Hendrix Genetics is a leading player in animal genetics, with a focus on the natural breeding of laying hens, turkeys, traditional poultry and pigs and the breeding of salmon, trout and shrimp. The family business, founded in Ospel, operates internationally, supplying breeding animals and eggs to producers in more than 100 countries. It has a strong R&D department with 29 research farms, 36 hatcheries and three laboratories worldwide.
In recent years, Hendrix Genetics has developed stormily. Between 2005 and 2010, it grew from 50 to no less than 1000 employees, thanks to acquisitions. Today, the organization has 3500 employees worldwide, 300 branches in 25 countries, sales of 500 million euros and a database of 25 million animals.
Hendrix Genetics explores solutions for the global food supply by providing high-quality animal genetics. Statistics and data, and getting value out of them, are central. That’s also why the company is fully committed to the cloud. It wants to be at the forefront and is already using techniques such as AI, IoT, blockchain and augmented reality.
Hendrix Genetics’ digital transformation is complicated by a complex IT landscape, created by past acquisitions. Because each acquired company had its own way of working, Hendrix Genetics had to deal with a mix of Navision, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 (on-premise), Salesforce CRM and MTech, specialized ERP software for the protein production chain. One of the challenges was dealing with large amounts of data, spread across different systems. To professionalize the process around managing master data from customers, suppliers and products, and to initiate the cloud transition from AX 2012 to Dynamics 365, the company contacted Pulse in 2018.
“For us, it is important that there’s a mutual click with our partners,” says Rob Kremers, Director of IT at Hendrix Genetics. “You have to understand each other and have something to offer. That is certainly the case with Pulse. It’s nice to collaborate with a partner that knows its stuff and is not opposed to working ad hoc.”
In the first phase, we examined the business processes and looked at how they could be handled more intelligently. We also developed better workflows for e.g. approving new customers. The Master Data Management project’s approach was to put the master data in order, using the Power Platform. Central to this is ‘Dataverse’ that stores customer data. From here, data is pushed to various applications such as Dynamics 365 F&O, Customer Engagement and MTech.
The master data of customers and suppliers are managed via a Power App. Subsequently, the approval process is completed via Power Automate, whereby issues such as data quality and country-specific laws and regulations are validated.
Furthermore, approved data is automatically distributed to the underlying business apps (slave apps) that consume this data. For the front-end, the entire Power Platform is deployed (including Dataverse, Power Apps and Power Automate). Various Azure components, such as Azure service bus, Azure functions and key vault, are used to integrate with back-end systems. Kremers: “Because our data is now in order, we can use PowerBI to gain insights to improve our processes. Through dashboards, we see what is happening within the organization, and we remain in control.
What struck me about Pulse’s collaboration is that they tightly regulated the processes, ensuring a go-live with a high ‘first time right’ percentage. They also didn’t make a fuss about setting up demos at short notice. Such flexibility is certainly not a given.”
The processes around customer and supplier master data are now live, with item and product management soon to follow. Although the cloud transition of Hendrix Genetics has not yet come to an end – a Microsoft CRM integration will follow – the company is already reaping the benefits of the completed MDM project. For example, there is a unified way of working for assessing customers.
Moreover, all systems in use have access to the same customer data. Contact details are up to date, and it’s no longer necessary to retype information from one system to another. That allows employees to focus on improving the quality of the product. Kremers is satisfied with the implementation and the collaboration with Pulse. He mentioned this during the Dutch Digital Day on July 24, 2020, organized by Microsoft. “It is a beautiful solution that unites the power of the individual components in the platform into a powerful, scalable architecture.”
Several projects at Hendrix Genetics run in parallel, including the transition from Dynamics AX 2012 to Dynamics 365 F&O. Pulse is working on implementing AXtension Invoice Processing, which simplifies the approval of invoices. Furthermore, we’re redesigning the interfaces that run between all the different applications.”
The project was characterized by collaboration and going further than just building and implementing new business software. We fully involved the client in the process and advised them on matters such as data cleansing, migration and the preparation of a script. Kremers is pleased with how smoothly the delivery went. “Everything works as it should, which makes me and the entire organization happy.”