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In 85 factories of De Heus worldwide, one digital Quality Management System is used: Icologiq Elements

De Heus is among the top 10 of animal feed suppliers in the world, with more than 85 production locations in 18 countries. All production units are centrally controlled from their global headquarters, located in The Netherlands. “Before we started working with Icologiq, quality production sites operated as separate islands, which functionally reported to the global team” explains Martin Rijnen, Global Director Nutrition at De Heus. “Some countries used Quality Management software, while others preferred Excel. With Icologiq, we have put an end to this fragmentation.”


The challenges

Trust and reputation are extremely important in the animal feed industry, and to ensure a high level of Quality in all countries De Heus operates in, it is vital to have standardized controls and processes. Working methods, standard procedures and instructions are anchored in the organization worldwide through a quality manual. There are hundreds of different documents per factory, from which a local quality manual is put together. However, the interpretation of the local manuals may differ from one another, based on local laws and regulations. This makes it more difficult to monitor the various local quality systems at a global level, to provide analysis and to make reports. 

To better coordinate local quality systems, it was necessary to restructure and synchronize the large amount of available quality documents, and to establish more unambiguous rules for uniform interpretation and local adoption options. The ideal situation involved a central location where all local quality documents could be  stored in a uniform way.


This prompted De Heus to orientate itself to a new “quality data management” system. “From the different countries we are active in, there was an increasing amounts of requests to create order in the knit of quality documents with an IT solution,” Martin says. “This was the moment when we said: now we are going to take this up worldwide. After a selection of different parties, we chose Icologiq for three reasons: its experience in our industry, the hands-on mentality and simply the good feeling the company gave us. This feeling was confirmed in a proof of concept that made it very clear what Icologiq could mean for us in concrete terms.”

Working with Icologiq Elements

According to Martin, the key to the successful implementation of the software, was the fast and direct communication. “From day one, the project leaders have directly involved their key users – QA managers from Poland, Vietnam, South Africa, Brazil and the Netherlands – to ensure that the project works well in practice. Icologiq has also provided training to these key users.”  


By means of bi-weekly sprints and the so-called Story Mapping, new functionality was regularly delivered, so that the project remained alive for everyone involved. This was combined with full testing of their products. “If an incident occasionally crept in, Icologiq immediately had a huge commitment to fix it as quickly as possible. They were genuinely bothered when something like this happened.” 


The 85 factories of De Heus now use the same quality management system everywhere. “We no longer have to deal with the inconvenience of different systems and storage,” says Martin. “We have created order in the hundreds of different documents. Now we can run better reports, which allows us to make better decisions and our professionals to spend less time on peripherals. Icologiq has proven to be an indispensable link in the digitization of our Quality documentation."


We are proud of collaborating with customers like De Heus and providing the structure they need to grow their business while supporting their ambitions in Quality Management. Icologiq Elements is an advanced EQMS that helps Quality leaders worldwide develop and deploy their vision to increase the maturity level of Quality within an organization. Schedule a personalized demo to learn more about our platform and solutions.

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