Doors are part of development
Ondernemers sociëteit voedingsindustrie
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Doors are part of development

  • 10 May 2021
  • Door: Esther van der Lelie

In 2017, Hems moved to a new building in Oss. With high expectations, they continued their meat activities at the new location. However, after six months problems arose with the humidity. Adjustment of passageways was necessary. An optimisation process was initiated. 

Hems was originally located in the small town of Netersel. There, the company evolved from a regional supplier of pork for independent butchers to an internationally operating specialist with a complete range of meat and meat products for butchers, the Asian catering industry and catering wholesalers. To give the company further opportunities for growth and to work more efficiently, plans for a new building in Oss were forged and realised. 

Clen Dielen, operational manager and responsible for construction matters within the company, looks back: "I joined halfway through the construction and saw the beautiful plans become reality together with the contractor. We are extremely satisfied with how the project progressed." 

Unexpected problems

"The first six months at the new location took some getting used to," says Clen. "Then we noticed that the temperature differences in several rooms were too high, resulting in, among other things, ice forming in the cold store and condensation forming at the crate washing. This could cause problems during a subsequent quality inspection by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA)." Maintaining the HACCP and FSSC certificates are of great importance to meat processor Hems. "What now, I wondered, how are we going to solve this? Our customer-specific deliveries must not be jeopardised." The operations manager asked several companies for advice, but hesitated. He decided to call Prodoor. After that, things went quickly. Clen says that Ronnie Schiltmans, owner of Prodoor, came straight away to look at the problems together. "He invited us for a cup of coffee in their Inspire centre. There we could see various door solutions on the spot." It gave him a good feeling. Together, they drew up a phased plan with a budget. Hems' management agreed. Everyone had the bitter feeling that this investment could actually have been avoided.

More functional attention

Hems had their new premises designed and built and afterwards assembled the doors. Ronnie confirms that this is a regular working method, but opts for a better one. "At Hems, we could have avoided the work and the extra investment if more attention had been paid to the functioning of the premises during the construction planning. To turn the tide, we regularly give presentations on: 'don't build a building but a building that functions', 'send us a drawing with temperatures', 'tell us about the intensity of use of the passageways'. With this information, we can advise you clearly and without obligation on the right door solutions. I get more satisfaction from helping companies at the front end to avoid hassle afterwards, than just supplying doors. That's how we invest in sustainable collaboration."

Phased optimisation

In January 2021, phase 1 of the optimisation in Oss was realised. With the new high-speed door in the cold store and the high-speed door in the crate washing area, humidity is kept to a minimum. Clen is happy to report that the first results are visible: "In the cold store, the ice has largely disappeared, and condensation in the crate wash has also almost disappeared. In the summer, we will discuss the next stages of optimisation together." Installation takes place when the department in question is not working, or at weekends, in order to minimise disruption to production.

Joint effort

Prodoor and Hems both use short communication routes. Clen confirms that this is a great way to work together: "I can always call Ronnie, then I know for sure that things will be all right. Our management is also clear in its 'yes or no' and the employees help decide. They need to know and understand what is happening. What is nice to share is that our employees think the first optimisation is 'super'. Immediately after the adjustment, we received feedback that 'the cold feels different'. It works and lives! If I hadn't seen the solutions physically, I'm not sure I would have chosen this", he admits honestly. Ronnie nods understandingly: "The people we do business with have a lot of knowledge and experience, we can sketch examples, but they want to 'taste and feel' it themselves, be in control. They benefit from a sustainable solution. That delivers value and commitment from the very first moment. So think about the doors before you start building. This is essential for the development of your food company!"

Photo: © Bert Jansen Fotopersburo

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2021