In September 2018, strawberry grower Dutch Berries implemented the Nitea Work-IT software in the new greenhouse in Zuilichem in the Bommelerwaard.
Dutch Berries consists of two blocks of 10 hectare. In the greenhouse, strawberries of the Elsanta variety are grown, one of the most grown varieties. Boudewijn van der Wal: "Because of the lovely taste, firmness, and long shelf life, this fruit is loved all over Europe. We export our strawberries to countries such as Germany and England, but particularly the Scandinavian countries are important strawberries for us"
The strawberry plants have been planted in the new greenhouse in August last year. In September, the first strawberry trusses were visible. These trusses are removed from in between the leaves, so they have the space to grow and can be easily picked. The first harvest took place in the months October to December. The goal is around 5 k per square meter, the total yield of the greenhouse was around 1.000.000 kg strawberries.
In December and January, the plants have their winter rest. In February the heating is started and the plants are prepared for the spring harvest. The arid leaves and the trusses are removed. "From April to June, the plants are filled for the second time. In the spring, there is around 10 kg per square meter, what should generate 2.000.000 kilo strawberries in total. In the summer, the plants are replaced by new plants, and the process starts again in August."
Dutch Berries came, on advice of a tomato grower, in contact with Nitea. "We wanted a system with which we could easily register the hours and the number of kilos per hour. We have provided the Work-IT software, together with Nitea, with particular properties which are applicable for the growers of soft fruit. We then want to make improvement steps by looking which modules have added value to our company activities." At this moment, Dutch Berries uses modules for Labor & Production and for showing various information to employees using large screens.
The introduction of Work-IT at Dutch Berries proceeded without problems. Van der Wal: "We quickly noticed how it works. It is a user-friendly system. Based on a large assortment, we can create exactly the right overviews, classify information, and retrieve information from the system and we have better control of the performance. We can work more efficiently and improve performance. Hour registration is crucial to gain insight in labor costs. Nitea keeps developing the software and you can indicate your desires. You can tell it is a system geared towards growers."
Insight in picking results
The pickers of Dutch Bdrries have an app on their phone, in which they can enter the picking number and the number of crates picked per aisle. This is linked to the number of hours worked. "We want to see if we can also link the aisle numbers. You can use it to tell whether the pickers have properly picked the various aisles, but also the quantity and quality strawberries you harvest from plants and their plant grower. You can gain all kinds of insight about the distribution in the greenhouse."
Dutch Berries is satisfied about Work-IT. The support from Nitea is good, and there are many options for expansion. "We first want to master the module Labor & Production, the basis must be right. Then we have to work hard and see which other modules can be deployed to further support our processes."