Success Story LC Packaging

Globally uniform, but still working on a country-by-country basis

Lammers & Van Cleeff BV (founded in 1923) has been a prominent supplier of packaging materials in the construction and agricultural sectors, the plastics industry, and the foodstuffs and chemical industries for more than 80 years. Apart from cardboard stacking boxes for fruit and vegetables, the product range also offers FIBC (big bags) jute, paper and plastic bags and fully automatic weighing and packing machines for a wide range of applications.

Since 1 January 2008, Lammers & Van Cleeff has been operating globally under the company name of LC Packaging. This name change emphasises the continued internationalisation of the company, which opened its first office abroad in 1981. Today, LC Packaging operates directly in eight countries: the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, France, Spain, Hungary, Germany and Rumania.

It also has various production locations in the Far East. It has its head office in Nieuwerkerk aan de IJssel, the Netherlands. In 2007, LC Packaging and its 150 members of staff realised a 90 million turnover.

Centralised ERP

For its automation process, LC Packaging relied on a system that offered only limited functionality and which could not provide a centralised ERP provision for the branches abroad. A new ERP system would have to integrate all the countries in question.

Successful lightning operation

While scouring the market of software suppliers and implementation partners, LC Packaging came into contact with SAP partner United VARs. It had some reservations about SAP however. The Spanish branch had implemented SAP Business One only recently, and was not entirely happy with it. The implementation had required a lot of customisation and the package was not bug-free. As a result, confidence in the IT supplier in question - not one of United VARs - had disappeared and with that, confidence in SAP.

Peter Geelen (United VARs) subsequently asked Deputy Managing Director of United VARs in Spain, Alessandro Daniel, to help out with a prospect who was about to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Daniel immediately sent people to the Spanish branch who soon resolved the issue - without contract, nor any advance payment for that matter. "That strengthened our confidence", explains Nick Jansen, Director the Netherlands and Spain, at LC Packaging.

"First our confidence in the package itself, as we could see that SAP in itself is a fine product, and that our problems were caused by poor implementation. We also saw that the choice of partner is vital. With United VARs, we've tapped a versatile and high-quality channel." After this successful lightning operation by United VARs, LC Packaging signed up for the rollout of SAP Business All-in-One; first in the Netherlands and after that also internationally.

International integration

The processes for purchasing, stocks, warehouse, sales and accounting in every country are now supported by a single system - SAP All-in-One. First, it reduces the TCO, because maintaining one system is considerably more efficient than, say, 12. Thanks to the international integration, LC Packaging can now plan, share stocks and consolidate accounts on a country-by-country basis. And with the use of a configurator, it is also possible to structure the production process on the basis of client specifications; this may involve jute bags with different dimensions and print for instance.

Templates: Top in efficiency

Nick Jansen: "For international implementations, you often engage one of the big IT service providers. But before their consultants have written a blueprint and have finalised a customised solution, you will have spent a lot of time and money. The United VARs partners develop templates for specific sectors of industry and as such build on insights from previous projects. They've got a ready-made solution and they can implement it fast, with minor changes if necessary. They can also demonstrate the template immediately. This makes it easier for you as a potential client to assess whether the package is suitable, minimising the risk of errors. It also saves you a lot of time and money during implementation."

Strength of the collective

The implementation in branches abroad was guided by the United VARs partner in the countries in question. Partners from other countries were called in, if necessary, when specific expertise was needed, such as RF barcode scanning in the warehouse. "As such, every individual reseller contributes his speciality and no one at United VARs needs to reinvent the wheel," explains Peter Geelen. "Apart from the collective, it is the client more than anyone else who benefits from this."

Uniform and country-specific

Applying a uniform rollout method in different countries promotes a clear way of working - one of LC Packaging's explicit objectives. Nevertheless, countryspecific issues such as statutory accounting requirements (those in Belgium differ from those in the Netherlands for instance) and training for end users (which must be formulated in their own language) are taken into account. In brief, the SAP solution for LC Packaging standardises the business operations, but at the same time it meets local particulars within the organisation. That too was a vital objective of LC Packaging.

All issues resolved

The first proposals for this project date back to early 2007. The preliminary stages went smoothly, thanks to a quick solution to the problems in Spain. This was followed by the implementation of SAP All-in-One in LC Packaging Netherlands. Geelen: "That initial ERP implementation is always demanding, but all issues have been resolved and the product was soon rolled out in the other countries as well."

LC Packaging

Industry: Construction, agriculture, plastics, foodstuffs and chemicals

Products: Packaging materials in the construction and agricultural sectors, the plastics industry, and the foodstuffs and chemical industries

Subsidiaries: The Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, France, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Rumania, the Far East

Employees: 150

Internet: www.lcpackaging.nl

The Project

Solution: SAP Business All-in-One

Opportunities: Integrate all the countries in question Plan, share stocks and consolidate accounts on a country-by-country basis

Highlights: Support processes for purchasing, stocks, warehouse, sales and accounting in every country by a single system. Structure the production process on the basis of client specifications. Standardise the business operations, but at the same time meet local particulars within the organisation.

Added Value
for LC Packaging

  • International integration
  • Templates for specific sectors of industry
  • Insights from previous projects
  • Ready-made solution
  • Time and money savings