December 7, 2023

Packaging registration: four times faster thanks to smart automation

Packaging registration: four times faster thanks to smart automation

Until a year ago, Marcel Vreugdenhil often used to work 60 to 70-hour weeks in his job as a Logistics Planner at Hydrangea growers Sjaak van Schie B.V. "I would sometimes get a month behind with the packaging administration," he says, "but in this seasonal industry you can't 'just' hire someone and train them, as they will turn out to be superfluous in low season." He found the solution in PackControl's packaging registration software.

European market leader Sjaak van Schie B.V. grows high-quality Hydrangeas. With branches in the Netherlands and Portugal, the family business covers a total of about 70 hectares of this potted plant, which it supplies in various stages of cultivation, from cutting to finished product. The company also offers more and more exclusive Hydrangea varieties. Their packaging administration mainly involves CCs (Danish containers) and matching plates.

Packaging administration in Excel: error-prone

The company has around 130 permanent employees. One of them is Logistics Planner Marcel Vreugdenhil, who is responsible, among other things, for the administrative processing of all packaging transactions. "Until a year ago, we mainly did the packaging administration in Excel. The tricky thing is that it's error-prone. I am very meticulous and I spent a lot of time on it. But even then, I was always dependent on the formulas in an Excel spreadsheet. I didn't always have a grip on it. For example, if colleagues worked in the same spreadsheet, it could be hard to discover where things went wrong."

Escalating costs

The costs involved in packaging can be quite high in a company of this size. "And it's not just about the rental costs, but also about the cost of lost items. The latter easily becomes much higher because it’s so difficult to keep the administration correct without automation."

20 hours a week is too much

Packaging administration became problematic, says Marcel: "Depending on the season, I spent a lot of time on it. Too much. In the high season, from January through June, an average of 20 hours per week. And if you work in Excel, you don't have a system to help you if time runs out and you get stuck.

"Instead of 20 hours a week, the packaging administration is now ready in an hour a day. Flawless."


"I used to be a month behind with the packaging administration because there is so much more to do. So I ended up with working weeks of 60 to 70 hours and that is just not okay. It was no longer an option. Conclusion: I spent most of my time on packaging administration, so that was the quickest step forward in terms of time savings."

Switching to PackControl

The switch to PackControl's packaging registration system turned out to be easy. "It's a system that takes over the work and does so in a way that works for us. It's a good solution. My colleagues, over here and in Portugal, are also doing well, because the system speaks for itself. Data is imported during the night and processed automatically. What used to be done manually in Excel, we now don't have to worry about that much."

Time savings of 75%

"Working with PackControl saves a lot of time. Where I used to spend 20 hours a week on packaging administration, I now finish in an hour a day," says Marcel. A time saving of up to 75%. Why is that? It turns out to be especially the automation. "Uploading files eliminates manual work and is very accurate. We import transactions from multiple ERP systems and also those of Royal FloraHolland. We process the transactions using automatic imports.

"The Responsibility Rules are also very important to us. They regulate who is responsible for the packaging. You can define the conditions under which a certain transaction is linked to a carrier or a customer. You set it up once and can specify the preconditions yourself." Rules and agreements are always applied correctly, which saves time and money.

"The systems we use to print delivery notes are also linked to PackControl," says Marcel, "and for entries we make, we can upload documents in PackControl. It just works nicely."

Time off, finally

Despite the time savings, Marcel finds himself far from bored. When asked how he spends all the 'extra time', he laughs and responds, "I still had plenty of hours left, because over the past few years I had been working excessively. There was quite some work to be done at home and now I was finally able to take some time off. With the busy season approaching, there is still more than enough to do."

Discover PackControl Packaging Registration Software

PackControl is the complete packaging registration system that allows you to automate your packaging administration. This saves a lot of time and prevents errors. Would you like to know what PackControl can do for you? You’ll find a lot of information on our Capabilities page.

Interested to know more about Sjaak van Schie B.V.? Take a look at their website

Photograph: Marcel Vreugdenhil with Hydrangeas at Sjaak van Schie B.V. (photo supplied by Sjaak van Schie B.V.)