Smart Alliances has been successfully designing and implementing consultancy projects worldwide for more than a decade and a half. Working with companies, governments and expertise centres, Smart Alliances provides expertise in the following areas:
Development of logistic centers: HenZon BV
It was a challenge to develop a stable cooperative organization in one of the biggest fresh produce markets in Europe. And we took this challenge together with the management and partners within the chain. It was all about cooperation between growers, logistics service companies and traders in the horticultural sector. The goal was to combine produce and other trade flows that would result in:
-lower logistics costs
-better services for the buyers
-establishment of a strong position in a growing market
And these results were achieved in 6 months. Today HenZon is starting a new phase in the logistics service in the fresh produce market, the next step being chain management.
b. Sales of a large logistics service company: Bosman Logistics – Heerenberg
An extensive European network with long-standing partners, different transportation means, and high quality services characterizes Holland’s number 10 logistics service company. Is it possible to further develop this network using the existing organization? Is it possible to simplify at the same time the organization? How can they do it themselves? These were the most important questions asked. Together with Bosman’s management we were able to increase the market orientation of the country teams, simplify the organization, and operation and build up the foundation for the next step toward growth.
c. Optimizing purchase management: Cehave Veghel (crop protection, fertilizers and
It’s important to be close to the market to avoid losses. A main subject in the chain is the costs and yields division. The foundation is a common purchase organization with an extended network supported by warehouses and top quality services.
d. Dairy Production Increase in Cuba
A Dutch-Cuban Dairy Development concept was established that would increase milk productivity and profits in targeted regions. This effort is based on a technical approach assisted by a Dutch Consortium of private companies in several farms where investments were made in state-of-the-art technology, training, and management improvement, focused on workers, institutes and administration. Based on a commercial feasible solution the significant increase in milk production will be used for investments on a larger scale in the sector.
Updating the poultry production and marketing chain: PSOM poultry Cuba
The Dutch-Cuban concept focuses on the renovation of poultry slaughtering equipment in an old broiler abattoir in Cuba. The renovation would be done by means of a Stork PMT pilot plant, which would lead to the modernization of the poultry sector in Cuba from breeding to sales of poultry meat to hotels and restaurants involving the whole tourist sector. The concept, as can be seen, is based on an integral approach from the producer to the consumer at the end of the chain and includes vital aspects such as employment, which is essential to the domestic economy.
Improvement of the Potato production and marketing chain: ORET Cuba.
All our Dutch-Cuban concepts are based on an integral approach and this is no less. From the grower, going through the building of a cold store and packinghouse and the delivery of technical assistance to the workers, to the end consumer this project is a closed circle. Here Smart Alliances cooperates both with the Cuban counterpart, Ministry of Agriculture, and the main Dutch machinery and equipment supplier, Netagco International.
Development of horticulture produce for the Egyptian market (PESP Haba)
Fresh produce grown in good conditions supplied to emerging markets can create a win-win situation both for the growers and importers. In vitro production, a basic clean technology, was introduced in Egypt by a Dutch company after a feasibility study that analyzed the technical, economic, and market conditions lead to an investment plan allowing bankable financing.
Mergers and joint ventures
h. Transformation of an agricultural holding company: Cebeco
Smart Alliances advised this transformation process involving around 200 components to take place in the mid-long term and it was accomplished a little over 5 years later. With the involvement of the top management discussions were held concerning the different changes, such as buying out, solutions to find a sustainable working construction for both the domestic and international markets.
Mergers in the potato seed sector: Wolf & Wolf + Agrico Emmeloord
A difficult combination: a farmers’ cooperative (Agrico Emmeloord) and a classical trading company (Wolf & Wolf). However, thanks to a precise process management envisaging a new future is that management and employees were brought together. The realization of the merger resulted in a stronger organization where everyone supports core activities and seeds are supplied on a worldwide scale. Today they are leaders in the seed potato sector in the world.
j. Mergers in the animal feed sector: ACM
A big change was needed in the cattle feed sector due to market size drops. A huge operation took place from the moment it was decided that the sector had to be completely reorganized. The result was a totally new organization where different subcultures were merged into a new culture.
Mergers in agricultural service organisations: LTO Netherlands and GLTO
It was important to combine forces. The quest was to make a strong organization with additional value for the future. New tasks were devised concentrating on buyers and target groups. As a basis this was enough for the first generation of managers. Our role was to supply process management and serve as a sparring partner for the management; because of this role discussions continued sometimes seeming pointless but allowing us to get to the core of the issues. Currently, the parties involved are in a second development step.
Restructuring of complete organizations
Reorganization in cattle feed companies: Landbouwbelang
In the strong competition between cattle feed companies, logistics is an important tool to access the customers. Often logistic and distribution problems do not allow to arrive in time and with the required quality. A model to reduce costs and develop and implement a total distribution chain, from the producer to the customer, was designed and put to work.
m. Reorganization of arable cooperatives: CZAV
Reductions in costs in sectors producing and selling basic foods are more and more the reason for reorganization. Arable cooperatives are included among those that have to improve their processes. A successful restructuring advised by Smart Alliances was implemented.
n. Redesigning of horticultural auctions
From a cooperative auction South East Holland to Veiling Zon Holding BV. After the largest merger took place in the horticultural sector in the Netherlands (The Greenery), South East Holland was forced to make a strategic choice to determine its future. The starting point of this auction was very good: good location, good markets, loyal members, and small, though very strong, trading companies on its own site. However, the company’s structure no longer met the requirements of the market and the growers. By linking traders, growers, logistics service and facilitating companies with a new orientation to the future Veiling Zon was created, a faster and more flexible company with a suitable structure and management.
Redesigning commercial organization in transportation and logistics: VTL
In today’s dynamic transportation & logistics world, it’s crucial for The Professional Training Institute to help its customers in an efficient and effective way. This means consolidating tasks back at the office and taking the courses to the customers. To be able to do this the organizational structure had to be changed, so the different levels of management together with Smart Alliances joined forces. Our role was to organize the changes, design the transformation plans and later implement them. During one year a management task force geared the operational preparations. The result was the shift from regional offices to compact business units. The challenge VTL faces now is to further develop and link other departments to the
Medium and small business
Strategy development in the textile and graphic business: VOC
Branch organizations working as an economic integral group for their companies need to revitalize their products and prospects, as well as the skills and attitudes of their personnel. Smart Alliances designed a market and management development program for the branch organization that included its practical
q. Market plans: MKB
In the world of medium and small businesses, positioning of the company is essential. The question is to become part of a bigger entity or a specialist in the chain. Together with the responsible management, Smart Alliances designed market plans in different sectors: textile, transportation, and printing business. These plans were focused on their specific situation, which enabled them to make choices for the coming three years. We gave them insight into the information and mentioned detailed actions that could be taken in projects with a time span of three years. The results were greater commitment and a realistic growth pattern for the future.
Trade missions and matchmaking in Canada and South America: Fruitmasters
Dutch hard fruit quality is excellent. Although there’s a lot of competition from other parts of the world, exports using trade missions, including matchmaking, can work successfully in the top Canadian retail market. Another good opportunity for building import/export joint ventures is the importation of quality produce from South America to the European market. Smart Alliances designed the market plans and established successful pilots, thus building the foundation for cooperation and foreign partnerships.
Exchange programs for the pig industry
In agricultural business an extraordinary capacity for creativity is needed and we can learn from the experiences of other countries. In particular, the Dutch pig industry is subject to significant changes. The main goal being to change bulk production into quality production. Smart Alliances together with the project office Stimuland, pig farmers and the processing company Dumeco set up an exchange program to reach this goal.
Governmental and non-profit sectors
t. Management Development Programs
Governmental organizations are also increasingly aware that results are more and more important everyday. Within these organizations it’s expected that the staff become responsibly involved in their tasks working effectively and efficiently. Therefore, a stable plan must be followed. In the market of employment and revenues we have helped several parties to intensify their focus on output management. For this we assist departments in setting up their action plans to better manage:
1. tasks: results and objectives
2. working environment: customers and services
3. chain: network and cooperation
4. team development: quantitatively and qualitatively
Information systems: Gemeente Den Haag
Ministries rely on those departments that receive budgets to find work for the unemployed. A project team in Den Haag analyzed which information was necessary and consequently how could it be exchanged within the organization. The role of Smart Alliances was to guide the project team and to watch over the progress and completion. Den Haag delivered all the information right on time. Based on the information system developed, data are being delivered to the Ministry every six months. Today the task is to link this information to management as a way to gain a better
Environment and energy
v. Treatment of wastewater in the sugar industry: Cuba
A major challenge today for Cuba’s Government and sugar industry is to control wastewaters in sugar, yeast, and alcohol factories. To address the country’s environmental and health problems and pollution in fishing areas, the Cuban Government uses reference factories to create a model for improvement. The project consists in assisting in conducting an integral feasibility study. This study will help to create solutions for the wastewater and solid wastes, as well as in water management. A bankable report will be used to implement the project that will also serve as a model for all the other factories involved in the sugar industry.
w. Sector study in the energy and environment panoramas
Conducting a sector study allows gaining an integral view of all potentials and threats existing in a given sector. Once such an insight is obtained it becomes easier to complete feasibility studies that will focus on specific parts within a sector. Sector studies also make it possible to bring responsible organizations in contact with potentially interested companies. Smart Alliances has experience in conducting and implementing these sector studies.
Rural and regional development
Long term plans for agricultural diversification: “green services”
It’s about an attractive rural landscape near the city. It’s also about the possibility of bringing together a big city full of customers and a rural developer. However, this requires a high-quality and reliable products and services supply network. This also requires a focal point market strategy with the purpose of mobilizing citizens and consumers. Together with the rural entrepreneurs we have developed formulas based on which products and services could be offered to consumers, government and companies. The result has been the onset of profitable ‘green services’ and a steady basis for growth and development.
New concepts for the sake of innovation in the agricultural sector: Bourgondic Farmerr
It has to do with a small and exclusive assortment of high quality fresh produce. Can it be sold directly to the end consumer by way of a closer cooperation between the growers and retailers? Would it result in an additional value both for the grower and the retailer that would allow continuity? What possibilities are there to transform it into a franchise formula? This was the exercise, but the core concept still persists and the learning issue was scale and logistic control. Currently, the formula is being improved to adapt to new conditions.
Franchise formula and organization for agricultural daycare centers
There’s a market in need of high quality daycare centers that will allow farmers to focus on developing a second profitable division in their enterprises. Farmers and a national operating franchise organization worked together on a project to set up a daycare center that is different from any other existing today. Professional daycare centers on the farm, with solid pedagogic standards, are becoming a reality. Smart Alliances provided the basic formula and organizational model for this franchise operation and we managed the process, which consisted in two main features: one implying a real daycare center on the farm; and two, a national operating organization providing professionalism and continuing education guarantees resulting in a new product for the rural community.