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Case Studies

Van Geloven: An End-to-End Solution


  • Part of McCain Foods Limited
  • Largest Food Manufacturer in the Netherlands
  • Multiple Manufacturing facilities and Warehouses in the Netherlands and Belgium employing > 800 people.


  • One Process, One Integrated System for Demand & Supply, One Way of Working due to Inter-Site Synchronisation
  • End-To-End Visibility
  • More Focus and "Quality Time" While Executing the Processes


To achieve best practice S&OP, Van Geloven implement sofco’s Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Scheduling and S&OP solutions.

The largest food manufacturer in the Netherlands, Van Geloven, supplies a full range of frozen convenience snacks and foods across a diverse brand family. Comprising of 6 strong brands, including the iconic Mora brand (the most popular snacks brand in the Benelux), the artisanal ragout brand ‘the Bourgondiër’, satay specialist Hebro, foodservice speciality brands Ad van Geloven, van Lieshout Snacks and Welten Snacks as well as private label contracts with major retail and foodservice customers.

Based in the Netherlands, the company has around 800 employees. Sales to the Dutch market are done through a Marketing Sales Unit (MSU) in Tilburg and to the Belgium market by a MSU in Mol. Production is executed at four locations: Tilburg, Helmond, Maastricht in the Netherlands, and Mol in Belgium.

Why sofco?

Van Geloven chose sofco as we presented the strongest in three critical areas: functionality, people, and budget.

With the help of EyeOn, Van Geloven began their detailed vendor selection process with a long list of potential vendors who responded to an RFI. Following this, a reduced list of vendors were asked to present their offerings for the purpose of final shortlisting. Next, Van Geloven issued some ‘Use Cases’ to the final shortlist, of which sofco was included. The ‘Use Cases’ detailed specific situations and challenges that Van Geloven dealt with on a day-to-day basis and vendors had to demonstrate how they would deal with these scenarios. Following the presentation of the ‘Use Cases’, Van Geloven then had site reference visits before final proposals and contract.

“Specific food industry functionality has to be a given, as do budgetary constraints, but people can make or break a project. What impressed us most about the sofco people was they understood our business, listened, and would bring a lot of experience to the project. In the ‘Use Cases’ they brought solid solutions to the issues we presented them with. It was clear from the outset that we were going to be able to work well together as a team and deliver this project. That is exactly what has happened.”

Barbara Van den Berg

Van Geloven Project Manager

The Challenge

At the request of Van Geloven, EyeOn (Business Planning and Forecasting Consultants) evaluated their demand and supply planning process prior to implementation, including the planning tools within Van Geloven. EyeOn concluded that the current Van Geloven processes and systems left a lot of room for improvement.

The main conclusions were that they had a lack of focus in key areas such as sales forecasting on certain products and customers, supply planning on certain products, which led to many fluctuations in the short-term plan, and demand planning. They only forecast on the lowest level (article-week), which led to many fluctuations in the demand plan on the short term and insufficient communication about the demand plan with sales and production. This was likely due to the very limited functionality of the current demand planning tool (Excel based).

Prior to implementing the sofco solution, Van Geloven’s supply planning and detailed scheduling was done entirely manually and therefore only 5-8 weeks ahead, which resulted in limited long-term capacity planning (including the inventory planning).

As a result, their S&OP was only used as an operational planning meeting instead of a tactical one, with an insufficient focus on the future. Thus, there was a necessity to deploy professional tools for forecasting, demand planning, and supply planning. In some factories there was also a need for a real scheduling tool.

From EyeOn’s evaluation, Van Geloven defined five key points of improvement to lead to the following deliverables:

  • Tactical S&OP process that describes roles and responsibilities, standard agenda, and standard set of reports.
  • New forecast and demand planning process to provide the right information at the right time and facilitate the correct alignment between demand (sales) and supply (production).
  • Selection of the best fit for purpose forecasting tool, including the implementation, and training of user(s).
  • New supply planning process for supply planning and scheduling, including the correct setting of planning parameters and usage and a supply planning KPI dashboard.
  • Selection of the best fit for purpose supply planning tool, based on the functional requirements regarding supply planning and supply scheduling.

To deliver against these five points of improvement Van Geloven and sofco embarked on a journey which is still ongoing today.

The Solution

To help overcome their specific challenges, Van Geloven implemented sofco’s Demand Planning, Supply Planning and Scheduling solution as part of a wider best practice S&OP solution.

sofco’s solution supports Van Geloven in the demand planning process and the generation of high-quality forecasts in an environment where up to 40% of demand is promotionally driven. This environment is further complicated by identical products being sold in different markets with different identifying codes per country, and when on or off promotion.

sofco brings all of this together as part of a collaborative process in the short-term forecast and produces a statistical promotional forecast in the longer term where market intelligence is lacking. “Producing a high-quality forecast against our volatile promotional demand was a key factor in the success of this project and sofco delivered a solid solution” commented Van den Berg.

The Demand plan is an input to the Supply Planning and Scheduling, which is also managed by sofco. The solution generates an optimal plan to meet demand and balance inventory within the real capacity, shelf life and other constraints within a multi-site and multi-level food manufacturing organisation. This includes managing a considerable amount of inter site demand and short-term manpower in a volatile environment.

Plans cover a 26-week operational horizon, a 24-month long term horizon and are produced in a timely manner. The software also provides detailed scheduling by day, hour, and minute, up to a 12-week horizon (dependent on site). Orders within the multistage production processes are placed in feasible sequence by the sofco algorithm, accounting for due dates, changeovers, capacity, and preceding/succeeding orders/operations. The key objective of the schedule is to meet all planned due dates while minimising down time, costs, and respecting all defined constraints. Operators are also defined for each production line giving Van Geloven visibility of labour requirements on a line by line, day by day, hour by hour basis.

The sofco solution therefore covers and joins up the whole Supply Chain from long term grouped level forecasts down all the way to production schedules by SKU, by line, by hour and by minute.

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