Avebe, Global Producer of Potato Starch Products, Leverages Mendix Low-Code for Efficiency Gains in Factory Planning and Logistics

New transportation and planning application built with low-code integrates real-time field information with SAP enterprise system for Avebe food production and operations

BOSTON – July 29, 2020Mendix, a Siemens business and the global leader in enterprise low-code, announced today that Avebe, the leading global cooperative of potato starch varieties and potato-based food derivatives, has developed Internal Starch Flow, a software solution designed to streamline logistical and planning processes for Avebe plant facilities and their cooperative farmers.

Internal Starch Flow eliminates unnecessary transportation delays and correctly matches shipments of potato-based starch and proteins with the chemical plant best suited to process those specific vegetable proteins. With daily shipments from more than 2,200 growers, the application greatly reduces the chance of product rejection at the factory or other production delays to guarantee an optimal price for Avebe’s cooperative members.

Bringing Different Disciplines Together
The Internal Starch Flow application was built within 10 weeks by a team of six part-time employees drawn from various disciplines, using the Mendix low-code platform. Avebe’s software solution consists of a management environment, with a mobile app for drivers, and a separate interface for logistics planners and factory operators that integrates fully with several SAP backend modules. The integration of business-critical systems that run on SAP systems with digitized logistical processes is unique in this industrial sector and made possible by low-code’s capacity for enterprise-grade connectivity. Low-code is a visual development approach that enables developers of varying experience levels to create applications quickly for web and mobile, using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic through a graphical user interface.

“Previously, an operator physically walked to the silo to measure the amount of starch to withdraw. With Mendix, we’ve automated this process in a smart and innovative way. More insight into the amount of product stored in the silo helps to ensure a more efficient distribution of starch to production locations, with shorter waiting times for drivers, and lower write-offs due to smaller stock differences at the end of the processing campaign,” said Gijs Bleeker, director ICT at Avebe.

Using Connected Mobile Devices to Improve Transportation Logistics  
Avebe’s transportation needs are outsourced to external, third-party providers with off-site legacy systems. As a result, developers had to map out a large number of scenarios and link information with multiple systems via the Internal Starch Flow user interface.

Avebe’s innovative mobile solution guides drivers through their logistical checkpoints, from loading shipments at specific locations to unloading at targeted plants or facilities. Drivers use a mobile app to scan a QR code at the loading location. At the delivery location, the driver scans another QR code to see if he or she should unload the cargo. Via QR code scanning, data is checked with the master list at Avebe and the production control system at the production location. The information is uploaded into the SAP database where stock and inventory figures are automatically updated.

With these innovations, manual freight packing lists with their attendant lack of insight or transparency on inventory status become a thing of the past. The driver’s paperwork confirming delivery and other details is also automated by the Avebe application. Previously, consignment notes were transferred manually by emailed Excel sheets.

With the app, the truck loading and unloading process is reduced to about an hour. Previously, it was not uncommon for trucks to be queuing at an unloading location for longer periods of time. The Internal Starch Flow app uses GPS-enabled timestamps to provide real-time information about the location of the trucks, providing accurate data to improve planning and lower the costs of logistical processes.

Building Unique and Impactful Solutions with Low-Code
Erik Dijck, manager ICT architecture at Avebe, said “Now all parties have real-time insight. This is a real breakthrough in the market. The drivers have all had training and were included in the development process of the application. This proved to be an essential element for success.”

“Our goal is to help companies create applications that deliver an impact today. Internal Starch Flow helps Avebe gain more insight into the logistics processes and stocks to deliver an optimal product for its customers and a fair price for the potato growers. It also shows the almost endless ways in which the Mendix platform can complement existing SAP solutions,” said Dennis Muller, customer success manager at Mendix.

    About Mendix

    Mendix, a Siemens business, is the only low-code platform designed to address the full complexity of enterprise software development challenges. Deploying point solutions to departmental problems solves things at a micro level—but if you want to make a significant impact on your business, you need to go bigger and build powerful portfolios that move the needle sustainably and strategically.

    With Mendix, enterprises can take on more complex, transformational initiatives by engaging everyone in capturing requirements, forming ideas, and embedding value assessment throughout the lifecycle of the software portfolio.

    Focus on the right problems while relying on governance and control to avoid unnecessary risk. Mobilize your organization. Build the change readiness muscle. And when the next big idea drops, turn it into an outcome quicker.

    More than 4,000 organizations in 46 countries use the Mendix low-code platform. An active community of over 300,000 developers has created over 950,000 applications – and counting.