It was an eventful year full of challenges, at the same time, JASA looks back on 2020 as the year of internationalization and robotization. Eduard de Haan, CEO of JASA: "Despite the difficult situation surrounding COVID-19, there were many highlights for JASA, including the opening of the branch in Germany, the great success of the branch in America, the realization of customer projects with pick and place robotization and the automation of processes."
The first quarter: Fruit Logistica
2020 started with a wonderful highlight: Fruit Logistica. Eduard: "In Berlin, we launched two new packagings. Showing that with our JASA Sleever, kiwis, tomatoes, apples, and many other products can be packaged in a cardboard tray with a paper sleeve around it at lightning speed."
The Bag-2-Paper™ was also again demonstrated. Because we dropped the traditional sealing principle, the packaging doesn't have a plastic coating on the inside. In other words, it is plastic-free! JASA is exceptionally proud of this patented technology. Meanwhile, the Bag-2-Paper™ has already won three (!) awards: the NL Packaging Award 2019, the WorldStar Packaging Award 2020, and the WorldStar Sustainability Award 2020. "This sustainable paper packaging has caught on hugely in America, but also on the European mainland the paper packaging is becoming a great success."
The second quarter: COVID-19
The pandemic presented JASA with new and significant challenges. "We compiled the Impact of Corona Crisis Plan. This included all kinds of measures such as working from home, spacing the premises to allow a one-and-a-half-meter separation, plastic screens, and so on." Within JASA, the number of corona patients has fortunately remained limited. However, JASA did notice the impact of COVID-19 on its sales. "Internationally, we had to deal with a dip in sales through dealers. But to our great surprise, we among others landed some really nice big projects, for tapas, chicken nuggets, tomatoes, and shrimp." JASA received orders from Germany, the Netherlands, and even from Malaysia.
The third quarter: robotization
A significant development in 2020 was the definitive decision to start a third machine group: robotic cells and robotic lines. "We had a particularly important launch customer. Now there are pizzas from Royal Vezet at Albert Heijn with much less packaging material." JASA will make robotic cells and robotic lines a full-fledged business unit in 2021.
The local office in Germany launched in the summer months as well. Nowhere else within Europe is the composition of households snowballing towards single and two-person households as in Germany. With this, the demand for ready-to-eat packaging, meal packs, sliced fruits, and meal salads is also growing. As an expert in packaging convenience products, opportunities, therefore, lay ahead for JASA in Germany. JASA was quick to seize these opportunities.
Third, another central theme played a role: optimizing processes. JASA switched to Insightly and automated primary processes to support JASA's proficiency as a manufacturing company.
The fourth quarter: completing the year of internationalization and robotization
Our success in the Americas marked the last quarter of 2020. "It is a major achievement that our revenue contribution from the Americas has grown to 25% of JASA's total in two years." Impressive large orders have been secured in the U.S., among others leafy greens and Sleever lines for kiwis. Also, awards continue to pour in: JASA won the Produce Business Innovation Award in America. Furthermore, the re-implementation of automation was further developed in the last quarter. The processes within JASA will become more customer-focused and more efficient in the coming years.
Looking ahead: 2021
2020 was an exceptional year full of challenges and highlights, as for 2021, JASA has plenty planned too.
After putting his heart and soul into the business for 36 years, Piet said goodbye to his company on December 31, 2020. "Piet has built an amazing company of which he can be very proud. He has also become the most well-known packaging director in the Dutch produce business." He will be missed at JASA. When saying goodbye to a founder, a grand farewell is naturally part of it. "Unfortunately, that is not possible in this time of our century. Therefore, we decided that at the next virus-free opportunity, probably during Fruit Logistica 2022 in Berlin, we will toast Piet's farewell with a drink and lots of customers, dealers, and other dear ones from the field."
Although JASA's origins can be found in vegetable cutting, JASA currently serves other industries as well. "In addition to potatoes, vegetables and fruits, products such as meat, fish, chicken, tapas and meal salads play an increasingly important role in our business. Our website is now geared to that too." In 2020, our team laid the groundwork for our new website. The site now has landing pages for each product group. In 2021, this will be further developed into the website 3.0.
The fifth-year in the five-year plan
2021 marks the fifth year of JASA's five-year plan. "We received many orders by the end of 2020; hence we will bring a lot of work into 2021. We will also continue to work on our German and American branches. Furthermore, expanding our national and international service organization and our process optimization are important themes as well.
"We are in the fortunate position - for which we are extremely grateful - of receiving lots of orders from all of our customers. This enables us to go on with improving our organization and our machines on a steady basis in 2021."
A Sleever for skin packs will be launched in 2021. "With that, the Sleever will have an even wider range of applications. Packers can use the multifunctional modular machine across meat, fish, tapas, cherries, pears, tomatoes, and much more." And from now on, also for skin packs.
"Further; we will make improvements to our locations, which we will continue to expand." For example, the premises in Alkmaar will be refurbished in 2021. Our buildings will be equipped with comfortable workplaces and a more modern look.
Robotic lines & a new operating system
After its successful delivery in 2020, we will launch JASA's robotic lines in a big way in 2021. "With their introduction, we will also launch a new control system based on industry 4.0 principles. A key issue with this is that sensors will be installed on the wear and tear parts for all newly developed machines, and we will bring the machines online. The combination makes it possible to log in and check the condition of the parts remotely." This is JASA's way of moving toward predictive maintenance. To this end, JASA is setting up its software department. " This way, we are ready for the increasing demand for machine data, ensure higher OEE scores, and are we ready to optimize machine parks with a new control platform. Beyond that, we will let ourselves be surprised with what the new year will bring us!"
Are you interested in JASA's packaging solutions? Please contact us. We are happy to answer all your questions and always team up with you to find the best packaging solution for your product.
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