The growth recipe of Sonneveld

The perfect mise-en-place: data-driven insights increase flexibility and efficiency

Peter Verhagen, CEO, Sonneveld

Isabelle Quartel, Continuous Improvement Program Manager, Sonneveld


Getting Started

 🔪  Time to prepare: 1 year
 🍳  Cooking time: 2,5 year
 👨‍👩‍👧  Users: approximately 225


  • Base: central data and processes
  • Topping: customer support portal
  • Added flavor: room for automation
  • Cherry on top: insights in production and logistics
  • Secret sauce: traceability and sustainability


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


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

Solution & technology

How do you mesh the age-old craft of baking with innovation? Effortlessly, if your name is Sonneveld. In their European Bakery Innovation Center, the most innovative recipes and ideas emerge and the food experts taste, test and share their products and insights with the entire European bakery world. 
To streamline their internal processes, the organization is also throwing a considerable amount of innovation into the mix. The decision for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform is a perfect example of this! Discover their recipe for success.   

1. Build a solid foundation

Bread improvement ingredients, bread and pastry mixes, marzipan, almond paste and release agents, as well as technology and advice on process optimization: Sonneveld's offering is incredibly broad. But their focus has remained unchanged for almost 70 years: helping bakers make delicious bread and pastries. Today, they achieve this with a team of more than 265 employees in 3 Dutch and 4 foreign locations. 
In 2010, the family business was acquired by Orkla Food Ingredients. Since then, Sonneveld itself has taken over a number of companies. The result: an (even) wider range and plenty of opportunities to grow. But also organizational challenges, such as the existence of multiple ERP systems and dozens of reports.
In order to get a better grip on all activities and streamline processes across branches, Sonneveld took the decision to switch to a centralized and standardized IT platform: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations. Currently, the platform is running in Sonneveld's 3 production sites.  

“Acquisitions created a jungle of systems, and each department had its own reports. That hindered our growth."

- Peter Verhagen, CEO, Sonneveld

2. Promptly respond to changes

"In the past, each branch had its own data, and each department had its own reports. That's not how you get centralized insights," CEO Peter Verhagen says. "That's why we very deliberately introduced standard processes and reports. In order to do this, we had to reinvent our way of working, which did meet with some resistance internally. Step by step we are trying to turn that around."
That persistence is paying off, especially in the current, unstable times. "During the pandemic, our turnover and sales stagnated. At the time, we were in the midst of implementing the Microsoft platform and decided to persevere. That was the right choice. Because shortly thereafter, raw material and energy prices skyrocketed.

Having a stable IT platform that controls all core processes in one central location and has one version of the truth helps us cope with these developments. We collaborate better across departments and branches and have better visibility of our processes. This allows us to move faster when changes occur," Peter said.

3. Offer extraordinary services

The more streamlined Sonneveld operates, the more customers benefit as well. Thanks to the central order and invoicing system, orders and invoices are sent out swiftly. And without that stable backbone, Sonneveld could never have built the new webshop, where customers can order products 24/7. The portal is seamlessly integrated into the Microsoft Dynamics environment.

Because the portal is still new, most orders currently still arrive at the Customer Services team by mail or phone. The more customers order via the webshop in the future, the more efficient the Customer Services team at Sonneveld will operate. For the customers themselves, the webshop offers quite some added value: for example, they can look into their order history and other relevant information.

4. Optimize your production and logistics processes

For now, Sonneveld mainly uses financial reports. "In the future, we also want reports for all operational processes," says Isabelle Quartel, Continuous Improvement Program Manager. She is already looking forward to the benefits: "By mapping our production and logistics processes, we gain insight into each step of our supply chain, including the associated costs. Based on these insights, we can further improve our operational processes and reduce costs." 

“In the future, we can also set up reports for our operational processes. And because we chose the Microsoft platform, we can integrate other systems with ease.This allows us to optimize our processes step by step."

- Isabelle Quartel, Continuous Improvement Program Manager, Sonneveld


5.  Consider sustainability and security

Peter and Isabelle admit there is still work that needs to be done. But they are on the right path. “Centralizing, getting the basics in order, cleaning up the data and setting up the correct governance: those were quite big steps. We now have a very solid foundation. By integrating the platform with more systems, we can really use a data-driven approach and even do forecasting,” says Peter. “Automation is also becoming easier and that is crucial for us: Sonneveld wants to automate 80% of all processes in the long term."

They will also make strides towards sustainability, he continues, “Customers and suppliers are demanding more and more traceability and responsible sourcing. We already have to submit an enormous amount of data today, and each supplier has its own requirements. Automating that reporting process will save us a lot of time.”

As a wrap-up, Isabelle points out another requirement of business partners: security. “Cybersecurity is extremely important for any business. We trust Microsoft to provide the very best security. That too is a prerequisite for our growth.”

“We certainly chose the right route. The foundations for using a truly data-driven approach, gathering plenty of new insights and making efficiency gains are now in place.”

- Peter Verhagen, CEO, Sonneveld 

How did Cegeka accomplish this?

At the start of the project, Sonneveld was determined: they didn't want to revamp old processes, but rather centralize and standardize them. This required some thorough brainstorming in which Cegeka involved both the IT and business teams.  
“Dynamics 365 is based on global standards; we must adhere to that as much as possible. Cegeka challenged us in this. Their experience in the food industry proved incredibly useful in setting up all the processes with us.”


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