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Flawless NAV upgrade at Belgosuc paves the way for further automation

Tim Vanbelle, CIO Belgosuc

Industry: Food 


With an output of around 80,000 tons per year and more than 1,000 customers, Belgosuc’s success depends on the stability of its ERP processes. That’s why the sugar producer has been using Microsoft Dynamics NAV since 2009, and has been working with Cegeka as its ERP partner. “In the context of further automation, we upgraded to NAV 2017 at the start of 2017. It was a large project that required seamless interaction between the parties. Fortunately, we managed to complete it within a short time frame.”

Belgosuc’s central NAV package is linked to various other IT systems, including Cegeka’s custom solutions that are tailored to the food industry. “We’re very happy with both NAV and the food add-on”, CIO Tim Vanbelle says. “In IT, an ERP system from 2009 is a dinosaur. We’ve experienced strong growth in recent years in terms of production and storage capacity, so we were looking for a solution that supported our capacity increase. In addition, we wanted to keep the flexibility that is so dear to our customers, so it was high time to start automating additional processes.”

Intense cooperation

Tim always keeps up with the latest digital developments, including attending Cegeka’s annual customer days. “At some point you just know that it’s time to take the next step”, he continues. “Not only are new ver-sions of Microsoft NAV being released at an increasing pace, they are also becoming easier to implement. This means that we only need one big upgrade to grow with the platform. In consultation with the Cegeka experts, we decided to go for a limited ERP project. After that, we can roll out larger features in the context of a phased approach.”

The project started in January. As Tim says, “First we outlined all existing and desired scenarios. Cegeka’s templates proved very useful in this phase. Then we worked together to draft the scope and planning. Six months is quite a challenge for such a large-scale upgrade, so both parties had to keep the ball rolling. Luckily there was no scope creep. Once Cegeka had converted our data and performed the upgrade, we were able to start testing. This was a period of intense collaboration, and everything went smoothly thanks to well-defined processes and tight project management.”

Continuous optimization 

The new system went live in August. Cegeka trained Belgosuc’s key users, who then spread their knowledge internally. “This didn’t take long, because NAV is very user-friendly. Now we’re starting to reap the bene-fits of the upgrade. We can work more efficiently thanks to various small improvements. We now exchange transport orders through EDI (electronic data interchange) and manage return orders centrally through Navision. In addition, our quotation system runs more efficiently and we’ve started implementing OCR for our invoices.”

“But the real power of Dynamics NAV is that it enables continuous optimization”, Tim emphasizes. We’re still rolling out new features for administration, inventory management and invoicing. Once all our business processes are running on the NAV platform, we’ll rightfully be able to say that our workplace is fully digitized, automated and integrated. Our customers are happier now, because they see that we can help them with all their questions, and soon we’ll be even more flexible, pro-active and innovative.”

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"Thanks to clear arrangements with Cegeka and their fast response times, we were able to implement a substantial upgrade in a short-term project.”


Challenges

  • Find a solution that supports the capacity increase.
  • Automate additional processes to keep the flexibility to the customers.

Results

  • An upgrade of Microsoft Dynamics NAV to the 2017 version.
  • A limited ERP project to roll out larger features in a phased approach.
  • A clear project: scenarios – scope and planning – testing.

Solution

Food & Process

Technology

Microsoft