Introduced in 2015, the Dutch Participatiewet (Participation Act) marks the government’s commitment to a labour market in which everyone can participate. This offers supported employment companies the opportunity to become the best place for job seekers at a distance from the labour market to develop their skillset and increase their chances of securing paid employment. It’s a challenge that the Limburg-based company, which helps to employ people at a distance from the labour market, Westrom, is taking seriously. ‘With the cloud version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we can increase the efficiency of our business processes and quickly capitalize on new opportunities.’
We interviewed Antoon Theijs, data manager at Westrom. He explains that Westrom has partnered with five municipalities – Echt-Susteren, Leudal, Maasgouw, Roerdalen, and Roermond – to implement the Dutch Participation Act. People who for whatever reason are at a distance from the labour market can turn to Westrom, which will help them fully return to the labour market. This includes examples such as assembly or packaging work in a sheltered environment. However, Westrom also handles reintegration processes and supervision of secondments of individuals and of groups. ‘As of 2008, Navision takes care of our logistical, financial, and CRM processes. The switch to Navision resulted in significant improvements in the way we do things. We enjoyed using this system for ten years.’
A good working method
In 2017, we knew it was time for something new. The version of the software we were using had reached the end of its life cycle, and the latest version included a lot of new features that could meet Westrom’s additional needs. This meant that we needed to upgrade our software bundle. ‘Our colleagues enjoyed using Navision and would have preferred to use the latest version.
One of the biggest advantages of using this state-of-the-art business application is its seamless integration with Excel, Word and Outlook.
We asked a third party expert for advice and then called in two parties to submit a proposal for the re-implementation. Broad Horizon (formerly Abecon) immediately caught our attention because of their expertise, fast and efficient quote delivery, and attractive pricing.’
Broad Horizon is familiar with our industry, which made communication easy.
A tight schedule
Navision is now known as Microsoft Dynamics, says project leader Ruud Mols. ‘One of the biggest advantages of using this state-of-the-art business application is its seamless integration with Excel, Word, and Outlook. You can also very flexibly tailor the default software to your own business processes. Broad Horizon is familiar with our industry, which made communication easy. The software was implemented on a tight schedule, but we had the right people and knowledge available to us in good time. Some of our organization’s key users also contributed to the implementation. This experience meant that they could quickly help other users once the new software went live.’
Ruud explains that Westrom wanted to start using Microsoft Dynamics from the start of the new fiscal year. ‘As a result, the project had a short lead time. We first implemented the financial, sales & marketing, production, projects, warehouse, and purchasing modules, without any bells and whistles. Since that time, we have established a link with Microsoft’s reporting solution. In phase two, we will continue to expand and improve the system’s ease of use in a number of areas. It is very easy to add additional operations in this system.’
‘About 90 employees are currently using this system. Once phase two is complete, we’ll also implement modern features such as the scanning of purchase invoices and barcode scanning in the warehouse. Users can now immediately see the production schedule in the central Dynamics system, instead of receiving it in Excel as they used to.
Always up to date
Westrom uses Microsoft Dynamics in the cloud or as Software as a Service. This ensures that the software bundle is always up to date. ‘The supplier handles the maintenance, upgrades, and security. With respect to this, Broad Horizon works with sister company True, which specializes in managed hosting. This means that the IT department can focus more on other important work. By using the cloud, you have access to your data anytime, anywhere. The programs we use are also continually kept up to date; this keeps our organization in step with the latest developments.’
‘Improvement and efficiency measures are becoming commonplace for supported employment companies. Continued success in this market requires a functional internal organization and sufficient system support. Our IT is now up and running.’
Westrom has built up a great deal of knowledge and expertise when it comes to providing services to a vulnerable group of residents. ‘Improvement and efficiency measures are becoming commonplace for supported employment companies. Continued success in this market requires a functional internal organization and sufficient system support. Our IT is now up and running. This enables us to work efficiently and puts us in a better position to help municipalities and employers support people at a distance from the labour market.
If you would like to learn more about our solutions after reading this customer case, please feel free to contact us, and we’ll walk you through the best options for your organization.