Royal Smilde: Flawless Transition to JD Edwards & RF-SMART Royal Smilde: Flawless Transition to JD Edwards & RF-SMART
Royal Smilde JD Edwards Oracle

Royal Smilde Bakery and Royal Smilde Foods achieve shared data access with JD Edwards


Founded in 1863, the international family company Royal Smilde supplies 1,800 different food products to business customers and consumers in more than 47 countries. The company has grown significantly in recent decades and now has six production locations in the Netherlands. Joint data access for the Foods and Bakery business units was required in order to work in a data-driven manner. A shared JD Edwards system, implemented by Cadran, proved to be the solution. With this platform and smart mobile solution RF-SMART, Royal Smilde is back up to date.

Royal Smilde’s entire group consists of four business units: Royal Smilde Bakery, Foods, Natura and Futura. The group decided to embrace a standardized platform for Bakery and Foods. Richard Elsinga, IT manager at Royal Smilde, says: “We searched for a long time for a suitable package. Because Smilde Foods had good experiences with JD Edwards, which they had been using since 2012, we eventually chose that package. We then looked at the market to see which consultancy and implementation partner would suit us best. We ended up with Cadran. The company fits us perfectly in terms of mentality and size, and the people understand us well.”

Phased go live

Royal Smilde chose to go live in phases: first two of the factories and the headquarters, followed by the branches in Germany, Belgium and Roden. “We first took Cadran’s people on a tour of the factories. Based on that, we started talking to get the processes above board. It turned out that we could reuse the Smilde Foods template because the Foods and Bakery processes are quite similar. The strategy was to take the Foods process as the basis and adjust where necessary for Bakery in the configuration.”

Good preparation

For the implementation, Cadran assembled a project group. Users from this group went to test, wrote manuals and transferred their knowledge to colleagues from the logistics, production and finance departments in particular. By practicing in test environments and using manuals for entering a contract, for example, employees were well prepared for the new system. Richard: “The transition for three branches to a new system with RF-SMART was a very big and successful step for us. It is therefore great that so much attention was paid to the preparation. This allowed us to keep running as usual during implementation and going live.”

“Business processes are shaped by people”

For the implementation, Royal Smilde deliberately chose a project leader from Cadran and a project leader from a non-IT perspective from Royal Smilde, who stayed away from technology and focused on people and processes. Richard: “This worked very well, because an IT implementation is never really just about the technology. Business processes are shaped by people and you have to include these people in a change process. For them, the biggest change comes after going live, when they actually start working with a new system. In the first version, after transferring the data, there appeared to be a lot of errors in the master data, and I really like how Cadran dealt with that. They buckled down, persevered and got the system live. I also really like Cadran’s open communication structure and the consultants who know their way around very well.”

“By Sunday afternoon, everything was already in place.”

During the implementation, business operations continued as usual. The two factories and four remote warehouses remained fully functioning and experienced no disruption. Richard: “In the end, we put the system live for both the two factories and the headquarters in one weekend and transferred all outstanding items and inventory. Just to be sure, we had shut everything down on Friday. The old system went out over the weekend and we switched completely to the new one. Scanning, ERP, supply chain and demand planning, everything went over in one fell swoop, which was quite exciting. But it went very smoothly, by Sunday afternoon everything was up and running.”


In addition to implementing JD Edwards, Cadran also introduced RF-SMART at Royal Smilde. This is a mobile solution for data collection in the warehouse, logistics and production processes. It is fully integrated with JD Edwards WMS and Inventory Management. This gives Royal Smilde access to integrated JD Edwards data at any time and any location, which helps enormously in managing the logistics process. Richard: “Everything you produce needs to be registered and monitored in the chain. Especially when it comes to food, because of food safety. We label each batch at pallet level so that we can track this pallet in the logistics process. This also saves us a lot of administrative work; by scanning the barcode on the pallet, we can include it further in the process. That saves a lot of retyping work. Compare it to scanning at the checkout in the supermarket: you don’t have to look up and type in the number of the bake-off rolls there either.”

Discover the power of RF-SMART

RF-Smart is an integrated scanning solution for JD Edwards, optimizing warehouse and logistics operations with mobile barcode technology.

No bells and whistles

If you, as a production organization, want to register your production and handle your logistics in a convenient and fast way, you have two choices; a complete MES/WMS package or RF-SMART. Richard: “With RF-SMART, fully integrated with JD Edwards, you have everything you need. Logistic registration is very important, but all the bells and whistles of an MES/WMS package are not necessary. You would then have an extra implementation and buy a lot of functionality that you will never use. RF-SMART offers everything we need, is manageable and also very flexible. With our previous (customized) solution, for example, we couldn’t do anything. RF-smart is a configured standard solution, so if our processes were to change, we could adapt RF-SMART to this fairly easily. It’s such a reliable and good add-on that we want to roll this out across all manufacturing plants.”

Ready for the future

“The great thing is that in terms of platform we are back up to date,” Richard adds. “We are now going to further roll out JD Edwards across all locations and then also equip the Heereveen plant with RF-SMART. And every two years we want to start upgrading JD Edwards.” Richard’s ultimate goal is for Royal Smilde to become a data-driven organization, and for that the basics have to be right. He has been working with Business Intelligence for years but because Bakery and Foods are now working with the same system, joint data access becomes possible. “And with this we are contributing to sustainable growth,” he concludes.

Bart Dix

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