Dairy company Royal VIV Buisman noticed that Excel as an analysis and reporting system for Quality Management no longer satisfied. 

Production Director Marcel de Buijzer explains how Alis created the required progress.


Choice for Alis

After searching along the well trodden LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) systems path, Royal Viv Buisman chose Alis for its efficiency, quality insight, manageability and user friendliness.


During their search for a new system, the traditional LIMS systems didn’t quite match up to what they were looking for. Fine systems, but for a medium sized enterprise such as Royal VIV Buisman they proved too extensive.


Thankfully there was more available than the dual choice of Excel and a substantial LIMS. Alis turned out to be the perfect midway option. For approximately a tenth of the price of a traditional LIMS, the complete implementation process was configured and Alis successfully introduced into the company’s daily operations.


"In total we produce approximately two hundred and fifty different exclusive dairy products based on butter oil. Butter products for the baking industry for example, ensuring your morning croissants remain suitably crisp and flaky."


"There are also butter products with a high melting point, helping to improve the character of many products. The different nature of these various products demands a great deal from the analysts and operators."


De Buijzer continues: "It is imperative that our laboratory technicians know exactly per order what specifications apply and which analyses and checks need to be performed. This demands a system which safeguards quality and processes to the optimum degree, whilst keeping things easily manageable."


The laboratory team leader laughs when she explains how until recently all checks and analyses were performed using Excel.


"I sometimes had to wade through ten different tabs to assemble the data required for my reports. Not helped of course by Excel not being very user friendly. Not everyone can work well with the program, so we were depending on colleagues who are Excel experts."


De Buijzer continues: "That took a lot of research. You would eventually get the information you required, but it would soak up a great deal of your time."


A thicket of Excel files peppered across various departments without any clear overarching view; a recognizable issue for many growing production companies.


"Everyone was convinced; we needed something different."

For roughly one tenth of the price of a traditional LIMS, the entire implementation process was completed.

Marcel de Buijzer - Production Director

Royal VIV Buisman


Pragmatic approach

The quality department started doing the legwork, searching for a system to replace Excel. In the first instance the focus was on recognized systems. 


"The traditional LIMS systems we were familiar with in the market are excellent systems for larger commercial labs, however we quickly discovered that we wouldn't use even half of the functions they offered."


In our plant in Zelhem, the Netherlands,  there is no requirement for regulating extended lab-workflow, stock management for chemicals or LIMS invoicing modules.​


De Buijzer: "A traditional LIMS was way too big for us. At VIV Buisman we’re pragmatic. Management costs can quickly add up."


"A new system needed to be practical, a tool offering real support and not be an objective in itself. It really needs to add value."


The quest for a new lab and quality management system continued on Google. "I came across the Alis website and requested some information. That's when the ball started rolling.


"Alis is a quality management system designed for small and medium sized production companies. That's how we met," adds De Buijzer.


"Alis weaves LIMS functionality with quality management. Alis can manage all analyses results, as well as all process models, procedures and forms which conform to standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 22000 or HACCP."

The traditional LIMS systems we were familiar with in the market are excellent systems for larger commercial labs, however we quickly discovered that we wouldn't use even half of the functions they offered.

Marcel de Buijzer - Production Director

Royal VIV Buisman


Fully integrated and accepted

You don't need to be an ICT expert to work with Alis. Asystance has designed Alis in such a way that the layout and management are fully in the hands of the client.


This also enables Asystance to market the system at an attractive price, whilst simultaneously making the users independent of the supplier.


The layout and implementation of Alis at Royal VIV Buisman required little support from Asystance.​


"Everything went smoothly right from the start," enthuses the laboratory team leader. "As I quickly familiarized myself with Alis and because I was so enthusiastic about it, I felt well placed to convey its workings."


"So I decided to give a demonstration and ran a practical training workshop for the laboratory assistants myself. This also had the advantage that our operators' initial scepticism quickly evaporated and helped things to move along quickly and smoothly."


"Operators are now even prepared to take the initiative and let the quality department know about their ideas on what else they could do with Alis in and around the laboratory."


De Buijzer: "For me that's a sure sign that Alis really has caught on and that everyone is comfortable working with it. It's now been fully integrated and accepted."


"The key differences with Excel are that everything works faster and that there's a much better overview," says De Buijzer.


"And you have all the control charts, analyses results or statistics you need at the press of a single button. And not just for ourselves, we can now also generate reports on the delivered quality for our clients and suppliers much faster. We have increasingly accurate information regarding the precise steering of the processes."


De Buijzer is still to notice any immediate financial savings by working with Alis: "In the area of QC and QA things will only increase due to the regulations. This system may allow us to work much more efficiently, but it won’t be reducing our FTEs. This wasn't our original goal. However we can postpone hiring new staff."

Operators are now even prepared to take the initiative and let the quality department know about their ideas on what else they could do with Alis in and around the laboratory.

Marcel de Buijzer - Production Director

Royal VIV Buisman


Multiple locations

Another advantage of Alis is that it can be used throughout the organization, also in other locations. As a web based application, anyone with internet access can work with Alis.


"We used to have to send round all the files and working with various people on the same file simultaneously was simply impossible. Now everything is collected together."


"The results of checks on the line are immediately visible and usable in the lab or in the sales office. All information is linked and is available to everyone." 


The condition for using Alis from a distance is that all data must be placed externally. For some companies this may at first present a barrier.


De Buijzer: "Yes, for a short time this was a bit of an issue, but we have every confidence in Asystance's security systems. Our system manager considered this thoroughly, and didn't see a problem. As long as our internet connection works, we have access to the system."


Efficiency, overview and integral use are of course significant advantages, but at the end of the day the quality of products and processes are key.


Using Alis, it is simple and fast to screen suppliers at the start of the procedure. Once a raw material has been approved, it will be included in the process.


A check takes place via Alis after every step and upon the completion of the production clients can be informed about the delivered quality.


"The products have not improved through Alis," says De Buijzer, "but the processes certainly have. If a raw material or end product falls outside the specifications, the system automatically gives an alert. You react faster and sharper and nothing can be overlooked."

You react faster and sharper and nothing can be overlooked.

Marcel de Buijzer - Production Director

Royal VIV Buisman

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