How manufacturer Vandewiele builds a service-based organization

Apr 11, 2024
  • operations
  • sales, marketing and service
  • discrete manufacturing
  • engineering & projects

Vandewiele Group is globally renowned for its excellence in designing machinery for the textile sector. To remain relevant in an uncertain world, the manufacturer wants to move towards a servitization model. That will enable them to enrich their offerings: from pure machinery to machinery plus all surrounding services – Machinery as a Service. But that strategic shift requires optimal alignment between operational excellence and customer experience. Here’s how delaware helps achieve that balance.

  • Client: Vandewiele Group, a leading textile machine manufacturer, with 4,000 employees (600 in Belgium)
  • Challenge: Align customer experience and operational excellence to realize servitization
  • Solution: Reevaluate core business and IT processes, optimize and integrate CX and operational excellence solutions, and improve overall data maturity

The challenge: bridge the gap between CX and operational excellence

For the past ten years, delaware has helped Vandewiele build a robust foundation for continuous innovation. That framework started with core ERP systems, but gradually progressed towards a migration to the cloud, user-friendly Power BI dashboards, and much more.

“delaware has been our IT and cloud solutions partner for almost a decade,” says Stefaan Vandaele, CIO of Vandewiele Group. “The collaboration has enabled us to respond efficiently to the challenges of our time. Additionally, we are strengthening our operational efficiency and data processes around the world.”

Those successful moves have turned delaware into the ideal partner to help Vandewiele face a new industry challenge: changing customer priorities. Customers desire extremely personalized products and services, with perfectly traceable and sustainable lifecycles. To attain that level of customer intimacy, the discrete manufacturing sector needs to bridge the gap between customer experience (CX) and operational excellence.

“Many companies wonder how they can optimize costs and invest in advanced solutions, while maintaining the flexibility and visibility their customers are looking for,” adds Tim Vermeersch, Partner at delaware BeLux. “That’s where delaware comes in.”

Zoom out: discrete manufacturing

Optimizing agility and innovation

In the discrete manufacturing sector, customer expectations have never been higher. Customers crave a hyper-personalized experience, reliability, and transparency in every phase of the production process. How do you meet those expectations, while optimizing your core operations at the same time? delaware is here to help.

The solution: data maturity through reevaluation and optimization

Closing the distance between CX and operational excellence is also necessary to realize Vandewiele’s vision of the future. To meet the shifting needs of the discrete manufacturing sector, the organization moves towards servitization: offering comprehensive technology services beyond mere production.

From a machine builder to a service organization – Machinery as a Service, as it were. Advanced data maturity and product knowledge will make it possible to provide customers with valuable machine data, such as information on anticipated standstills and condition-based maintenance. But that switch demands a new way of working: smarter operations and facilities in a more connected, intelligent architecture, to limit the pressure on the supply chain. With a starring role for CX and operational excellence.

“In discrete manufacturing, CX often lags behind,” notes Tim. “We reevaluated all core business and IT processes to find out where true value lies for Vandewiele. Based on those findings, we optimized and integrated several best-of-breed operational excellence and CX solutions. As a result, Vandewiele greatly advanced its overall data maturity.”

We optimized and integrated several best-of-breed operational excellence and CX solutions. As a result, Vandewiele greatly advanced its overall data maturity.
Tim Vermeersch, Partner at delaware BeLux

The result: a stronger market position

“Servitization has proven vital to lock in customer loyalty,” says Tim. “By offering additional after-sales services such as predictive maintenance and data intelligence, Vandewiele can build a transparent experience on multiple channels and acquire deeper customer insights.”

By bridging the gap between CX and operational excellence through innovation, Vandewiele is also anticipating the world of tomorrow and crafting a stronger market position at the same time. So the organization wants to keep investing in smart data analyses, including a digital passport for each machine and the digitization of the shop floor. “Continued investments in product development and digital transformation are the key to the future, even in difficult or uncertain times,” says Geert Chielens, CFO of Vandewiele Group.

And delaware, naturally, remains on board for all of it. Not as an ERP system integrator, but as a strong all-around industry partner. “Vandewiele and delaware will keep building and evaluating the ideal reference architecture,” concludes Tim. “This is one of those partnerships where we’re truly a part of the organization itself. We’re here for an end-to-end story, to realize true data-driven change and optimization. Every day, Vandewiele creates more added value, and responds more efficiently to the market.”

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