Van Dijk Groothandel specialises in food (and non-food) items for supermarkets, companies, associations and specialist stores. Since May 2016, they have been working with our ImageCapture software for the automated processing of their invoices in Exact Globe. Edwin Brink, general manager at Van Dijk, talks about his experience with the software and with Scan Sys.

Van Dijk Groothandel

Van Dijk Groothandel was set up in 1959 by father and son Egbert and Jan van Dijk, as a confectionery wholesaler. The company, based in Kampen, grew rapidly into a sizeable organisation and became known as the leading confectionery specialist in the North of the Netherlands. In the fullness of time, grandson Maurice van Dijk (current director of Van Dijk) also joined the family company. Van Dijk wholesalers has now grown into a specialist in food products such as confectionery, drinks and frozen products for well-known brands such as Haribo, Mars and Coca Cola. The wholesale product range grows continuously; with non-food products, including among other things, cleaning products and disposable items, and also seasonal products like gifts at Christmas, St Nicholas Day and Easter. Then there are also the vending and drinks sales. In fact, the wholesaler provides everything to take care of the customer, so that he can order all his products from one supplier. In the last 4 years, under the name Campenaer BV, the organisation has launched a number of coffee products on the market. The own in-house coffee brand, Campenaer, is supplied in a number of different forms like fresh beans, fresh brew or instant coffee, with associated vending machines, maintenance products and services.

We can provide SMEs with everything they need from A to Z: the coffee and coffee machines, toilet paper and cleaning products, even a crate of beer for a Friday afternoon drink. We can cover all of a company’s needs in that area. As wholesalers, we are aware that we may not be the largest player but we do have a very broad range of items that we can supply, at competitive prices. This means we have a clear focus on commercial SMEs as our target group.

The fact that Van Dijk is a genuine family business can be seen in the involvement and personal approach to customers and staff. According to Van Dijk, it is one of the most important reasons for the success of the business. That this organisation also operates with a strong sense of social responsibility can be seen, among other things, from the environmental measures that it has applied in the area of waste separation, and also in the choice of environmentally friendly company cars. The CSR aspect is perhaps best demonstrated on the personal level: for example in a hiring policy where people who have been out of the job market for a time are given the opportunity to be trained to become (logistics) employees. The potential of each person is the focus, instead of the limitations. The organisation can best be described as a professional company with a human face.

The power of our company lies especially in our people. They provide the passion to deliver a positive customer experience. They do this through personal contact with our customers, by reacting quickly, but also by admitting when something went wrong.

The company is going through rapid growth, and automation plays an important part in this; being able to offer a broad range of products and services with just 20 people demands an extremely efficient automation of business processes. In 2017 Van Dijk was looking at expanding the logistics centre where automation was also going to be further applied and improved. The final goal: To serve customers even better, faster and without mistakes.

What separates us from the rest? To summarise briefly: Say what you do and do what you say! That sounds really simple but it is actually one of those things that makes us stand out in the market. We have a lot of personal contact with our customers. We see automation as a way of doing our work as well as possible, but it must not be at the expense of our relationship with our customer. We have different kinds of customers, some of them are happy to use our webshop, while others prefer the personal touch. The customer can decide for themselves how they want to be treated. We can provide each customer with the right information in the way they want to receive it.

Choosing a scanning solution

Every year around 5,000 invoices arrive at Van Dijk wholesalers. Two thirds of these invoices are related to an order and/or goods receipt that has previously been registered in Exact Globe. Processing these invoices (and the invoices for regular overheads) was previously handled manually. This meant that invoices that arrived by email were printed out. And the invoices then floated from one office to another to be checked against the orders and good receipts, and to be approved. Then they were stored in a folder and pulled out again when they needed to be paid. A time-wasting process with little transparency, where invoices sometimes got lost along the way.

Because our organisation has fairly complex business processes, due to the diversity of products and services we supply, we do not hesitate about investing in automation. The more the organisation grows, the more invoices we have to process. Our office staff became overloaded with (administrative) work, meaning that they did not have enough time for our customers. That is why we decided to automate our invoice processing.

It took us about six months to find the right scanning solution. We spoke to a number of different parties and told them we wanted to automate the process that we currently had in place, and were not willing to adapt the process in order to be able to automate it. We notice in our sector that customers are becoming ever more critical, and are looking for added value. This means that we as a wholesaler need to make choices that add value for our customers. This also applies to the other parties with whom we do business. Through our Exact dealer, A.B. Software we got in touch with Scan Sys and the account manager understood exactly what it was that we needed.

You see so many software products on the market that are unnecessarily expensive and often really complicated. This is often related to repeat consultancy fees with these companies. The ImageCapture software just works really simply. You pay one amount, one time and that is it. You don’t need a consultant coming along each month either, just to make sure that the software is still doing its job.

Using ImageCapture

Invoices arrive by email at the dedicated email address, and are then imported into ImageCapture. The invoices that still arrive by post are first scanned, and then ImageCapture reads the invoices and links them to the right creditor in Exact. For invoices based on a purchase order, ImageCapture matches them to the order and goods receipt registered previously in Exact, after which the invoice is posted through to Exact immediately if there is a 100% match. The invoice is not blocked for payment in this case, because it has already been checked by the software.

The warehouse indicates they need to buy something. This is done by our Logistics team, which consists of a buyer and an inventory manager. They place an order with a supplier at a previously agreed price. First of all we receive the delivery note, from which we record the goods in Exact based on quantities. When the invoice is received, we match it in ImageCapture for both quantities and prices. If the invoice is not correct, then it can’t be booked, and we inform our supplier. Only ater there is clarity about the invoice, the booking is sent through to Exact from where the payment is made.

Experience with Scan Sys

We have implemented various automation projects with different partners, but not one of those went through so easily as the implementation carried out by your consultant Walter (ed. Walter Prins). The consultant knew a lot about administrative processes and we scarcely had any problems when using the software. If we do occasionally have a problem, we contact your help desk. Usually the problem is then resolved within 5 minutes.

The use of ImageCapture has ensured that the financial processes became a whole lot more flexible. We barely find any errors. Our creditors are paid on time, exactly to the day, and the most important thing: our people have time to do what they do so well, their core business. We invested in the software in order to create more time for our people, so that they in turn can spend more time on our customers. Our organisation is strengthened on three fronts by this automation: both purchasing and payments run a whole lot more efficiently, which means that there is more time to keep our receivables lower.

Scan Sys provides automation that works, it is reliable, and it allows you quite simply to do your work.

Edwin Brink, general manager Van Dijk Groothandel