Interview with Foresco

Foresco is banking on acadon for the future.

interview mit foresco geschäftsführer

March 20, 2024 acadon

(Article published in the magazine “Houtwereld” in Dutch)

After the Foresco Group’s decision to choose acadon_packaging as the foundation for their global IT strategy at the end of September, the implementation process began on October 1st. Now, after ten months, we are speaking with Jan Ponnet, the CEO of the Foresco Group, about the progress of the project. We will discuss his experiences so far and the reasons behind choosing acadon_packaging. We are pleased to list this and more for you.

jan ponnet
Jan Ponnet, CEO of the Foresco Group

Who are the Foresco Group and acadon? To get a complete picture, let’s start with a brief introduction.

Foresco Group
With more than 10 operational subsidiaries, the Foresco Group is the reference in the Benelux countries when it comes to customized pallets and packaging. The group designs and manufactures pallets, industrial packaging, and cardboard solutions for various industries. The spectrum ranges from distribution centers, food manufacturers, and container shippers to steel processors, building merchants, manufacturing companies, and much more.

For about 40 years, acadon has been supporting customers in the wood industry with tailored IT concepts and ERP software. acadon’s expertise includes enterprise software for timber trading, sawmills, timber packaging companies, and the wood processing industry. The group assists its customers in digitization, always taking into account individual requirements. They also provide advice on strategy implementation and process optimization to help achieve business goals faster.

In Search of an IT Platform
In recent years, the Foresco Group has grown significantly, according to Jan. In the last three years alone, we have made eight acquisitions. Eight corporate acquisitions, each with a different IT platform or ERP system. This presented a challenge for the Foresco Group. How can an integrated whole be created from all these subsidiaries? It was time to decide on a single IT solution.

Microsoft Business Central
In their search for the right IT solution for all their subsidiaries, the Foresco Group quickly came across Microsoft Business Central. Jan explains, “With over 20,000 existing customers, this solution offers numerous advantages.” For example, the solution is well integrated with Microsoft Office 365, but not only that. Due to its frequent use, there is a whole ecosystem of additional programs. Additionally, there is a greater likelihood that new employees are already familiar with the solution. With Microsoft Business Central, your company is future-proof.

Even though the standard Business Central solution already offered numerous possibilities, this was not sufficient for the Foresco Group. Since the packaging industry requires unique functionalities, they were looking for an expert in this sector. “Someone deeply involved in the matter,” as Jan describes it. acadon has years of experience as a provider of ERP software for companies in the wood and packaging industries and proved to be the perfect candidate. According to Jan, the most outstanding components of acadon_packaging are the product configurator, inventory management, and the BDE/PZE module. The workflows, very specific to the packaging industry, are quite straightforward.

The Implementation Process
How has Jan experienced the implementation process up to now? “You can’t carry out an ERP project just for fun. Bringing people together requires a lot of effort and time. It forces us to standardize all processes in the various companies. However, we are on the right track to create an integrated system. In this, acadon plays an important role.” Not only does the package itself seem to be the right choice for the Foresco Group, but the collaboration with acadon is also going well. Since acadon’s goal is to become Europe’s leading provider of software for the packaging industry, many of the Foresco Group’s wishes have been incorporated into the standard solution. Jan is also satisfied with Jens Piepers, who leads the project from acadon: “He focuses on the right topics and provides excellent support.”

Heading into the Future
After laying the foundation for the Foresco way of working, the completion of the project is approaching. To ensure that not all companies are switched over simultaneously, we have opted for a phased conversion. It is expected that the first two subsidiaries will be operational in November, with all current subsidiaries expected to be operational by April.

The Foresco Group is also experiencing steady growth. Jan reports that he is also involved in further acquisitions. However, with the Foresco way of working, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. In case new acquisitions are made, the blueprint is ready. To ensure that the Foresco Group stays up to date, acadon will update its packaging solution to the latest version every year. Overall, the Foresco Group and acadon are well-equipped for the future.

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