The growth recipe of Van Ballegooijen Foods

Digitization helps Van Ballegooijen Foods raise the bar ever higher

Gijs van den Berg, CFO at Van Ballegooijen Foods


Getting started

 🔪  Preperation time: 6 months
 🍳  Cooking time: 1,5 year 
 👨‍👩‍👧  Users: 68


  • Base: Centralized data and processes
  • Topping: Traceability
  • Added flavor: Quality assurance
  • Cherry on top: Insights into production and logistics
  • Secret sauce: Smart price calculations


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


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

Solution & technology

From the Netherlands to Japan to the Middle East, Van Ballegooijen Foods (VBF) is known everywhere for their delicious butter and butter dough products. In addition to that outstanding product quality, the family business is synonymous with exceptional service - and has been for more than 140 years. 

They combine those traditions and values with operational efficiency, part of it is thanks to technology and digitalization. And their ERP system is in the middle of it all: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations. Discover their recipe for success.


1. Establish a solid, central foundation

Quality, service but also innovation have always been top of mind at butter maker Royal VIVBuisman (RVB) and dough specialist Van der Pol (VDP), the organizations that operate together under the Van Ballegooijen Foods flag. Just after World War II, RVB introduced a packing machine for butter. Since 1966, they have exported butter products to Japan. 
Software and Microsoft ERP also made an early appearance at the establishments. Initially, this was to support the finance team. A few years ago, VBF decided to streamline other business processes as well.  
“Purchasing, sales and even production and logistics: everyone had their own way of working and their own tools,” says Gijs van den Berg, CFO at Van Ballegooijen Foods. “The number of spreadsheets was beyond counting. That approach works if your product range is limited, but our range has expanded considerably in recent years. Moreover, the guidelines around quality and sustainability are becoming stricter, the market is volatile and margins are under pressure. In order to maintain the quality and flexibility we are known for, operational efficiency becomes increasingly important.”

To meet those challenges, VBF needed real-time insights and standardized processes, and thus an enterprise-wide platform with a central database, and they traded in the existing Microsoft AX system for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations. First on-premise, more recently in the cloud.


2. Put maximum effort into traceability

One of the first processes that is in pristine condition thanks to the new Microsoft platform is traceability. “That was one of the important requirements for the switch,” Gijs recalls. “In the past, we maintained a lot of data manually. That became difficult with the growing number of raw materials and finished products and customers in 50 countries. Especially since the standards around sustainability and food safety are getting raised. Every year we get many audits and perform recall tests. These are all running excellently. For each batch, we can perfectly map the journey of our products.”

Luc Vroom, Functional Administrator, explains how it works, “We can query in real time where each raw material and product used is located. But we can also see when the product was made, which cream was used, for example, and even what else was produced that day with that same cream. So, if something goes wrong, we can quickly recall those products.”


3. Enhance quality control

Of course, Van Ballegooijen Foods makes every effort to avoid recalls. Quality has been the focus since the early years - 1868 for RVB, 1885 for VDP. “We work for niche markets where quality is incredibly important, and our customers continue to come back exactly for that quality. From the choice of raw materials to engineering and services, the bar is consistently high,” Gijs says.
The same story also applies when it comes to quality assurance: the more diverse the product range, the more complex. With the help of Microsoft Dynamics 365, VBF wants to further enhance its existing quality assurance efforts. Luc: “Currently, we check all incoming raw materials and products using a checklist in Excel. For outgoing products, we use a different application. We will soon integrate that information into Dynamics 365, so that we can immediately see whether the purchased raw materials or produced end products meet all quality requirements.

“Quality has been our trademark for more than a century. We are a preferred supplier for a reason. With Microsoft Dynamics 365, we can safeguard that quality even more."

- Luc Vroom, Functional Administrator, Van Ballegooijen Foods

4. Optimize production planning 

VBF also wants to further optimize its production processes. “Our production is largely order-driven,” Gijs explains. “We even have our own laboratory where our product and process technologists put together products at the customer's request. Those are then sampled in the test kitchen. Of course, that's harder to push into processes.”

“Still, we are looking at optimizations,” Luc adds. “Our platform is called Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations for a reason. By connecting our operational processes in the Microsoft platform, we want to get an overview of our purchasing, production, inventory management and warehouse management. Through material planning, for example, we see the status of inventories. So, we know when we need to buy material and can control the production process.”

“In the past, there was cream. Now there is organic cream, cream from pasture milk, cream without gene technology, etc. That growing number of raw materials and final products has quite an impact on our planning.”

- Gijs van den Berg, CFO, Van Ballegooijen Foods 

5. Solidify your control over prices

VBF also wants to use Microsoft Dynamics 365 to gain more insight into the development and construction of margins so they can make strategic decisions around product-market combinations.  
“For now, we are still relying a lot on intuition and experience. In recent years the market has become much more unstable, resulting in large price fluctuations, among other things. In the future we also expect more scarcity of raw materials, here in the Netherlands, as a result of which we may have to import from abroad. At such times you have to be able to make the right choices. Cost price calculation therefore becomes increasingly important,” Gijs says.  
With the new Microsoft platform, VBF also wants to enter post-calculations. “When our sales receive an order, they calculate the sales price based on raw material, packaging and transport prices, supplemented by coverages for other operating costs. By checking pre-calculations against post-calculations, we improve our understanding of the impact of market price developments on our margins and bottom line.”  


6. Be prepared for the future

Gijs briefly zooms in on another topic that is increasingly higher on the agenda at VBF: sustainability. “The pressure to work sustainably is increasing rapidly. We have to report to multiple authorities more and more. Not only about our products, but soon also about our CO2 emissions and about socio-economic issues such as gender distribution. For us, sustainability has a direct impact on our raw materials. That will be quite a challenge,” Gijs says.

Of course, a Microsoft platform cannot solve every challenge. But it already provides central access to a large amount of data, it works effortlessly with applications such as Power Apps and it is getting smarter. “We keep raising our standards and want to grow. With Microsoft Dynamics 365, we have a stable platform that will support us through changes.”

How was Cegeka able to accomplish this?

VBF replaced Microsoft Dynamics AX with Microsoft Dynamics 365, first on-premise and then in the cloud. After the implementation, VBF enlisted Cegeka's help to ensure more effective use of the platform. We performed a thorough scan and worked out a detailed roadmap based on the results. Step by step, we help VBF embed the Microsoft platform in everything they do. 
“Cegeka has a lot of expertise and knowledge of the food industry. That spoke to us. With this collaboration, we can build on a solid organization that also has the right ambitions.”


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