Vangrootloon is a large, traditional bakery in Sint-Truiden. The company’s roots date back to 1915, when Joseph Vangrootloon began baking bread for his family, neighbors and refugees. Today the bakery is run by the third generation. Over the years, this family business has also grown strongly. Vangrootloon has 23 of its own shops, 17 of which have a tearoom. Although, in essence, Vangrootloon is a totally traditional company, it also uses modern technology to support the working and safety of its stores. Cameras play a key role here.
“Our shops can order extra stocks until midday”, says Jan Massa, head of marketing at Bakkerij Vangrootloon. “In the past, this was sometimes not done, or it was done too late, because of the pressures of business. Via a camera at the head office, we can see the shelves in the shops and estimate ourselves whether we need to send new stock.” With a second camera, Vangrootloon can also see, from head office, how busy it is in the tearoom. If necessary, someone from a nearby store can go along and lend a hand. A third camera is installed discreetly above the cash till. “It hangs there for the safety of our staff”, said Massa. “If there’s any argument about the right change – did the customer hand over a twenty or a fifty euro note? – the CCTV footage can settle the matter. The same if someone were to take money from the till in an unguarded moment.”
One single contact point
Vangrootloon uses Explore for the connection between the shops and head office. A private network with a fast, secure internet connection is handy to give all staff fast access to the applications they need. For everything related to the network and telephone services, Vangrootloon relies on Proximus SpearIT. This partner – an integrator and operator of ICT services for SMEs – also took care of installing the camera. “It’s handy, because, that way, we have a single point of contact for everything”, according to Jan Massa. At the Vangrootloon head office, all the CCTV footage can be followed on a large screen. The pictures are taken using video cameras/recorders in the shops. “We can export them and watch them back at head office. Recently, there was a case of theft in one of our shops. We retrieved the relevant footage and sent i to the police.”
Costs recovered fast
Ten Vangrootloon shops have already been equipped with the cameras. “Each time we convert or renovate a shop, we include the camera installation in the project”, Massa explained. “That way we will gradually have cameras in all our premises.” The up-front investment is relatively small and the costs are recovered quickly. “We optimize the logistics planning because we have a real-time view of stocks in the shops. At the same time, we provide more safety for our staff thanks to the cameras in the tearooms and at the cash tills.” To improve security at head office, Vangrootloon is also investing in surveillance cameras for access control.
Bakkerij Vangrootloon supplies fresh bread and pastries to 23 of its own branches in Limburg and Flemish Brabant, as well as to supermarkets, off-premise bakeries, schools, rest homes and institutions. Vangrootloon has 350 employees.
Jan Massa has worked at the registry of the Commercial Court. Now, he is head of marketing at Bakkerij Vangrootloon.
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