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Case study
Globis NV

After two unsuccessful FileMaker rewrites, Globis finds a better platform

Globis NV

Globis NV is the spin-off of a family-owned company that specializes in processing plastics and producing printed packaging. Karel Van den Berghe, the current owner and CEO of Globis NV, developed an ERP system for internal use.

The powerful features of the Globis software and the team’s expertise have now become assets to those industries.

In short // TLDR


Group 1385
Growing needs

Needed a more scalable product for international expansion

Cloud capabilities

The company wanted to offer a SaaS-model solution, replacing on-premise software

Filemaker couldn’t cut it

To provide the required solution, a future-proof platform was needed


Group 1306.png

Servoy worked with Globis to develop their Online Business Framework


Starting small, Globis started to rebuild all its ERP modules on Servoy

Greater capabilities

The extended functionality and scalability supports larger ERP implementations than ever before

Full version
During the 1990s, Karel Van den Berghe, the current owner and CEO of Globis NV, worked for a family-owned Belgian company that specialized in the processing of plastics and the production of printed packaging. The company had developed an ERP system for internal use, to easily manage orders, stocks, and production. The system was based on FileMaker Pro.

In 1999, Van den Berghe founded Globis as a management spin-off, with the idea of selling the ERP solution to other companies in the packaging industry. Today, about half of Globis’s customers are still in this industry sector, but the company’s core business has expanded over the years to trading and production companies in general. 

External implementations of the original ERP—called SoftPack— revealed structural shortcomings in key technical areas, such as user management, user security, upgradeability, and version control. The development team decided to rewrite the software using FileMaker 7, a much-improved version of FileMaker Pro. The company hoped to reach manufacturing and distribution companies outside the packaging industry with the new ERP. The software was renamed Globis, and in 2005, the new ERP suite proved stable, feature rich and easy to deploy.

As customers grew bigger and more demanding, the FileMaker platform reached the limits of its technical development potential. In particular, FileMaker could not provide the performance required in increasingly international environments. 

Globis needed a more scalable product with a solid database. The company also wanted to introduce a web-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offering as an alternative to the traditional on-premises implementation. Another rewrite became inevitable, and this time, the new solution had to be based on a future-proof development platform.
“Our Servoy contact visits us every month to discuss current topics and to provide our team with help and advice.”

Karel Van den Berghe // Owner and CEO of Globis NV

In 2007, Globis downloaded and tried the Servoy software. A small initial project (a B2B web shop developed for a customer) proved successful, and Karel Van den Berghe decided to switch to the Servoy platform as the company’s new development environment. 

The Globis Online Business Framework was developed with the support of the Servoy team. The framework was used to develop the new Globis online navigation, user interface, web services, e-commerce, and deployment modules. 

Next, Globis started to rebuild its ERP modules: product data management, web shop, order administration, warehouse management, and project and installation management. Small implementations of the newly built modules proved successful. 

Once a reliable and powerful ERP system based on Servoy was completed, Globis was able to start selling it to large international enterprises. For example, Turtle Wax is the world’s largest manufacturer of car care products, with sales in more than 90 countries. The company’s primary lines include cleaning and polishing products as well as automotive performance chemicals such as engine treatment products and formula oils. 

Turtle Wax had been using the Globis 9 system (the most recent FileMaker-based version) successfully in Belgium, France, and The Netherlands for quite some time when its UK subsidiary decided to look for a new system. Globis seemed to be a logical choice, but a study conducted by the US headquarters found it wasn’t powerful enough.

Globis demonstrated its new Servoy-based Globis solution (Globis 10) to Turtle Wax. After extensive testing, Turtle Wax UK decided to adopt the latest version of the Globis software. 

“Using Servoy as our development environment was a strategic decision for us. Servoy offers a stable platform and first-class support.”

Globis Online has been in production at Turtle Wax UK since October 2012. Thirty users rely on the system to manage customer data, items, prices, and discounts, and to process sales, purchase orders and claims. 

Following the successful implementation of Globis Online in the UK, the solution was rolled out to the subsidiaries in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, where it replaced Globis 9. Migration from Globis 9 to Globis Online ran smoothly and without problems, since the basic concepts remained the same. Only the underlying technology was replaced.

Over 60 Turtle Wax employees throughout Europe use GlobisOnline on a daily basis. Multi-tenancy is a key feature of GlobisOnline. For each customer and subsidiary, Turtle Wax can individually defi ne the data to be shared (e.g., share product data, not prices). The system also supports intercompany invoicing between subsidiaries. The eCODA web-based accounting system has been fully integrated with Globis. As soon as an order is captured in the system, the credit limit is checked in the financial accounting module. All invoices (purchases and sales) are interfaced automatically. 

Globis is also integrated with SlimStock to generate detailed transaction analyses throughout the year and automatically optimize stock purchases. Globis uses the Jasper reporting capabilities included in Servoy for its statics. Turtle Wax has added sophisticated reporting capabilities and dashboards developed on its Microsoft SQL Server databases, using Pentaho as a business intelligence tool. Reports are generated in different languages and for different companies and locations.
Karel Van den Berghe, owner and CEO of Globis NV, says: “Using Servoy as our development environment was a strategic decision for us. Servoy offers a stable platform and first-class support. Our Servoy contact visits us every month to discuss current topics and to provide our team with help and advice.” With the Servoy development platform, Globis was able to increase the performance of its solution to meet its needs. The full optimization potential of the platform has not even been reached yet. 

The extended functional capabilities and scalability offered by Servoy enable Globis to support larger national and international ERP implementations than ever before. Turtle Wax is currently Globis’s largest customer, with several international locations relying on a centralized GlobisOnline system. Other large multinational companies are expected to follow soon. The development team loves the new technological environment. For former FileMaker developers, there is no going back. Globis can support the increasingly complex requirements of international customers without having to expand its development team. 

The Servoy concepts and tools allow Globis to offer its ERP as a SaaS offering. Customers pay a monthly fee per user to cover the license, support, upgrades and hosting of the solution. Globis expects that most customers will migrate their systems to Globis Online and move from the current license-based model to a SaaS model. 

The SaaS model offers two major benefits: It provides Globis with predictable recurring revenue, and it enables the company to offer its solution to small and medium-size enterprises as well as to large customers anywhere in the world. Globis now has the full technical flexibility to support on-premises installations and its SaaS offering. The Servoy platform allows both models to run in parallel from a single code base.
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