Key points for Van Vliet Containers

  1. Operating more efficiently and using load carriers more sustainably by making optimal use of all company data.
  2. Making better strategic decisions by unifying and making data from all IT systems accessible in one data platform.
  3. Providing additional transparency and insights for the customer through a Customer Dashboard.
  4. The collaboration between Bexter and Cohelion offers the best of both worlds.

Read the customer reference

How data-driven work created an entirely new business.

We are increasingly having groceries delivered. In doing so, we are placing higher demands; groceries must be delivered within fifteen minutes. Consumers often do not realize what is needed to offer products in large quantities: an enormous amount of available data and a good infrastructure.

Van Vliet Containers plays an important role in this process. It produces, sells, rents, maintains, and manages logistics load carriers, such as carts, trolleys, and containers, for the flower and plant sector and the largest retailers in the Netherlands. The company rents out 5 million logistics items annually and handles 17 million of them.

A few years ago, Van Vliet decided to make a serious digitalization effort. “The world of tomorrow is changing so rapidly, and so are the desires of our customers. Additionally, we are growing rapidly. This created the need to link all company data together to quickly create insights. Not only for us internally, but also for our customers,” explains managing director Bob IJpelaar.

“The world of tomorrow is changing so rapidly, and so are the desires of our customers. Additionally, we are growing rapidly. This created the need to link all company data together to quickly create insights. Not only for us internally, but also for our customers,” explains managing director Bob IJpelaar.

"Cohelion has made a masterful contribution to combining all our company data, making it much easier to obtain new strategic insights".

Bob IJpelaar Managing Director

Online management of load carriers

The first step in the digitalization process was to be able to track all load carriers effectively. “There are increasing demands from accountants, and ERP audits are becoming stricter as well. In such cases, you need to be able to rely on a system that is watertight.”

“That’s one of the reasons why we entered into a partnership with Bexter,” explains IJpelaar. With Bexter’s online packaging platform, TrackOnline, Van Vliet can register, manage, and even invoice all different types of logistics load carriers down to the item level.

With this detailed data, Van Vliet has even better control over pooling and can use load carriers more sustainably, increase efficiency, and significantly reduce costs.”

Utilizing data to operate sustainably.

“Bexter aims to promote the use of reusable packaging through its software to enhance sustainability,” says Toon de Jong, Commercial Director of Bexter. “TrackOnline has been developed entirely from the perspective of sustainability, enabling the transition to a circular economy.”

“The added value of Bexter goes far beyond providing a good product. Bexter proactively takes on an advisory role regarding its customers’ business,” says IJpelaar.

De Jong adds: “With our knowledge and years of experience, we are experts in online packaging management. With TrackOnline, customers can register and manage all their packaging worldwide. With this cloud platform, our customers can easily share data with their customers and suppliers.”

One central and accessible source of data.

Van Vliet’s IT systems, such as TrackOnline, the financial system Exact, and a staff planning system, used to operate separately from each other. Important analyses and reports were manually compiled from all individual software packages or via spreadsheets.repakketten of via spreadsheets.

“We see that many companies rely on important reports developed in Excel by a select few employees. This creates a significant dependency and is often not sustainable,” explains Roeland Krom, founder of Cohelion. “Bexter connected us with Van Vliet to help them with this issue.”

Cohelion makes it possible to link and combine data from all systems and make it accessible through one central platform. In Power BI, reports are then created integrating all current and historical data on load carriers, transport movements, repairs, finances, and HR. These insights help Van Vliet make better strategic decisions.

Moreover, it provides more overview, ease of use, and efficiency, both internally and for their customers. “Large corporations often have multiple entities in their fleet. Thanks to Cohelion, we can now link all the data together and ensure that those separate entities can make use of each other’s pool. They can now precisely see how many load carriers each entity needs in a certain period. This enables them to achieve enormous cost savings and work much more efficiently,” explains IJpelaar.

Customer Dashboards

Additional transparency and insights for the customer

By having all company data accessible on one data platform, Van Vliet wanted to share these insights with their customers as well. “We aim to go further than anyone else in our field. That’s why we wanted to offer our customers a portal where they can see how to improve efficiency, the availability trends, and the forecast for the next season. In short, how to anticipate growth together,” explains IJpelaar.”

Cohelion developed a Customer Dashboard for this purpose. With this, Van Vliet’s customers have immediate access to important statistics such as the number of rented carts, cart availability, and contract details. By sharing data and providing transparent insights into the services provided, Van Vliet can demonstrate their competitive advantage. ”Creating trust is important in a partnership with your customer. This includes providing transparency and insight. This way, you can not only maximize the benefits of a pool for yourself but also for the customer”, says IJpelaar.

Best of both worlds

Through the collaboration between Bexter and Cohelion, customers like Van Vliet can utilize the best asset management solution and directly integrate it with other relevant business information.

“The uniqueness of the collaboration is that we provide real-time and comprehensive insights into all relevant data, from pooling data to financial data and HR data,” explains Krom. “Moreover, these are not months-long projects. Although complex, our solution can be implemented relatively quickly.”

Ready for the future

“Van Vliet is now well positioned for the future” says IJpelaar. “Our biggest challenge at the moment is how to effectively manage urban logistics together with our partners and customers. How can you set up city hubs effectively and align all movements of load carriers with them?

“For this, you not only need your own data but also the data from other parties. All of this needs to be merged and made visible. Our collaboration with Bexter and Cohelion will greatly assist in this.”

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