Initially, the go-live of BESTMIX Feed Formulation 3.35 at Alltech Coppens was planned at the end of February. Due to the spread of Covid-19 in Europe, postponement seemed inevitable. However, when it turned out not to be an option, Adifo and Alltech Coppens decided to perform the go-live remotely.
Alltech Coppens develops, produces and commercializes aquafeed. Apart from the head office in Helmond (the Netherlands) and the production site in Nettetal (Germany), the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre in Valkenswaard (the Netherlands) is the beating heart of the company. A team of nutritionists and R&D experts develops and tests innovative products for the industry and the hobby market. Alltech Coppens exports its aquafeed to more than 60 countries.
What precededWhen the fish feed specialist was looking for the optimal formulation software on the market in 2012, it opted for BESTMIX Feed Formulation. After some time, BESTMIX Quality Control was implemented, followed by the MILAS ERP solution. “What I like most, apart from the quality of the software, is the way in which Adifo thinks along with the customer. We have become real partners,” says Ben Lamberigts, Quality Manager at Alltech Coppens.
The starting point“Typical for the production of fish feed is the extrusion and drying process”, Ben Lamberigts explains. “After the extrusion, the granules contain a high percentage of water (up to 30%). As a result, they must be dried by means of heated air. Subsequently, a coating ensures that the fish feed contains the desired amount of oil. Of course, the extent to which the raw materials evaporate has an impact on those processes and on our recipe composition. We wanted to include it in our formulation software.”
The solutionWith the application ‘partial evaporation’, BESTMIX Feed Formulation 3.35 responds to the specific needs of the aquafeed manufacturers. In the recipe composition, this tool takes into account the losses due to evaporation and rehydration. “This makes a huge difference for us”, says Ben Lamberigts. “Now, we select the raw materials that we use for each phase. Checking or unchecking at raw material level indicates, for instance, whether we must dry the raw material in order to achieve the desired moisture content.”
Alltech Coppens feeds the recipe data back to MILAS. “This way, we use the data for the precalculation, which helps us to exactly determine the product costs and the selling price.” It is typical for Adifo’s customer orientation: when users identify a possible extension or optimization, the developers integrate it into future software updates.
The implementationA remote go-live is quite unusual, even for Adifo’s experienced consultants. BESTMIX consultant Jeroen Beheyt: “The classic scenario of a version change includes a test period of several weeks, in which the current version of the software is running simultaneously with the new version.” However, the Alltech Coppens team preferred to perform the test phase and the go-live on the same day. “The reason? We prefer to perform an intensive test phase with full focus on the software than having it running in the background.”
Once the software was remotely installed on the Alltech Coppens servers in the morning, both partners followed a scenario as if the go-live would be performed on site. “We set up a training session, after which the customer extensively tested our software update with his own data. Thanks to our meticulous mutual communication, we were able to go live in the afternoon already,” explains Jeroen Beheyt.
Looking backAlthough the go-live was forced to start remotely, it turned out to be very successful. Ben Lamberigts: “Apart from a few little hitches, typical for every software implementation or update, the go-live has been performed in a very streamlined way. Version 3.35 offers us substantial added value. As a nutritionist, you want all the figures to be correct and partial evaporation considerably contributes to it. The only thing I regret afterwards? The fact that we have been hesitating too long to perform the update (laughs).”