Zijerveld, founded by the Zijerveld family from the Netherlands, is an established supplier, wholesaler, and retailer of assorted local and international cheese in Europe for more than a century. The company is composed of four market units – Classic Retail Benelux & Out of Home, Modern Retail Benelux & Online, Wholesale & Packaging, and International Markets – and has an annual turnover of over 500 million euros.
In 1989, the company merged with foreign cheese specialist Gebroeders Veldhuyzen and operated under the name Zijerveld & Veldhuyzen. Mostly known for providing top-quality cheeses, the company also takes pride in offering innovative concepts, custom packaging, and logistics services.
In 2013, FrieslandCampina acquired Zijerveld & Veldhuyzen. Today, Zijerveld, which employs over 450 people and owns ripening warehouses and packaging and logistics plants, retains its identity and continues to operate independently.
Zijerveld underwent a digital transformation to remain relevant, competitive and to assure a solid basis for its future. However, their systems were unable to support their needs and did not operate as expected. The numerous tools they used, were error-prone and relied upon manual and time-consuming processes. Without a single source of truth, each system held its own data. Centralizing all this data by implementing this PIM was one of the bigger goals.
The company was also challenged with receiving product and ingredient information, including digital assets, from local and international suppliers. Many of the small cheese manufacturers or farmers that provided unique products to Zijerveld’s wholesale system were unable to supply accurate or complete product, ingredient, and allergen information that was required due to lack of infrastructure.
Zijerveld needed to comply with food safety laws, especially around allergens, for all externally sourced products in its portfolio. They had to adhere to GS1 syndication standards and meet possible additional requirements imposed by different retailers and supermarkets. The company knew they needed to focus their efforts on publishing accurate, complete, and consistent product information for full visibility and transparency, from source to consumer. Whether online or offline, all touchpoints, including labels, shelves, and in-store collateral needed to reflect the same information for safety and consistency.
As part of their digital transformation efforts, Zijerveld also wanted to expand and improve their online B2B sales portal, which required all product information to be web-ready, i.e. rich and relevant.
All in all, it was imperative for Zijerveld to modernize its IT landscape and streamline processes to support the age-old brand’s image of quality.
To address these challenges, Zijerveld needed an end-to-end solution that would enable them to onboard and consolidate product data from multiple international and local suppliers, improve data quality, ensure product information accuracy and completeness, translate and localize content and publish consistent information across all channels. The solution should allow them to configure attributes and assign roles, as well as create workflows and business rules to ensure compliance. Since data would be accessed by a significant share of the Zijerveld employees, the solution should be user-friendly and accessible 24x7.
In late 2017, Zijerveld selected Contentserv to help usher their business into the future. In partnership with implementation experts, XSARUS, the Contentserv Product Experience Cloud was implemented in early 2018.
The solution was first rolled out internally, enabling their data management team from different places in the organization to collaborate on one platform. During this phase, they centralized smart documents, defined workflows, and integrated systems such as their ERP. They also set up onboarding processes and standards for small and large cheese suppliers across the globe. During data migration in the PIM implementation phase, a lot of data optimization and data quality control has taken place. Any product data that did not meet the set criteria would instantly appear as an error, prompting data stewards to take action.
The implementation that started in early 2018 was completed in October 2018. Zijerveld experienced substantial improvements in terms of operational efficiency, supplier data quality, and compliance.
Thanks to product data centralization, everyone in the organization, including key departments such as commerce and specifications, were given access to accurate, complete, and up-to-date information. The specifications department, in charge of volumes of critical data, greatly benefited from the solution. They are now able to bring products to market faster by onboarding, managing, and publishing data in a streamlined and efficient manner.
Through data governance and data stewardship, Zijerveld can now comply with food safety laws and meet GS1 and retailer/supermarket-specific requirements.
By automating processes, the amount of manual labor required to keep the system going was greatly reduced. The chosen workflow in the Contentserv solution dramatically improved the quality of their product data and positively impacted their information supply chain.
Also, Zijerveld is now able to easily store, retrieve, organize and edit digital assets, such as images, videos, and documents, in one location using Contentserv’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) component.
With Contentserv, Zijerveld can meet modern consumer demands, keep in step with the industry’s ever-changing rules and regulations and fulfill its vision of becoming a world-renowned leader in cheese innovation.
“By automating processes, the amount of manual labor required to keep the system going was greatly reduced. The chosen workflow in the Contentserv solution dramatically improved the quality of their product data and positively impacted their information supply chain.”