles in this series! A Taste of Excellence: Exploring the Dutch Food Industry The Dutch food industry is an important sector of the Dutch economy, and it is one of the largest food exporters in the world. The industry is characterized by a strong focus on efficiency, innovation, sustainability, and food safety. The Netherlands has a highly integrated food system, with a diverse range of agricultural products produced domestically and imported from other countries. The industry is made up of a mix of large multinational corporations and smaller, specialized companies, with a strong focus on collaboration and knowledge-sharing. The Dutch food industry is known for its high-quality products, particularly in the dairy, meat, and vegetable sectors. The industry has a strong focus on sustainability, with many companies adopting sustainable production methods and investing in renewable energy and waste reduction initiatives. Food safety is also a top priority for the Dutch food industry, with rigorous safety protocols and a strong regulatory framework in place to ensure the safety and quality of food products. In recent years, the Dutch food industry has been responding to changing consumer preferences and trends, including the increasing demand for plant-based foods, organic and non-GMO foods, and locally-sourced ingredients. The industry has also been investing in new technologies and innovative production methods to improve efficiency and reduce waste. Overall, the Dutch food industry is a dynamic and innovative sector with a strong focus on efficiency, sustainability, food safety, and collaboration. Main challenges within the food industry The food industry faces several challenges. See hereafter. Sustainability: The food industry is under increasing pressure to adopt sustainable practices in order to reduce its impact on the environment. This includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving water and energy, and minimizing food waste. Does your food industry business have a documented sustainability strategy in place? Are you tracking and measuring your greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy usage, and food waste? Have you implemented any initiatives to reduce your environmental impact, such as sourcing local ingredients or using renewable energy sources? Cost and efficiency: The food industry operates on thin margins, and cost pressures can be intense. In order to remain profitable, companies must find ways to operate efficiently, minimize waste, and control costs while maintaining high levels of quality and safety. Have you analyzed your company's cost structure and identified areas where costs can be reduced? Are you monitoring and measuring key performance indicators, such as production efficiency and waste reduction, to ensure your operations are running efficiently? Have you implemented any continuous improvement initiatives to optimize processes and minimize waste while maintaining quality and safety standards? Optimization of production processes and space utilization: One of the main reasons why optimizing production processes and space utilization is such a challenge for food factories is that it requires a significant amount of time, planning, and accuracy in the preparation phase. In addition, the process of optimizing production processes and space utilization is a continuous one, which means that factories need to constantly monitor their operations and make improvements as needed. It is a critical aspect of food factory operations, and failure to do so can result in significant waste, decreased efficiency, and lost revenue.  Are there any machines that are not being used to their full potential? Is there adequate space around machines for safe operation and maintenance? Are there any opportunities for streamlining production processes or utilizing space more efficiently? Food safety: Ensuring the safety of food is a top priority for the food industry. Contamination by bacteria, viruses, chemicals, or other harmful substances can have serious consequences for public health, and outbreaks of foodborne illnesses can damage consumer confidence in the industry. Have you established and implemented a comprehensive food safety program that adheres to industry standards and regulations? Are you regularly monitoring and testing your products and facilities for potential contaminants or hazards? Have you developed contingency plans and procedures in case of a food safety incident, and are your employees trained on these protocols to respond effectively? Supply chain and logistical disruptions: The food industry relies on a complex network of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to get products to consumers. Disruptions to this supply chain, such as those caused by natural disasters, pandemics, or geopolitical tensions, can have significant impacts on the industry. Likewise within the factory itself, logistics needs to fully support production processes and the integral performance of the factory itself. Besides that food factories must develop effective strategies to ensure adequate space around machines. This may involve reviewing and modifying factory layouts, developing specialized access or clearance procedures, and providing workers with proper training and safety protocols. By implementing these strategies, food factories can create a safer work environment and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries caused by inadequate space around machines. Are there any instances of workers incidents? How is worker safety and machine safety covered? Are there any obstacles or narrow walkways that may impede the safe operation of machinery?  Are workers trained on proper safety protocols when operating and maintaining machinery? Are all machinery CE certified, also after revision? Consumer trends and preferences: Consumer preferences and expectations are constantly evolving, and the food industry must keep up with these changes in order to remain competitive. This includes responding to trends such as plant-based diets, organic and non-GMO foods, and locally-sourced ingredients. Have you conducted market research to stay up-to-date with changing consumer trends and preferences? Are you offering a variety of options to cater to different dietary needs and preferences, such as plant-based or gluten-free options? Have you considered incorporating organic, non-GMO, and locally-sourced ingredients into your products to appeal to health and environmentally conscious consumers? These are just a few of the challenges facing the food industry today. Addressing these challenges requires collaboration and innovation from the factory with an integral mindset. Technology can help to support this. Doing nothing to address the facing challenges is no option: but what can you do? There are several steps that the food industry can take to address the challenges it faces: Embrace technology: Technology can be a powerful tool for improving food safety, increasing efficiency, and reducing waste. The food industry can explore the use of technologies like blockchain, IoT, AI, and robotics to improve traceability, reduce food waste, and enhance operational efficiency. Adopt sustainable practices: The food industry can take steps to reduce its environmental impact by adopting sustainable practices like reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving water and energy, and minimizing food waste. This can involve working with suppliers, investing in sustainable packaging, and developing sustainable production processes. Prioritize food safety: Ensuring the safety of food is a top priority for the food industry. This involves implementing rigorous safety protocols, investing in food safety training, and leveraging technology to improve traceability and reduce the risk of contamination. Respond to changing consumer preferences: The food industry can stay competitive by responding to changing consumer preferences and expectations. This may involve developing new products, reformulating existing products, or adopting new production methods to meet the demand for plant-based foods, organic and non-GMO foods, and locally-sourced ingredients. Collaborate with partners: The food industry should work with trustful partners on several areas where the factory my have difficulties to have all knowledge in house. Technology is a typical area where a growing lack of knowledge appears. A factory’s mindset is to make products and not being fully aware of novel technology By taking these steps, the food industry can address the challenges it faces and build a more sustainable, efficient, and consumer-focused industry. The Digital Factory: How Technology is Transforming the Food Industry The use of technology offers several advantages to the food industry, including: Improved food safety: Technology can help the food industry improve food safety by providing real-time monitoring and data analysis to identify potential hazards, track products throughout the supply chain, and quickly respond to any safety issues. Increased efficiency: Technology can help the food industry increase efficiency and reduce waste by automating processes, optimizing supply chains, and improving inventory management. Enhanced traceability: Technology can improve traceability throughout the food supply chain, enabling companies to track products from farm to table, identify the origin of any quality or safety issues, and quickly respond to any recalls or other issues. Improved product quality: Technology can help the food industry improve the quality of its products by providing real-time data on production processes, enabling companies to identify areas for improvement and optimize their operations. Enhanced consumer engagement: Technology can help the food industry engage with consumers and build trust by providing more transparency and information about products, including their origin, nutritional content, and production methods. Innovation: Technology can drive innovation in the food industry, enabling companies to develop new products and production methods, respond to changing consumer preferences, and create new business opportunities. Overall, the use of technology can help the food industry improve safety, efficiency, traceability, quality, and innovation, enabling it to better meet the needs of consumers and stakeholders. The Future is Now: Adapting Technology for an Efficient and Sustainable Factory Technology can help the food industry optimize its operations, improve transparency, and create new business opportunities. It can enable companies to produce high-quality products that meet the needs and expectations of consumers, while also reducing environmental impact and improving the efficiency of the food system. However, it is important to note that the adoption of technology in the food sector must be done thoughtfully and carefully, with a focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities specific to the industry. The implementation of technology must also be accompanied by appropriate training and education or the right partners to ensure that it is used effectively and safely. Fortunately, there is a solution to the challenges that can help food factories achieve greater efficiency, productivity, and profitability. In the next blog post, we will explore this solution in more detail and discuss how it can be applied to the challenges food factories are up to nowadays. We believe that this solution has the potential to revolutionize the food industry, and we are excited to share it with you. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn about the cutting-edge technology that can help your food factory achieve greater efficiency and profitability. So stay tuned for the next blog… “Embracing technology in the Food Industry, opens up new opportunities for improvement and will empower yourself with fact-based decision-making that can drive better outcomes."

16 May 2023
Ontdek de voordelen van 3D-scannen

Ont­dek de voor­de­len van 3D-scan­nen

In the world of technological innovation, 3D scanning is one of the most promising developments. This revolutionary process makes it possible to quickly, accurately and securely collect large amounts of data about an object or environment. As a result, 3D scanning offers a range of benefits to many different industries. One of the biggest advantages of 3D scanning is its speed and efficiency. Unlike traditional manual measurements, which require time and effort to collect data, 3D scanning can collect a large amount of data in a fraction of the time. This makes the process ideal for companies that want to work quickly and efficiently. Accuracy is also a key advantage of 3D scanning. Modern scanners can achieve high levels of accuracy, reducing the potential for human error in manual measurements. This is especially important in industries where precision is paramount, such as construction, industrial engineering and architecture. Safety is another important aspect of 3D scanning. Manual measurements in hard-to-reach or dangerous areas can be dangerous, but with 3D scanning, this data can be collected quickly and safely, without any danger to the operator. In addition, 3D scanning is also flexible; it can be performed remotely and can collect detailed information about an object or environment, making it useful for a wide range of applications, such as building construction, industrial engineering and architecture. 3D scanning can also produce point clouds or 3D models that can be easily shared and analyzed. This allows you to create digital twins, run simulations and detect changes over time. Finally, 3D scanning is also cost-effective; it eliminates the need for multiple visits and measurements, and also reduces the use of physical measurements and drawings. All in all, 3D scanning offers many advantages for companies that want to work quickly, accurately and safely.

24 January 2023
Beslissen op basis van data - Deel 2 - De do's & don'ts

Be­slis­sen op basis van data - Deel 2 - De do's & don'ts

Om je data succesvol te analyseren en interpreteren zijn er een paar zaken belangrijk. Deze zaken worden kort en bondig besproken in dit artikel. Op de eerste plaats is het belangrijk dat iedereen het nut van het gebruiken van data inziet. Dit betekent dat niet alleen de business analist hier belang aan hecht, maar ook de technische dienst, projectmanager en directeur. Het moet namelijk niet zo zijn dat je geld investeert in dure technologieën om hier vervolgens niet (optimaal) gebruik van te maken! Onderzoek toont aan dat bedrijven in 2018 biljoenen (!) hebben uitgegeven aan het moderniseren van hun systemen. Van deze investeringsprojecten is maar liefst 70% mislukt door een gebrek aan 'data cultuur'. De belangrijkste do is dus het creëren van een bedrijfscultuur waarin je data op waarde geschat wordt. Een grote don't is dus het doen van grote investeringen zonder duidelijke visie op wat je hiermee wilt bereiken. Om het maximale uit je data te halen is het ook belangrijk dat je weet wáár je moet zoeken. Je kunt bijvoorbeeld proberen zoveel mogelijk patronen te vinden in je data. Zijn er bepaalde weken waar je meer produceert dan normaal? En wat kan hier de oorzaak van zijn? Of misschien heb je een product dat sneller in kwaliteit verminderd dan andere producten. Ligt dit aan het product, of ligt dit misschien aan de plek waar je het product opslaat? Deze patronen geven in ieder geval een richting waarin gezocht moet worden tijdens de analyse. Daarnaast kun je ook een slag staan door de uitkomsten van je data te visualiseren.  Je kunt in onze referentieprojecten meer vinden over hoe wij jouw data visualiseren en deze zo inzichtelijk maken. Ook is het belangrijk dat je voor je data een representatieve tijdsperiode gebruikt om de beslissing op te baseren. Ga je bijvoorbeeld machinelijnen verhuizen, zorg er dan bijvoorbeeld voor dat je een piekperiode in je productie gebruikt om de omvang van de verhuizing te bepalen. Doe je dit niet, dan kom je later (waarschijnlijk) voor verrassingen te staan. 

22 November 2022
Beslissen op basis van data - Deel 1 - Introductie

Be­slis­sen op basis van data - Deel 1 - In­tro­duc­tie

Beslissingen nemen die (grote) gevolgen hebben voor jouw bedrijf kan lastig zijn. Op onze site verwijzen we op de pagina over data analyse al naar het welbekende onderbuikgevoel. Op basis van dit onderbuikgevoel kun je vaak al één en ander aanstippen als mogelijk verbeterpunt. Echter, wil je wel graag enige zekerheid hebben in de juistheid van de beslissing(en) die jij en je collega’s nemen. Het daarvoor gebruiken van data wint hierbij steeds meer aan populariteit. Dit noemt men Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM). Hierbij worden data, feiten en statistieken gebruikt om (strategische) beslissingen te nemen. Omdat je beslissingen maakt op basis van feiten kun je deze sterk onderbouwen. Dit is helemaal het geval als de informatie die je vergaart uit de data in lijn is met het eerdere onderbuikgevoel.  Ook in de foodbranche kan dit van grote toegevoegde waarde zijn! Praktisch ieder foodbedrijf verzamelt tegenwoordig enorm veel data: een overzicht van je productie, opslag en transport kan tegenwoordig in no-time uitgedraaid worden.  Een punt waar veel bedrijven hierna vastlopen is het daadwerkelijk omzetten van data naar (nieuwe) inzichten. Enerzijds omdat ze moeite hebben met het interpreteren van de data, anderzijds omdat de juiste resources (zowel tijd als kennis) niet aanwezig zijn. Dit is zonde, omdat er enorm veel (nieuwe) inzichten te verkrijgen zijn vanuit de beschikbare data. In de volgende delen van deze Dapp special over Data Driven Decision Making wordt er meer verteld over de good & bad practices van deze methode en de voordelen die DDDM met zich meebrengt.

22 November 2022
Beslissen op basis van data - Deel 3 - Voordelen van Data Driven Decision Making

Be­slis­sen op basis van data - Deel 3 - Voor­de­len van Data Dri­ven De­ci­si­on Ma­king

Er zijn talloze voordelen te noemen van het gebruikmaken van data voor het nemen van beslissingen. We hebben hier dan ook slechts een kleine greep van op een rijtje gezet. Allereerst kun je sneller beslissingen nemen. Je hebt namelijk alle benodigde info vlug voor handen. Daarnaast zullen je nauwkeuriger kunnen bepalen waar de uitdagingen liggen. Omdat je je baseert op de feiten (i.e. de data) kun je het hierboven genoemde onderbuikgevoel wegnemen of juist bevestigen. Deze factoren leiden ertoe dat je beslissingen ook met meer vertrouwen gemaakt kunnen worden. Op basis van het analyseren van de data zul je ook makkelijk(er) nieuwe trends kunnen herkennen. Waarschijnlijk kun je op basis van ervaring al enkele trends in (jouw tak van) de foodwereld opnoemen, maar als bedrijf kun je een grote slag slaan door al vroeg een nieuwe trend in de markt te ontdekken. Dit hangt dan weer samen met het beter in balans kunnen houden van je voorraad. Omdat je sneller inzicht hebt in de vraag naar producten zul je beter in staat zijn om te bepalen welke producten vooral ruimte innemen en in mindere mate bijdragen aan de omzet van het bedrijf. Door deze kennis verhoogt ook de proactiviteit van het bedrijf. Dit klinkt misschien tegenstrijdig, want voor je gevoel reageer je juist op wat de data je vertelt. Echter kun je, door het herkennen van patronen en trends in de data, al met enige zekerheid een voorspelling doen, waardoor je voortijdig in kunt grijpen of juist al vroeg ziet dat een bepaalde keuze de juiste is, wat een voordeel oplevert ten opzichte van de concurrentie.   

22 November 2022
Factory layout with floor requires dynamic zoning plan

Fac­to­ry lay­out with floor re­quires dy­nam­ic zon­ing plan

Since the development of the FLS model, Dapp has always looked at how the model can approach the reality and customer issues even better. Something that has been tested in theory often runs into problems in reality; situations that are not considered until you are confronted with them. We spend a lot of time maintaining the model and always looking for applications to better implement the reality and the wishes of customers. One of those applications concerns the successful expansion of the model from one to several floors. In practice, the scarce space increasingly means that factories and companies are still going up. An additional advantage is that the material handling costs are lower when the height is built in. In theory, however, it is easier said than done; where 3D reality is already taken into account in practice, the step to deepening the theory is fundamentally different. Working with algorithms and modern software options is currently unknown territory for many professionals. Today there is an unimaginable amount of possibilities with modern applications. But then you should know that there are possibilities with which the layout of your factory can be better and more efficient. Optimizing a layout with one or more floors This also applies to a factory with one or more floors, for example. That too can be optimized relative to each other. “A two-storey building is nothing more than 2x a one-storey building but on top of each other?” Would you think. Unfortunately, in contrast to two one-storey buildings, where the buildings have no further relationship, this is certainly the case in a two-storey building; There is often a lot of exchange between the floors in terms of raw materials, products, packaging, waste, but also people. If one would choose to first optimize one floor and then the other, it must be determined in advance which space will be placed on which floor, something that is almost never fixed in practice. At the other end of the spectrum, it often does not mean in practice that all rooms can be placed haphazardly on any floor. Some spaces should be placed on the ground floor, such as an inbound goods space, other spaces should be located on the first floor, such as the offices. In short, the model must simultaneously include both floors in the optimization. How can you best tackle this issue? We also wanted to include some restrictions that could apply in practice for a multi-storey factory. This includes securing certain spaces on a certain floor, but also linking a set of spaces above and below each other and indicating that a space occupies several floors. We can also optimize multi-storey factories. See the image above. Want to learn more about how your factory layout can be customized? Contact [email protected] or via 0345 - 50 52 56.

12 January 2021
The do's and don'ts at New Construction in Food

The do's and don'ts at New Con­struc­tion in Food

The Dutch food industry is doing well. Many companies are experiencing significant growth and are therefore developing at a rapid pace. Not only because the market is good, but also because of the increasing attention to food safety and hygiene, changing regulations from the government and increasing competition, companies are experiencing turbulent times. In the food industry, we see that companies have shaped their growth by renovating and expanding the existing building. We call that building on the basis of what is if. At a certain point, these sudden expansions create a 'patchwork quilt' of workspaces with the additional inefficiency of walking routes, production and logistics processes. Part or complete new construction is the issue that comes up. In such a hectic pace, the outdated business premises with these inefficient processes feel like a pinching harness and the main obstacle to really spreading its wings. For many companies, this is the time to think about new construction or renovation. But where do you start when you consider such a step? What all comes to you and what do you have to think about? How do you take into account the requirements from HACCP, BRC, IFS and safety regulations? And how do you ensure that production can continue during the renovation activities? Quite difficult if you don't deal with this matter every day. Time to list some advice. What you should not do is build a new building around your current production process with no future expansion options. That can lead to choices that you will regret a lot later in time. It is advisable to start planning from the strategic choices made for the medium and long term. You start a good construction project from your own business planning. Which goals have you included, what are your expectations with regard to the life cycle of your product lines, which departments will grow, did you choose to do it yourself or did you want to outsource? The answers to these kinds of questions are of great importance in making the right choices for the future with regard to the design and layout of the new building. Just think of the scalability of the new building: is it set up in such a way that future growth and/or activities are possible? A good and thorough preparation is of the utmost importance in this process. As tempting as it is to put the first spa in the ground as quickly as possible, make sure you have done the necessary thinking and calculations first. When you build a completely new building, you have one of those rare moments when you can optimize all your processes (production, logistics, packaging flows, (intermediate) storage, waste flows, quality, hygiene, fire safety to name a few). Take the time to design this: make a clear Plan of Approach! Engage a team of experts on the specific key points. Many factors play a role when building a building. Much more than you can imagine with your own team. Therefore, purchase that experiential knowledge in the form of a team of experts. In addition to an experienced construction project manager, such a team can simply consist of a structural engineer, constructor, draftsman, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, logistics engineer, HVACR specialist, a QESH specialist and a financial specialist. Because these specialists have worked with this ax more often, the figures and the proposed designs and scenarios are much more reliable and detailed in order to be able to make a good estimate of the costs at the earliest possible stage. Just to mention an experience figure, the optimal development of a plot is about 60%. So if you want a floor area of 3,000 m2, you will soon be looking for a plot with dimensions of about 5,000 m2. If you are going for new construction, it is important to think carefully about what your location will be. You may have an idea of the ideal region, but where in that region is the best place? Your most important sales market may be in and around Utrecht, but is it wise to be there? If so, which side of town? What about traffic flows there? You don't want traffic jams, but where are you? Clear selection criteria are crucial here; not only technically to arrive at an optimal business case, but also organisationally. Can everyone agree and is it clear why that location is chosen? But there are also other aspects that deserve your attention. What about the social aspect of the move? How do your employees receive the news that you want to move the company? Will you get everyone to the new place? An important question, especially ifpeople in key positions in your company are at risk of dropping out because of a proposed move. And if you nevertheless move to Utrecht, what is the position of the employee(s) on the labor market? Are you attractive enough to recruit new staff? What about the stock of employees who have the right training for your company? And what about the competition? Maybe they are already in the same area? Fish in the same pond? Build in at least one “Go/No Go” moment during the run-up phase. Isn't the proverb "better half turned than completely lost"? It doesn't hurt to look at what information is on the table at that moment with more distance at pre-agreed time(s) and then ask yourself: “is (re)construction still a good idea? Usually, the moment when a final design is presented, provided with the necessary financial data, is a good time to ask that question. Visualize the new building. Let your external party provide a 3D impression of the new building. Based on the idea that one picture is worth 1000 words, a three-dimensional design is very powerful in directing everyone involved in the same direction. An impression is a good way to visualize the new building, especially for visually oriented employees. Discussions about form and functionality become so much more accurate, which ultimately results in a better new building. You are going to build while the shop has to stay open. You would like to carry out your (re)construction in such a way that the customers will not notice. That may mean that you have to work from a less well-functioning process while on the other hand steps are taken to switch to a more efficient settlement. It is then important to have a good Transition Plan from old to new. This plan should be supported by a good Communication Plan that describes when and what will change for all functions involved. The Transition Plan must also pay attention to the risks and measures must be prepared if those risks do indeed occur. The plan should also include something about aftercare. All this is aimed at ensuring that the daily process transitions smoothly to the new location or new situation. Do you have plans for new construction yourself? Talk to DAPP about it. A single conversation  can be very enlightening for you.

14 October 2020
Did you know... 8 facts related to engineering

Did you know... 8 facts re­lat­ed to en­gi­neer­ing

For the proper functioning of the machines to be designed, a customer usually uses tools or auxiliary products. Think of lubricants, oils, cleaning agents or disinfectants. The manufacturer must design a machine in such a way that these liquids cannot come into contact with the foodstuffs to be processed, produced or packaged. Corrosion and deposits in the pipework can increase the cost of electricity consumption of pumps in heating and cooling systems by as much as 35% in the first years after installation. It is known that the Netherlands is the world's second largest exporter in the field of agro and food. Less well known is that we are the third largest exporter of machines for the food industry. 20% of the Dutch gross domestic product is earned with products and services related to agro and food. A dairy company recently applied a 1 mm layer. from its one liter of packaging and thus saved approximately 50,000 kilos of packaging material per year. The parts used in the machines that come into, or may come into contact with, foodstuffs must be made of materials that comply with the guidelines. This category of parts must be FDA compliant (the American Food & Drug Administration). What is the environment where a machine will run? Within machine building for the food industry, a distinction can be made between different environments. The environment for which it is designed has consequences for the selection of suitable components. There are numerous examples where a food producer was shut down after an inspection by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (nVWA) because of insufficient compliance with the hygiene rules.

01 December 2019
Realization of a new building of Refrigerated Warehouse Koningszuivel

Re­al­iza­tion of a new build­ing of Re­frig­er­at­ed Ware­house Kon­ingszuiv­el

Konings-Zuivel has selected DAPP to supervise the new construction project. Konings-Zuivel imports dairy products from various European countries and markets them with various parties in and outside the Netherlands. For example, in addition to other activities, dairy and other chilled products are supplied to the large Dutch supermarkets. Real estate developer WDP was commissioned to build a completely new DC of approximately 10,000 m2 at a location to be developed in Bleiswijk near the intersection of the HSL and the A12. The building was to have refrigerated storage and a large dispatch area. The building should be delivered in accordance with high-quality sustainability and energy requirements (BREEAM Very Good). The DC has a height of approximately 12 meters (equivalent to 5 pallet layers). DAPP has led the entire realization (engineering, logistics infrastructure and construction + technology) with a specialist project team. In addition to the DAPP project manager, the team consisted of specialists from DAPP's database in the field of quality & certification, logistics, construction, climate technology & energy and electricity & instrumentation. Konings-Zuivel has outsourced the entire construction and delivery process and has been able to limit its contributions to the regular coordination of requirements and wishes with regard to planning and quality. In fact, we are talking about a 'turn-key' solution here. Konings-Zuivel has moved to a completely working new DC. The DAPP project team was able to completely unburden the client. Very nice for a client if you can fall back on expertise that you have never had to deal with yourself. In terms of BREEAM, the building does indeed meet the applicable sustainability requirements. This also means, for example, that with a BREAAM-NL certificate, Konings-Zuivel can achieve a significant tax advantage on the investment made. The building is designed in such a way that it is scalable. Should Konings-Zuivel grow to such an extent in the coming years that the current facility becomes too small, one of the side walls can be removed quite easily to create a larger storage space.

31 March 2019
R&D in the 'driver seat' and Marketing as a navigator for innovations

R&D in the 'driv­er seat' and Mar­ket­ing as a nav­i­ga­tor for in­no­va­tions

A frequently heard statement in the press is that marketing and innovation is more than an obvious combination. Based on the idea that everyone is aware of this by now, it is special to see how often an innovation initiative is launched without marketing being involved. Perhaps this situation has to do with a frequently occurring reflex from production development to have much more free rein in innovation. It can be quite annoying when marketing dismisses any idea as “unrealistic” or “”commercially unfeasible”.  Then, if possible, you would rather not have those colleagues around. Isn't it wonderful to invent and realize something new without obstacles? However, from the point of view of the company's interest, the absence of marketing is difficult to defend. The Innovation Team should not lack a direct line with the market. It is important in the brainstorming phase to listen to signals from the market (what needs arise, do we see trends emerging?) and to test each step in the process afterwards for feasibility in the market. This way you can estimate, together with more realism, what the chances are of a new food product to be developed. The challenge here is that this reality check must not lead to the dreamers running away from the Innovation Team through the back door. You need dreamers to think out of the box. We already have enough thinkers who think within the whitewashed lines. Monitoring the balance between reality and dream is therefore an important task for the management of any Innovation Team. We are probably all familiar with the idea of the Chinese to use buses on the crowded roads that drive over the traffic jam at the top. The idea was presented last year with a simulation film at the High-tech Expo in Beijing. If you look at the chosen form of this bus, you can wonder how realistic this idea is, but if you are stuck in that traffic jam every day, that idea can suddenly look very attractive and its feasibility comes a lot closer. It is precisely in the visionary coupled with real needs that product development and marketing should go hand in hand. If a product or service from an innovation project achieves the intended success, that success is often explained more by marketing than by the brilliant idea. And not completely wrong. If you manage to reach the market in the right way (via advertising, via social media and/or target group messaging), this can greatly boost the sales of a new product. It is about the right choice of communication medium combined with the right message. The art of marketing is to stimulate a latent need in the consumer in such a way that it becomes an actual need. With this, a buyer takes action and proceeds to the purchase. Many products are subject to the “Me Too” law. This law explains the tendency of us humans to want to belong. We are real herd animals in it. If you see a lot of people in your area every day with the latest model of an Apple phone, you want one too. We call that the “me too” moment. Another example, closer to home and from the “own food market”, a few years ago we witnessed the rise of prosecco. Suddenly everyone wanted to drink prosecco on a hot summer day. As if other drinks no longer existed. Where does such an emerging need come from? Purely through an effective advertising campaign, followed by exemplary behavior of the early adopters. A nice example of marketing. But what is the position of R&D in the average innovation trajectory? We are used to the fact that a good Innovation Team is made up of representatives from the width of the organization (in addition to R&D, production, logistics, technology and marketing). But what role is there for R&D? I was recently on a company visit to Verstegen Spices in Rotterdam. And it was particularly interesting to hear how Verstegen merged the R&D department with marketing and sales. In the food world, we have the advantage that we can try to influence the taste of the consumer through well-timed actions. It is not news that there are trends and developments in the field of nutrition. And Verstegen influences the taste of our food in a very good and effective way. During the presentation it became clear that R&D spends a lot of time abroad looking for new flavors. Recent visits to countries such as Peru, Mexico and South Korea have yielded a wealth of new flavors (with accompanying spices). Those herbs were taken back to the Netherlands. However, you can't just introduce the taste of one country one-on-one to a country with completely different taste preferences. Just think how the Dutch Chinese restaurateurs prepared their dishes after the warhave adapted to the Dutch taste. The same applies to the taste of other exotic cuisines. Verstegen's R&D department has therefore developed new recipes together with top Dutch chefs that subtly incorporate the new flavors from Peru, Mexico and Korea. These recipes are served by Verstegen in its own kitchen to its own relations who are responsible for further distribution on the Dutch market. Marketing is emphatically involved in that presentation. The new dishes are prepared and served in a very attractive way in Verstegen's test kitchen.  For example, Verstegen Spices tries to open the Dutch market for new herbs in an effective way and thus not only increase its market share, but also grow in absolute terms. In our opinion, this is a very good example of how R&D is at the helm of innovation and steers the company in the right direction, while collaborating with marketing and sales in a very nice way. Isn't that a good example to follow? If you would like to discuss further with us about how R&D can get more behind the wheel, please get in touch. We are happy to think along with you.

30 July 2018
Building starts with a B

Build­ing starts with a B

Building a new distribution center or production warehouse is quite an exciting adventure for any company, large or small. In the distance, the dream goal beckons: the new and contemporary building, in which all bottlenecks of the current accommodation and furnishing are quickly forgotten…..But you cannot achieve that goal just like that, you have to do something for it. And oh yes, in the meantime the current process must also continue to run at full speed undisturbed. After all, the customer should not notice anything. Open due to relocation is the motto! Awareness The devil in this kind of complex trajectory is not in the tail, but in the beginning. Building starts with a B. It ends with it, by the way. Beforehand, the organization should consider the B of Awareness extensively. Standing still now means progress later. What is the long-term strategy of the business and what role does logistics play in this? Do it yourself or outsource? What added value does an external, independent project (supervisor) leader have? Movement Only then is it time for the B of Movement. This design and realization phase revolves around creativity, analytical skills and adequate management of time, money and quality. What are the design criteria? Which alternatives are worthwhile? What is the investment need and what are the current and future operating costs? Security Finally, it's all about the B of Borging. After all, with the delivery of the accommodation there is not yet a smooth running process and a smooth transition from old to new. How is the organization set up? What are the risks? How does the aftercare and transfer from project to operation proceed? It will come as no surprise that the first and last B in particular often get snowed under and that this is usually the underlying cause of unsuccessful routes. You now know B-ter, right? Questions? Own experiences? Inspired? Building plans? Please let us know!

23 February 2018