Up until a year ago, Marcel Vreugdenhil, as a logistics planner at hydrangea grower Sjaak van Schie, sometimes had work weeks of 60 to 70 hours. "I used to be a month behind with the packaging administration," he says, "but in this seasonal industry, you can't just hire and train someone because they would then be superfluous in the quiet time." He found the solution in the packaging registration software from PackControl.

70 hectares of Hydrangeas in the Netherlands and Portugal
Sjaak van Schie has branches in the Netherlands and Portugal, and the family business contains a total of about 70 hectares of hydrangea production, which it supplies in various growth stages, from cuttings to the final product. Increasingly, you will also find exclusive Hydrangea varieties. The packaging administration mainly revolves around CCs (Danish containers) and the associated plates.

Packaging administration in Excel: prone to errors
There are around 130 permanent employees working for the company. One of them is Marcel Vreugdenhil, who, as a Logistics Planner, is responsible for the administrative processing of all packaging transactions. "Until a year ago, we primarily did the packaging administration in Excel. The problem is that it's prone to errors. I am very meticulous, and I spent a lot of time on it. But even then, I was always dependent on the formulas in an Excel worksheet. I didn't always have control over it. For example, if a colleague also worked in it, it was difficult to find where errors occurred."

Rising costs
The costs associated with the packaging can add up significantly in a company of this size. "And it's not just about rental costs, but especially about loss costs, which are quickly much higher because it is so difficult to keep the administration correct without automation."

20 hours a week is too much
The packaging administration became problematic, Marcel explains: "Depending on the time of year, I spent a lot of time on it. Too much. In the high season, from January to June, on average, about 20 hours a week. And if you work in Excel, you don't have a system that helps you when you run out of time."

"I used to be a month behind with the packaging administration because there is more to do. Then you end up with work weeks of 60 to 70 hours, and that's just not good. That was no longer possible. Conclusion: I spent most of my time on the packaging administration, and that's where we could make the biggest time-saving."

Switching to PackControl
The switch to PackControl's packaging registration system was easy. "It's a system that takes over the work and does it in a way that works for us. It's a good solution. In Portugal, it's going well, too, because it's all self-explanatory. Data is read in at night and processed automatically. What used to be done manually in Excel, we now hardly have to look at."

Time saving of 75%
"Working with PackControl really saves a lot of time. Where I used to spend about 20 hours a week on packaging administration, now I'm done in an hour a day," Marcel says. A time saving of 75%. What is the reason for this? Mainly the automation. "Uploading files prevents manual work and is very accurate. We import transactions from multiple ERP systems and those from Royal FloraHolland. We process the transactions using automatic imports."

"The Responsibility Rules are also very important to us. They regulate who is responsible for the packaging. You can set under which conditions a certain transaction is linked to a carrier or to a customer. You set this once, and you can specify the conditions yourself." Rules and agreements are, therefore, always correctly applied, saving time and money.

"The systems with which we print delivery notes are also linked to PackControl," says Marcel, "and for bookings we make, we can upload documents in PackControl. It just works very nicely."

Finally some free time
Despite the time saving, Marcel is anything but bored. Asked what he does with the time he 'saves,' he says with a laugh: "I still had a lot of hours left because in recent years I was working far too much. There was still a lot to be done at home, so I finally managed to take some time off. Now that the busy season is coming again, there is still more than enough to do in the coming time."

Source: Pack Control