Skip to main content
Food & Animal Feed

Helwa Wafer Bakery

By 10 February 2021November 10th, 2023No Comments

'ManualMaster provides clarity for the production department'

Helwa is a producer of wafer biscuit products that supplies international markets. In Hallum, Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands, 112 employees work on products that are sold worldwide. The ‘frou frou’ and the ‘pennywafel’ are the classics in the company’s range. Thanks to continuous innovation, the company now offers wafer biscuits with a real fruit filling, gluten-free wafers and high-protein wafers.

In order to guarantee the quality and food safety of its products, Helwa uses a certified quality management system based on the BRC and IFS standards. The bakery has to meet various customer requirements. ManualMaster maps the quality assurance documents and processes that guarantee this. And that has a positive effect on the speed of audits, says Mariëtte de Jong-Steegstra, Quality Assurance Manager at Helwa.

Our external auditor is really enthusiastic about ManualMaster and winning support at management level was easy.

After the implementation of ManualMaster, she immediately started acquainting everybody with the system. Departments and managers can check whether all their documents are still up-to-date. The process steps are also included in ManualMaster. Once that operation has finished, ManualMaster will be introduced in the production departments.

Mariëtte: ‘Documents were hard to find in our previous system. Purchase, sales, the quality handbook, everything was all lumped together. So we decided to look for a good quality & document management tool. We finally chose ManualMaster from our shortlist of three candidates because of the user-friendliness of the software.’

User-friendliness and speed

At present, 20 employees work with ManualMaster in the wafer bakery. Mariëtte: ‘The system has been well received. Colleagues are particularly enthusiastic about the user-friendliness of the software and the speed with which they can retrieve documents. Not being able to find documents was their main complaint. Our external auditor is also really enthusiastic about ManualMaster and winning support at management level was easy.’

Custom dashboard layouts and the ability to highlight what colleagues find important and what they need.

‘ManualMaster has totally transformed and improved how we look for documents. It provides clarity for the production department. You simply type in a search term – a word that you expect to appear in a document – and the document appears immediately on your screen.

Production employees can find everything themselves and no longer need me when they are looking for a document. Furthermore, document management is now the responsibility of the various departments. This ensures that the information is kept up-to-date. Auditors find it a useful tool because it provides easily accessible tracking information about changes and adjustments. It takes a lot of the routine legwork out of my job as quality manager.

Helwa does not (yet) use Editors in its quality system. Two Administrators, Mariëtte and a colleague, amend the documents based on feedback from the organisation, which is noted directly in the documents.

We will save a huge amount of time by implementing WebForms

Implementation of the WebForms module (intelligent web forms) in ManualMaster is the next action on Mariëtte’s to-do list for perfecting Helwa’s quality system.
‘That module will save us a huge amount of time. We carry out various checks for hygiene, safety, product validation and Food Defense. The forms that we use for those checks will be transferred to WebForms. The process is still fairly cumbersome at the moment. When we have a hygiene inspection round, we print the forms we need and then, after performing the inspection round, we have to enter everything in Excel before we can distribute the information. In the case of product validations, we also note all the information on paper first and then enter the values in Excel. Being able to do this in one smooth procedure via ManualMaster WebForms will save us a great deal of time.’

Overview of complaints, customer requirements and blockades

WebForms offers a print layout to which photos and images are added automatically. At the moment, specific computers are used for Helwa’s quality management. The idea is that WebForms will make it possible to equip employees with tablets to facilitate their work in different parts of the factory.

Mariëtte: ‘WebForms will also help us maintain an overview of complaints and blockades. One customer requirement is that two management reviews have to take place each year. It takes me two days to collate all the complaints, blockades, checklists and study the nutritional analyses. Followed by discussion of the report with the management team, and the audit. You can process this entire workflow in ManualMaster with a single press of a button. A management review, which gives management immediate information about what is happening in the organisations, can be put together in no time.’
WebForms will also give Helwa the ability to create Management of Change (MoC) forms. Helwa’s quality manager certainly intends to explore the benefits of this feature.

Simultaneous document editing

Helwa faces various other challenges in the area of quality management, such as implementation of the new IFS standard. Mariëtte: ‘ManualMaster makes this easy. You look at which requirements have changed, filter them out of the documents and then use ManualMaster to make the necessary changes everywhere in one procedure. We can also use the system to create an informative summary of all the many customer requirements that exist. Requirements are also more concrete for the production departments, because we can indicate why we do something, or refrain from doing something, in ManualMaster.’

ManualMaster’s main USP is that it makes quality management simple and easy

The implementation of ManualMaster at Helwa was partly an online procedure, and partly a live procedure. Mariëtte would have preferred the live consultancy option, but Covid forced a change in plan. ‘Online is more distant. You can’t look at each other and simply hand over your mouse. When you work online, you are totally focused on what is happening on the screen. Sitting down together is a more relaxed experience and you can also talk about trivial subjects like the weather. That helps communication. Even so, the process went very smoothly.’

‘ManualMaster’s main USP is that it makes quality management simple and easy. That is also the feedback I get from the user group. You can set up your own dashboard and indicate what you need there. Documents can be linked as favourites, so you can quickly navigate to the document that you use every day. Reason enough for Helwa to work as much as possible with ManualMaster and recommend it.’
For more information:

by Ad Killian

About Helwa

 Activity Producing and developing wafer biscuit products
 ManualMaster in use since  2020
 Modules used Document Management, Risk Management and WebForms in the near future
red wire mobile red wire small red wire big