Demuynck Christophe Meat wholesaler

Meat processing
Demuynck Christophe Meat wholesaler
Thomas en Bénédicte



When the torch is handed to the next generation, a new wind often blows through a company. At Vleesgroothandel Demuynck Christophe, it was not a breeze, but a fierce storm. Barely a year after the third generation took over, the business moved to larger premises in Kuurne. An ICT innovation was also implemented, with the introduction of “LISA” as the biggest change.

The business started with cattle breeding in the late 1950s and has since grown into a reputed and thriving meat wholesaler. Founded by Walter Demuynck, the company was expanded by his son Christophe and daughter-in-law Ingrid. “They started, among other things, with their own butchers’ room in Stasegem,” says Thomas, grandson of the founder. “I was born with the business in my blood. And with great pleasure I learned all the tricks of the trade. It was therefore written in the stars that I would take over the business. And that is what happened two years ago; at the beginning of 2016, my wife Bénédicte and I became the proud owners of Demuynck Christophe.”


The new owners are young, driven and ambitious. They want to entrench the company even more and guarantee the future of the meat wholesaler through attractive growth figures. “In the first place, we are striving to improve quality, both in terms of the product and service provision to the customer,” says Bénédicte Soens. “We were looking for the answer to optimise our processes, which explains why we invested in larger premises immediately after the takeover. The new location is a former ice cream factory that is much larger than the original base in Stasegem. We redesigned it to fully meet the legal requirements, with optimal flow, all the automation we required, and the highest degree of hygiene.”


Today, Demuynck Christophe has 25 employees who debone, cut and package/label an average of 120 cattle every week. “We still breed some of the animals on our own farm,” says Thomas Demuynck. “The actual slaughter is done in abattoirs, but we are responsible for all the rest. Our products are intended for butchers and department stores in Belgium and Northern France. We generate just under 10% of our turnover from lamb imported from the United Kingdom, as well as veal we purchase in Belgium. Since moving, we have had the wind in our sails. It looks like we will be able to close 2018 with a turnover of around €14 million, which amounts to a growth of about 30%.”

LISA als geheim wapen


Such figures prove that investing in a larger property was the right decision. However, it is not only thanks to the new base and hard work of the Demuynck Christophe team that such significant growth was achieved. “We have a secret weapon up our sleeve,” Bénédicte Soens winks. “After all, when we moved, we also switched to ‘LISA’, Claerhout Computer Engineering’s ERP application. It’s a fantastic tool that has become the beating heart of our company. All the data is managed and shared via this package: from reception and tracking, work orders and storage management, to invoicing and business analysis. Thanks to this solution, we can work quickly and error-free, with optimal processes, and fully in accordance with the legal standards and requirements of our customers. A new world has opened up for us.”

“LISA” appears to be so user-friendly that people on the shopfloor can work with the package without any problems


However, Demuynck Christophe was not ready for its test with ERP. “You cannot do it without taking the strict regulations on food hygiene into account,” says Thomas Demuynck. “My parents always resorted to customisation: packages that were developed especially for our business. However, the major drawback was the lack of integration between the data. For example, we worked with a separate software programme for accounting. And there was also no real control of the production, while integrated stock management was non-existent.” “I personally thought it was a stiff and inflexible programme,” continues Bénédicte Soens. “In addition, I missed the analysis functionality, which is essential if you want to optimise and grow. It therefore seemed a great opportunity to link the move to a new start in the ICT field.”


Initially, the business managers wanted to implement another tailor-made solution. Then they heard about CCE through their hardware supplier. “It also turned out that several of our major customers also worked with ‘LISA’.” says Thomas Demuynck. “We heard only praise for the solution: flexible, user-friendly, lots of functionality, tailored to the meat-processing industry, etc. Our interest was certainly aroused. A demo session in which all the functionalities of ‘LISA’ were explained in human language convinced us. Only the price tag was a stumbling block, because it was no small investment. Today, however, we realise all too well that ‘LISA’ was the right choice. You don’t get quality for nothing. And this ERP package really is the cream of the crop, certainly for our sector.”


In January 2016, CCE started parameterising the ERP application. “It was a long-term task,” says Bénédicte Soens. “After all, it was not possible to automatically transfer the data from the existing package to ‘LISA’. Moreover, we wanted to take the opportunity to clean up all the data and also critically look at our processes. And this is where we quickly discovered the added value of choosing CCE. The consultants knew how things work in a meat wholesaler perfectly well. What’s more: they were able to give us advice on how to work more efficiently. And ‘LISA’ contributes too. More importantly, we have not had to adapt our approach; on the contrary. The ERP application is so flexible that it adapts to every user. It is the structure itself that opens your eyes and encourages you to do the same with fewer steps. We have noticed this in the administration area, as well as on the shop floor, which ultimately results in huge time savings. As such, the investment has already paid for itself to a large extent. Although we will have a 30% increase in turnover this year, we have only had to hire a limited number of additional staff. And this is only in the workplace, because everything associated with paperwork is still done with just two people. I can’t think of a better way to prove the effectiveness of ‘LISA’.”

Partner waarop je kan vertrouwen


Simultaneously changing premises and starting up a completely new ERP application seems to be asking for problems. However, the meat wholesaler managers saw it as an opportunity to start with a blank canvas. “In order to get used to the package and its interface, CCE had already made the accounting module operational a few months before,” explains Bénédicte Soens. “And we had already been working with them for almost a year at the time of the move. The consultants had proven themselves, and we felt fully supported.” Thomas Demuynck continues: “Of course the start-up was not without its excitement, and a few teething problems needed to be resolved. But we were able to count on CCE day and night, even in the weeks after the move. And even now, if there is a problem, a solution is always immediately sought. Claerhout Computer Engineering is a company supported by its employees. Each and every one of the consultants realise that ‘LISA’ is the heart of every customer’s business. If one element does not work properly, it immediately affects many other things. And if everything stops, you simply cannot continue working. This is why they proactively respond to any difficulties and, if necessary, jump into their car in the middle of the night to assist us with advice and assistance in the event of problems. As such, CCE is not only an ERP package provider that perfectly responds to the needs of a food company. You also get their knowledge and, above all, a partnership in the truest sense of the word.”

LISA ensures, among other things, conclusive tracing.


This partnership also manifests itself in thinking about how the customer’s business can be further optimised. At Vleesgroothandel Demuynck Christophe, this is currently being translated into digital links between this company and customers who also use “LISA”. Bart Van Beversluys, project leader at CCE: “Because customer and supplier work with the same application, orders, deliveries and invoices are exchanged electronically, which saves time and avoids the risk of (typing) errors.” Bénédicte Soens: “This brings us seamlessly to another ‘LISA’ asset: the package is not only aimed at the meat processing sector. The combination of rich functionality and immense flexibility ensures it can offer a comprehensive answer to the needs of the entire food sector. This is also an advantage for us. We can establish digital links with customers who make or sell the most diverse food products. And we can also manage the activities of our sister company with the same package: Tho-Be, which specialises in frozen storage for third parties and also operates from the new location in Kuurne. In short: we can only reinforce the praise that aroused our interest in ‘LISA’. Anyone willing to invest in quality has come to the right place at CCE. The only tip we have is to allow enough time for assisting the consultants during the parameterisation period. However good ‘LISA’ may be, the intended result will only be achieved by feeding the system with sufficient and correct information.”

Pictures Marc Masschelein / Demuynck Christophe Vleesgroothandel

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