Cierpa blog - Interview met Daelmans Group

Daelmans doesn't believe in a pre-defined improvement process. 'All those theories are nice, but what fits our people and our culture?' That willfulness is part of the proud family business DNA. Every year, the company produces more than one billion delicious cookies and pastry products. WCM Facilitator Floris Wiskie started using Cierpa OEE at Daelmans Oss and then branched out to the other company plants!

Indulge us: what exactly do you produce?

"All kinds of cookies and pastries. Dutch cookies, treacle cookies, filled cookies, apple cookies, rondo's, treacle waffles, coconut macaroons, crusted products, and so on. Some cakes have an additional layer of icing, chocolate, or are decorated with Smarties."

What does the production process at Daelmans look like?

"We have three production locations with 275 employees, at Scherpenzeel, Oss, and Nieuwkuijk. Every plant is fully equipped to make specific products. In Oss, for example, we have a plant that only makes treacle waffles.

Production starts with a specific dough or batter. This is poured or sprayed onto a form on the line, and then the baking process begins. Some products are finished with a layer of coating or chocolate, after which the semi-automatic packaging process follows. From our central warehouse in Oss, the products are shipped to the customers."


We work with our proprietary combination of different improvement methods. We use the cream of the crop, actually.


How do you improve at Daelmans?

"We started improving two years ago. We opted for our proprietary combination of various theories instead of a classic improvement method. That means we look at what appeals to us, what suits us, what works. We use the cream of the crop, so to speak, from TPM, LEAN, Six Sigma, and so on. We call our method WCM, World Class Manufacturing.

In practice, we have a team of about twenty enthusiastic ambassadors from the work floor. They are the people from the bakery, the packaging department, the technical department, and the warehouse, and they all enjoy improving. Each of them selects a small part of the improvement process - like measuring OEE or SMED conversion - and they become specialized on that topic.

This is how people from all kinds of departments within the company become involved in improving, and how we get additional knowledge on various areas of improvement."

That's not a usual way of working – why did you choose it?

"Daelmans is a company of practical attitudes: we tackle what we see. As a WCM Facilitator, I am the pivot that keeps the improvement process going. I also have an overview, but I can only be in one place at a time. It is great when people offer help on the work floor every day and convey our improvement philosophy. It also provides a lot of support on the work floor."


Support will only grow when people see the benefits.


Was the support from the work floor there from the start?

"Support will only grow when people see the benefits. And so the first responses were a bit troubling. 'Yet another project, we'll only quit again next year.' Or 'Why 5S, we know how to find everything anyway?'

Nowadays, we use complete and tidy shadow boards in the workplace, and people notice that it does work. We measure OEE digitally on the line, which means that operators no longer need to carry paper around.

Our improvement board also has a substantial motivating effect. Everyone can put an idea on the board. We choose the best ones to start working with, and no more than four at a time. Within two years, we have implemented 50 improvement ideas, from a slight improvement such as placing a step to make it easier to operate a machine to a significant improvement such as automating part of the chocolate line. People see that suggestions are picked up, and improvements are actually realized. That's a huge motivation to keep looking for improvement opportunities."


Why did you choose Cierpa OEE for your improvement strategy?

"We were looking for good OEE software. Three out of our five decision-makers already had positive experiences with Cierpa Software at other employers. Not just the overall picture was positive, but also the ease of use, and manageable costs - it was a good story."

You are working with Cierpa OEE at several locations. For software rollout, you took a train-the-trainer approach. How did that work out in practice?

"We started with Cierpa OEE in Oss. Cierpa’s Han van der Heijden trained me as a trainer there. I know the software, have the overall picture, and provide management with all necessary information. But we also need eyes and hands on the work floor and at the other plants.


Our train-the-trainer approach keeps us independent and keeps costs down.


We don't want to depend on external consultants; we prefer lower costs and knowledge within the organization. That is why I started to train our own ambassadors. That went very well: they know how the software works, how to change settings, and how to raise the alarm if something is not working the way it should. That additional knowledge is great to have at every location."

To what extent does the software connect the three branches?

"The branches are separate entities in practice. You can see three separate locations with everyone's own branches when you log in. However, each location has the same software set-up and the same parameters inside the reports. That makes it easy to compare or combine location reports into a comprehensive overall management report."

What does Cierpa OEE offer you?

"It offers a lot of insight into our savings potential, malfunctions, and downtime. It also provides terrific possibilities for analysis. We used to have hard copies packed with data. But you can't analyze on paper. So we kept those files for five years and then threw them out.

Now we have all the improvement analyses we need at the push of a button.

Cierpa Software clearly shows us where our improvement possibilities lie, which makes specific improving attainable. For example, we have been able to halve the changeover time of some of our lines. That’s some serious cost saving!

And that's not all, of course. Every day, we continue to focus on our potential to do things smarter and more efficiently!