An automated and integrated quality management system was a must-have for companies such as Unilever and Ecover, but future customers also see it as a big plus. QESH Manager Edwin Wekking is ​enthusiastic.


A platform for Quality

In 2018, Kompak overhauled the direction of its home and personal care division. A new CEO and a new QESH manager, Edwin Wekking, were appointed as part of this shake-up.


Wekking describes the challenge facing him as follows: “We were in a hurry because Quality Management was not up to scratch, and our customers were looking for a marked improvement at all levels, not only documentation and LIMS, but also registration and insight into deviations and the actions taken.”


Wekking’s original conception was to orchestrate Quality Control with two discrete systems: one for LIMS and one ‘ERP-like, slash MRP’ tool.


However, when Alis came in to demo for the LIMS requirement, it became clear that the Platform had a reach far beyond Quality Control. 


It could build databases, integrate easily with production and documentation systems as well as dashboard a lot of shop floor activity, and create insightful reports.


‘A huge part of what we had planned to do in a new ERP system, Alis could do for us,’ Wekking says. So it was a no-brainer, particularly as ERP systems typically involve a lot of customization and have long implementation trajectories.


Wekking had no time for that. ‘We decided there and then that we’d go for just one tool, and that was Alis.’ 


The timeline was swift: two weeks after the initial demo, Kompak had signed for Quality Control. A month later, the company gave the go-ahead to rolling out the Documentation Managements and QESH functions.


​We decided there and then that we'd go for just one tool, and that was Alis.

Edwin Wekking, QESH Manager

Kompak Netherlands B.V.


Pain-free implementation

Testimony to the user-friendliness of Alis is that the shop floor workers at Kompak, who often have limited proficiency in Dutch or English, grasped the system very quickly.


Laboratory staff tend to have a more technical background, so re-categorising ‘the tangled spaghetti’ of LIMS analyses took just under a month. 


Wekking enjoyed the pragmatic approach of the Alis team: the Platform went live more or less from day one, and customizations - in as far as they were needed - were developed quickly.


‘You get going in no time,’ Wekking says. ‘The system is intuitive and robust. You try this, you try that, you play around with it, and before you know it, the Platform is working exactly the way you want it to work.’


Once the LIMS analyses had been inputted, the Alis solution began to reveal its full potential. For instance, the generation of COAs (and coupling the Certificates with the right batches) was suddenly almost automated.


To maximise the potential of the Platform, Wekking structured it to have three owners: one for production, one for the laboratory and one for QA. 

The system is intuitive and robust. Before you know it, the Platform is working exactly the way you want it to work.

Edwin Wekking, QESH Manager

Kompak Netherlands B.V.


Transformed relationships with customers and suppliers

Kompak mixes and packages for big brands such as Unilever and Ecover, who - like its other customers - want insight into the product release process.


Every year, 25,000 batches with ​hunderds of different formulations are despatched from the factory in Etten-Leur.


‘So of course our customers want to have data on the release of their products,’ says Wekking. And not by fax, paper or email, but instantly and 24 hours a day, by logging into Alis.


‘So if there are complaints further down the line from any of their buyers, they know at once if there were any deviations in the batch: yes or no.’


Wekking also wants to give his suppliers access to the Alis Platform, so the COAs for Kompak’s raw materials can be coupled seamlessly with the batches in production. ‘That’ll save a lot of time,’ Wekking says. 


How much time? On the supplier side, 8 hours a week, Wekking estimates. The problem that arises at the moment is that the right COAs are not available when the raw materials have to be mixed.


‘That means a lot of looking around in your systems, a lot of phone calls, all very frustrating and time consuming.’


With Alis, this sort of issue will be a thing of the past. Kompak will know if the raw materials going to Etten-Leur have the appropriate COA - and alerts will be set up in Alis to make sure that any missing COAs are uploaded. 


‘Checking batch histories for customers was taking a lot longer,’ Wekking continues. ‘I’d say 20 hours a week.’


So that is a time saving 28 hours, almost a working week, once Kompak customers and suppliers are fully integrated with Alis.

So that is a time saving 28 hours, almost a working week, once Kompak customers and suppliers are fully integrated with Alis.

Edwin Wekking, QESH Manager

Kompak Netherlands B.V.


Using Alis dashboards

Production checks and processes are registered in Alis, and visualised in dashboards that are proving very popular and useful on the shop floor.


Each order is dashboarded, so performance metrics such as time idle and OEE are instantly available in real time. ‘We look at that a lot internally. We rely on it a lot.’ says Wekking.


There is work to be done to link different sets of insight. A short-term ambition is to connect time registrations within Alis to production diagnostics, such as labour times for a specific batch and the time idle on that batch.


Coupling these metrics will drive further improvements in Quality Management. 

Alis is a marketing tool

An automated and integrated Quality Management system was a must for the likes of Unilever and Ecover, but prospective customers also see it as a huge positive.


This is a benefit of the Alis Platform Wekking had not anticipated. 


Customers are particularly interested in how Alis aggregates Quality data to describe trends, making it possible to fine-tune the formulations.


Deviations are correlated to either the mixing process or the raw materials supplied for a specific batch. ‘And all that happens in two seconds as if by magic.


Data, graphics and statistics describe your processes and deviations from different angles, giving you 3D insight into Quality. Customers love it.’

Each order is dashboarded, so performance metrics such as time idle and OEE are instantly available in real time. We look at that a lot internally. We rely on it a lot.

Edwin Wekking, QESH Manager

Kompak Netherlands B.V.


The future with Alis

Kompak has recently completed roll-out of all visual checks and weight controls. ‘A pretty big file’ says Wekking. This marks the end, finally, of paper-based Quality Management at Kompak.  ‘And we’re 90% there,’ Wekking adds. 


A medium-term ambition is to make more data sets meaningfully available to customers, such as source documents with specifications for each product.


For the moment, Kompak checks internally if recipe adjustments or changes in the product labeling have been carried out correctly, but the plan is to also roll this data out to customers.


The Manual Master is being phased out. Production regulations and working practice rules are still to move to digital, but very soon, everything will be documented and up to date in Alis.


Wekking is beginning to implement the projected MRP system, but only the standard functionalities because a lot of the heavy lifting has been done in Alis already.


‘So we save a lot in licensing costs and implementation is much shorter, savings us even more.’

Kompak has recently completed roll-out of all visual checks and weight controls. This marks the end, finally, of paper-based Quality Management at Kompak. 

Edwin Wekking, QESH Manager

Kompak Netherlands B.V.


Conclusion

What were Wekking’s goals for the Alis project? ‘To connect all our fragmented data, make it more easily accessible to the shop floor, feeding us insights that are raising the overall level of our Quality Management every day.


Have those goals been realised? Wekking: ‘100%!’


He wants to highlight two things in particular. Alis is adaptable. ‘You can steer it towards your own processes without relying on endless IT projects over which you have no control.’


The other is the sheer range of its capabilities. Before implementing Alis, Wekking was looking at a huge ERP project with a lot of customization and a two- to three-year implementation horizon.


But most of what Kompak was looking for in an ERP system they found in Alis, saving them a lot of time and money.


Edwin Wekking: ‘After the first demo we realised that Alis could do so much more than Quality Control. And that has been the story throughout: the Platform is improving Quality Management faster and in more ways than we had anticipated.’


Not surprisingly, Kompak is now considering implementing the Alis Platform for its food packaging division at its factory in The Netherlands.

The Platform is improving Quality Management faster and in more ways than we had anticipated

Edwin Wekking, QESH Manager

Kompak Netherlands B.V.


Company background

The Dutch family business Kompak mixes and packs home and personal care products for brand owners and producers of industrial cleaning products.


In 2010, Kompak moved its operations to state-of-the-art production facilities in Etten-Leur. A gap opened up between the efficiencies of the shop floor and the company’s Quality Management, which was largely Excel-based.


In 2018, a new QESH manager was appointed to close this gap.

Challenges

  • LIMS processes chaotically documented
  • No quick and complete response to batch-specific customer inquiries
  • Man hours wasted on producing COAs
  • No data exchange with suppliers
  • Outdated Quality Management was a negative for prospective customers

Kompak has recently completed roll-out of all visual checks and weight controls. This marks the end, finally, of paper-based Quality Management at Kompak. 

Edwin Wekking, QESH Manager

Kompak Netherlands B.V.


Alis contribution

The Alis Platform is automating and integrating all aspects of Kompak’s Quality Management.


The shop floor has dashboarded access to real-time Quality parameters, while Alis integrates and analyses the production data to give much more granular insight into deviations and recipe reformulation. 


The Certificate of Analysis process has been greatly speeded up. The whole chain of production, including post-release, has been integrated by giving both suppliers and customers access to the Platform. 

Business Benefits and ROI

  • All in one solution: LIMS, QESH and document management in integrated tool
  • Rapid implementation, no expensive customization needed
  • Time savings of some 28 hours a week just on liaison with customers and suppliers
  • Perfect addition to your ERP​


You can steer it towards your own processes without relying on endless IT projects over which you have no control.

Edwin Wekking, QESH Manager

Kompak Netherlands B.V.

Watch our online demo

Alis Quality Intelligence Software gives Quality Management a boost.


In this demo we show you how quickly Alis can be set up for your factory, and how it can reduce failure costs by up to 20%.