From manual work to a fully digitized lab

Customer case study: Crop Alliance

With the help of AlisQI, we have gained insight into how the target value of each recipe relates in practice to the theoretically determined target value. This helps us work more accurately and efficiently.

Quality Coordinator, Crop Alliance

Martijn Potter

Flexibility and interconnectedness – important differentiators

Crop Alliance, a leading manufacturer in the food industry, wanted a QMS that allowed them to digitize registrations and make documents accessible throughout the organization. They chose AlisQI because the system could be tailored based on their needs and allowed them to link together registrations, documentation, audits, and follow-up actions. The biggest change after implementation has been digitizing the entire laboratory process.

The results: accessible data, clear overviews, and enhanced control due to actions that are clearly recorded and trackable. The smart QMS saves a lot of time and helps the organization calculate recipes, adjust dosing equipment and work more accurately and efficiently.

In this case study, Quality Coordinator Martijn Potter tells us about:

  • Crop Alliance’s requirements for a QMS
  • Improvements after the switch to digital
  • How they  integrated AlisQI with Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Their ambitions for the future

About Crop Alliance

For over 50 years Crop Alliance has been growing, preserving, processing, and exporting silverskin onions, gherkins, and other vegetables. Since 2004 Crop Alliance is part of the well-known internationally operating family business, TOP Onions. By adding specialist equipment to our factories and using advanced technologies, we have grown into a high-quality, certified all-around company. Our principles are products of the highest quality, flexible service, an innovative and growth-focused policy with an open atmosphere, and direct communications.

AlisQI offers the possibility to set up the system yourself, according to your own wishes. In addition, the great advantage of AlisQI is that registrations, documentations, audits and actions can be linked and related to each other.

Quality Coordinator, Crop Alliance

Martijn Potter

Quick adoption because it was ‘their’ system

Before implementing AlisQI, the team at Crop Alliance needed to calculate recipes manually and measure often to ensure accuracy. This was not only time-consuming, but also made it difficult to perform statistics and maintain clear overviews. A smart QMS was sure to solve these issues by automating routine tasks.

What were the requirements when looking for a QMS solution? The system had to be able to digitize all registrations and make documentation available to everyone who needed it. Implementation was discussed with the AlisQI team, which was quick to understand the organization’s needs. Enjoying the flexibility of the no-code platform, each department was involved in setting up the system. The onboarding went fast and the new QMS was adopted quickly because people recognized the system as their ‘own’.

A fully digitized lab and its advantages

Producing over 300 recipes for vegetables preserved in vinegar or brine, Crop Alliance collects a vast amount of data. But learning from this data was both difficult and time-consuming. Recipes were calculated manually based on set specifications, and several tests needed to be performed to develop a consistent preserving solution. It was even more challenging to draw insights into how recipes needed to be adjusted.

The switch to AlisQI made it much easier for the organization to calculate recipes, perform measurements, and make more informed decisions about recipes that needed adjustments. ‘With the help of AlisQI, we have gained insight into how the target value of each recipe relates in practice to the theoretically determined target value. Based on these findings, we are currently adjusting our dosing equipment so that we can work more accurately and efficiently.’, Martijn explains.

When asked how AlisQI transformed their daily operations, he added: ‘The biggest change for Crop Alliance has been digitizing the entire laboratory process. We went from 3 large cabinets full of registrations on paper, 2 by 1.5 meters each, to paperless and we have also managed to reduce the work in the laboratory from 1.8FTE to 1FTE. In terms of quality, we have gained much more overview within the entire organization. Actions are clearly recorded and trackable, there is more quality engagement because everything has become more accessible.’

We went from 3 large cabinets full of registrations on paper, 2 by 1.5 meters each, to paperless and we have also managed to reduce the work in the laboratory from 1.8FTE to 1FTE.

Quality Coordinator, Crop Alliance

Martijn Potter

We keep track of our supplier administration in AlisQI. Think of certification of suppliers, supplier assessments, management of certificates, specifications, etc.

Quality Coordinator, Crop Alliance

Martijn Potter

Traceability and supply chain transparency

When the company chose AlisQI, they were already using Microsoft Dynamics NAV as their ERP. But that didn’t represent a challenge since almost every ERP system can be connected to the AlisQI platform. The two systems have been easily linked together.

We have linked AlisQI to Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Batches that are created in Microsoft Dynamics automatically enter AlisQI where they are then linked to all registrations that have to do with the relevant production. Apart from this, we keep track of our supplier administration in AlisQI. Think of certification of suppliers, supplier assessments, management of certificates, specifications, etc., Martijn said.

Automation – always on the agenda

After the transformation with AlisQI, Crop Alliance enjoys a paperless, fully digitized laboratory and data that is accessible to whoever needs it. The next step in their digital journey involves extending the role of automation ‘Measurements are currently carried out in the laboratory, on the basis of which the operators receive a dosing order for additives. We want to set this up in the next few years in such a way that AlisQI will send the dosage to the relevant PLC and that the dosages are then automatically carried out on the basis of prescription. This is a large project that is currently being prepared.

Actions are clearly recorded and trackable, there is more quality engagement because everything has become more accessible.

Quality Coordinator, Crop Alliance

Martijn Potter