The growth recipe of Bolletje

How does Bolletje remain the brand that everyone wants?

Jeroen Schoenmaker, MS Dynamics consultant, Bolletje

Henrieke Ruiterkamp, Assistant Customer Development Manager, Bolletje

 

Getting Started

 ðŸ”ª  Time to prepare: 3 months
 ðŸ³  Cooking time: 1 month
 ðŸ‘¨â€ðŸ‘©â€ðŸ‘§  Users: 12

Ingredients

  • Base: central data and processes
  • Topping: streamlined customer management
  • Secret sauce: continuously scale up and optimize

Challenges

  • Gefragmenteerde data-vastlegging
  • Vertragingen in projecten 
  • Dynamische, internationale markt 

Results

  • Sturen op basis van data
  • Actuele status projecten
  • Betere klantcommunicatie

Solution & technology

"I want Bolletje!" Every Dutch person who hears this slogan immediately thinks of the Dutch A-brand of rusks, crackers and gingerbread sweets. Bolletjes rusks have been on the shelf in almost every Dutch supermarket for decades.  

Bolletje combines its baker's craft with innovation - both in their assortment and in its internal processes - to maintain its market leadership. Bolletje builds on the Microsoft platform step by step, which is a perfect fit with their vision. Discover their recipe for success.

 

1. Centralizing at the foundation for automation - and greater efficiency

The roots of baking company Bolletje are in the Dutch town of Almelo, where Gerardus Johannes ter Beek opened a bakery in 1867. Today Bolletje has 500 employees in 2 locations: Almelo and Heerde.

Behind Bolletje's growth is hard work and a focus on quality. But also a large dose of courage. The courage to invest early in technology and automation, for example. An electric rye dough machine in 1900? An electric oven and an automatic baking line with a conveyor belt in 1940? Bolletje did it. Always with that same goal in mind: to work more efficiently.

That drive for efficiency remained. In the 1980s, Bolletje developed its own ERP system. When they encountered the limits of that system, they moved to Microsoft Dynamics AX on-premise. "Bolletje wanted to automate more," says Jeroen Schoenmaker, MS Dynamics consultant. "To do that, you first have to centralize and harmonize all the processes. Microsoft provided a standardized, process-oriented approach."

“If you want to grow today, you need to automate. To enable that, you must first centralize all the processes and data across departments."

- Jeroen Schoenmaker, MS Dynamics consultant, Bolletje

2. Save time with streamlined customer management 

Recently, Bolletje decided to centralize customer management as well. "Bolletje has always paid a lot of attention to connecting with retailers, wholesalers and food producers," said Henrieke Ruiterkamp, assistant customer development manager. "Many of our sales colleagues have also worked for Bolletje for a long time and have personal contact with customers."  

However, new team members like Henrieke saw room for improvement in efficiency: "Customer data and histories were scattered in spreadsheets, on smartphones, on paper or were memorized by our colleagues."

Thanks to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, Henrieke and her colleagues now have a central overview of contacts, opportunities and leads. So, the right information is always available to them. Data entry is smooth, as is data retrieval and visualization - even in the mobile app. And thanks to the integration with Microsoft Outlook 365, all mail conversations are linked to the customer dossier. 

"The application introduces a new way of working, so we need to be patient to experience all the benefits. But everyone is enthusiastic. Once all the data is in the system, we will save a lot of time," Henrieke said.

 

3. Innovate your products together with your customer

Bolletjes' drive to automate processes also brings along a positive effect on customer relationships. The bakery is working ever more closely with its customers to remain successful in the rapidly changing food market.  


Henrieke explains: "Consumers today have different expectations. Young people eat less straightforward rusks. They want more fiber, less sugar and fewer carbohydrates. Bolletje responds to this, for example with crackers and cereal bars. 
 
Our customers help us to stay on top of changes. Together we discuss important trends, and we even involve them in the development of new products. As we use our CRM system more intensively and scale it up, we will be able to better document and manage that collaboration." 

 

“A good customer relationship is more important today than ever. Our customers help us to stay on top of changes. We even involve them in our innovation process."

- Henrieke Ruiterkamp, assistant customer development manager, Bolletje

4. Consider logistics and sustainability

Henrieke also sees opportunities for - and a need for - close cooperation with customers and suppliers in the areas of logistics and sustainability.  
 
"Our customers are large retail companies and food producers. They will soon have to comply with the new CSRD guidelines, and so they need information from us about working conditions, circularity, CO2 emissions, and so on. I think it would be very useful to link that data to the customer in the CRM system.

Moreover, we can work with our customers to make the supply chain more sustainable by, for example, optimally loading our trucks and optimizing routes. We can also set up our CRM system for this purpose in the future or expand it with PowerApps or features from Power Automate."

 

5.    Be future-proof – with the cloud 

Like any food organization, Bolletje has struggled in recent months and years with an uncertain supply of raw materials and skyrocketing gas prices. "These are historic times," Jeroen said. "By adopting an increasingly centralized and data-driven approach, we can solidify our decisions and manage our business better." 
 
Currently, Bolletje relies on Microsoft Dynamics AX for that, in combination with a standalone solution for reporting, forecasting, business intelligence, etc. During 2024, Jeroen plans to streamline the entire IT infrastructure, with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform at its core. 
 
"A cloud platform is future-proof, more secure, always up-to-date and it becomes much easier to connect other applications. The CRM application was a first step. We have planted a seed in the ground that we are extremely happy with," Jeroen concludes.

 

“The CRM application was a first step towards Microsoft Dynamics 365. We have planted a seed in the ground that we are extremely happy with.” 

- Jeroen Schoenmaker, MS Dynamics consultant, Bolletje
 

How was Cegeka able to accomplish this?
Cegeka implemented a light version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, which went live in just 10 days. "We had been looking for a CRM solution for a long time, but most packages were too big for our team. This package is completely tailored to our needs," Jeroen says.

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