About JBS Toledo
- Since 1987
- Distributor of frozen cooked beef throughout Western Europe
- Part of JBS, the worlds largest meat processor
- HQ in Ghent (Belgium)
- Need for a modern cloud based ERP solution
- Improvement of customer experience
- Being able to be futureproof for any innovation projects
- Accelerated digitization
- Improved customer experience
- Higher working efficiency
Never heard of JBS Toledo before? If you like an occasional Come a casa lasagna or a Dr. Oetker pizza, you’ve already enjoyed the frozen cooked beef they’ve been distributing throughout Western Europe since 1987. The meat is shipped by their parent company JBS, the world’s largest meat processor, from South America to the port of Antwerp or Rotterdam, where it’s stored in local warehouses. At their Ghent-based office (Belgium), the JBS Toledo team takes care of administration, sales, purchasing and logistics for the Western European market.
Compliance and Traceability
Leen Soenen, JBS Toledo’s CFO since 2013, has seen the food industry change over the years: “Customers demand food transparency and legislation has become increasingly strict. The upcoming EU-wide legislation to fight deforestation, for example, will require proof that our products have no origins on land subject to deforestation or forest degradation.
US legislation is even stricter than in Europe and that, too, affects us. Customers who deliver ready meals to airlines must comply with US legislation. So, we need products with different certificates for them.
On top of that, rules differ between countries too. Mastering this increasingly complex process is challenging, even more as a distributor, as all our data must come from third parties. We really needed to step up end-to-end transparency and traceability.”
Back in 2013, food distribution company JBS Toledo embraced Microsoft Navision as its operational backbone. The ERP system did well, managing every aspect of the firm’s activities for a decade. Yet, shifting customer expectations, new ways of working and, most importantly, ever-stricter compliance urged JBS Toledo to turn to next-gen ERP. Their new recipe for success: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Cegeka.
Upgrade performance, security and go mobile
The traceability requirement was the main reason for JBS Toledo to replace their existing Microsoft Navision ERP system. More than that, the system dated back to 2013 and was reaching end of life. Users struggled with slow database performance, security was faltering, and Microsoft could no longer deliver full support. “Last but not least, we wanted the system to be available for our salespeople on the move, so it had to run on a smartphone and tablet. That called for a cloud-based solution,” Leen adds.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
Today, JBS Toledo runs Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with advanced, customized traceability features. The optimized traceability helps them document and link the production, processing and distribution chains across country and company borders – which is a great leap forward. In addition, Leen and her colleagues appreciate the new look and feel, the intuitive interface, the collaboration features (like chat) and the mobile app, which allows their sales team to work flexibly, on the go.
For Leen, as a CFO, the new reporting features take the cake: “On top of the built-in functionality to collect, analyze and share data, we connected Business Central to Power BI. That helps us create clear dashboards and reports based on the Business Central data. The management here and in Brazil now get a weekly update with useful insights on the market as well as our own business: sales, inventory levels, etc., directly on their homepage.”
As a long-term, satisfied customer of Cegeka, JBS Toledo decided to stick to its ICT partner and the Microsoft portfolio. To gain a clear view of the required solution, time, and budget, Cegeka kicked off the reinvigorated cooperation with a migration scan.
“In 2013, JBS Toledo had implemented a standard Microsoft Navision ERP, with customized features for sea container management and import of goods. The migration scan helped us pinpoint functional gaps between that solution and the current needs, to then identify the technical requirements of the new system,” says Elke Roels, Business Development Executive at Cegeka.
Based on that scan, JBS Toledo and Cegeka drafted a roadmap. They decided to first migrate the existing system and focus on extending the available traceability features. As Leen had been implementing the ERP system back in 2013, she took the lead again, involving and training her colleagues later on.
The recipe for ERP implementation success, according to JBS Toledo:
- Free up enough time in the team.
- Ensure open, always-on communications between the management, key users, business, developers, …
- Encourage users to experiment with the system before go-live, to boost user adoption.
- Determine a clear scope and take it one step at a time: start with your key needs.
- Choose the right implementation partner.
Future outlook: a fully connected company
When looking at the near-future, JBS Toledo plans to deploy the strong collaboration features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central outside its company walls too, to smoothly communicate and exchange documents with customers, business partners – warehouses, logistic firms, … – and networks around the world. In addition, they hope to optimize sales processes with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM.
Until then, they can rely on Microsoft to deliver new releases twice a year and minor updates even every month. Cegeka is always available to deliver support, says Leen: “They’re quite big, and real experts, yet they feel like family. That close cooperation is why we chose to team up with them again for the upgrade.”
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