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Rijk Zwaan

The COMPANY - an international leader in the breeding of vegetables

Rijk Zwaan specializes in breeding vegetables and supplying vegetable seeds for commercial cultivation in greenhouses, polythene tunnels and outdoors. Rijk Zwaan is based in the Netherlands but has numerous locations worldwide for breeding varieties, production and sale of seeds and providing services to its customers. The company employs over 1.200 employees, which places the company among the top 10 largest vegetable breeding companies in the world.

The CHALLENGES - find a centralized solution 

Rijk Zwaan's IT department needed a centralized project management solution to plan projects, manage all the project requests, and the time spent on all tasks. Before, they had disparate solutions to manage their projects but no real project management solution. “Managing all these disparate solutions was very difficult and the lack of visibility was compromising the success of different projects”, says Mr. Ferry Voortman IT System Manager. “We could not see the relationship between delays or problems in some of the steps and how they impacted the overall project and other projects.”


Rijk Zwaan had been using Lotus Notes for many years and wanted a solution based on the platform to minimize their investments. They wanted a tool with an English user interface and they also liked that Genius Project is a company fully dedicated to project management software and is experienced in the market.

The RESULTS - improved planning, resource management and reporting

Rijk Zwaan deployed the solution from October to December 2007 and began to fully use the solution and integrate all projects into Genius Project in January 2008. They primarily use Genius Project for time reporting, resource management, project planning and project requests. “Now we have one unique tool that integrates time and project reporting, project planning and resource management. We have improved project visibility and collaboration now that all project leaders have access to the project information”.


Rijk Zwaan's IT department has created one project database to manage all their projects and use Genius Planner to plan their projects. “Genius Planner is an easy-to-use planning tool to create tasks and assign resources.Finally, we can easily share project plans and progress with all project team members”.


Rijk Zwaan extensively uses the timesheet module for time reporting. The contributors report 100% of their time in timesheets. They have developed two different timesheet templates; one for all project activities and one for all activities not in the project such as support and holidays. “With Genius' user-friendly timesheets, it's easy to report time, since we can create many timesheets for one week.” “It's easier and faster to create reports thanks to Genius's intuitive reporting engine within the portfolio”.


The centralized resource pool has enabled Rijk Zwaan to plan their projects more realistically as they have defined the time spent on non-project activities as unavailability. “It's a great advantage to be able to have a global view of all resource availability; we can see which resource is overbooked and change our planning accordingly”.


Rijk Zwaan also took advantage of the Genius Project customization options to have a personal project template created to simplify project creation and also to define their own workflow for project requests. “These customization save us a lot of time and ensure consistency in our project processes”.


Rijk Zwaan is a large company and other departments would like to use a project management solution. The IT department is going to test it for a while and if the test is successful, the chances are good that they will deploy the solution to other departments.

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