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An interview with Brewery Martens on B2B Integration

By Ioana Ploesteanu
June 12, 2024

An interview with Kurt Brouns from Brewery Martens

Brewery Martens, Belgium’s second-largest brewery, boasts a global presence distributing over 4 million HL in 75 countries. Their success story is one of steady growth, evolving from a small company to a major exporter. As their business boomed, so did the complexity of managing communication and document exchange with a vast international audience.

Babelway’s exceptional support team proved to be another game-changer. “When we send an email to the support team, half an hour later it’s solved,” shares Kurt. “They solved every case quickly. All of our incidents are critical… Babelway support is extremely good.”

Please introduce yourself and the company you are representing.

I’m Kurt Brouns, IT manager at Brewery Martens. We’re the second biggest brewery in Belgium, selling over 4.000.000 HL this year. Most of it is exported. And we work around the entire world distributing our beers to over 75 countries.

Working in a global environment and having to communicate and exchange documents with customers worldwide can be challenging. Tell us how things worked before using Babelway and what challenges you were facing.

We initially developed the system in-house using BizTalk, which was an excellent product at the time. The development process was relatively straightforward until we encountered another customer requiring a different format. Eventually, the system’s complexity and maintenance demands became too burdensome. As a result, we decided to seek a partner to manage these challenges.

After thorough consideration, we selected Babelway. We began with their basic light package, and I personally received training to handle some initial channel setups. Since then, our environment has expanded significantly and continues to grow. We now rely on the Babelway team for customer onboarding, a process that takes only two to three days and has proven to be more cost-effective for us.
We are extremely satisfied with the support provided by Babelway.

What would you say are the main benefits of working with Babelway?

I see many benefits in working with Babelway, such as reducing the time to onboard a customer, and reducing manual work. When there is a problem we don’t waste time trying to understand where the problem comes from – we have everything related to EDI centralized. We receive notifications via email if something’s not working. We do know our way around the Babelway platform, but only for simple changes. If it gets too complex, we just send an email to support.

You talked a lot about support. Is our support team your favorite aspect of Babelway?

Support is extremely good. My colleague, now handling the communication with Babelway, told me that when he sends an email to the support team, half an hour later it’s solved. So it’s extremely good support. We had a few problems in the past, so it hasn’t always been 100%. But the last few years, there’s not a single comment on support. We are very pleased. That’s also why I agreed to do this interview, because I’m very pleased with the support and with the tool.

Has there been a specific instance where Babelway made a big difference?

We had a lot of customers who requested changes to be able to map the messages and documents between our systems. Every case we had with you guys was solved quickly. All of our incidents are critical, if despatch advices aren’t sent in time, customers will not let us unload our beers in their storages or stores. So it is quite important that the EDI messaging is working correctly. Let’s take, for example, one customer that has multiple destinations, one time, they place the order on pallets and another time, they order the beers in cases. To process the order correctly, we need to have the order mapped correctly in our system. That’s something that would have taken us internally a lot of time to do. It took the Babelway support team less than 1 hour to solve it.

How do you plan to use Babelway in the future?

In the past, orders were placed via a phone call. Customers would say I need a truck full of beers, and somebody had to take notes or enter it manually into the system. We prefer EDI and will continue to use Babelway because we don’t have to input the order manually; everything is communicated and mapped automatically. So that’s very easy. Takes a lot less time.

For someone looking for an EDI and B2B Integration solution – why would you recommend Babelway?

First of all, is the excellent support. Second is the price, which is very competitive and attractive. Third is the fact that even if it’s a self-service platform, we can still get additional help from you guys when needed, and we don’t need to have a dedicated internal team for EDI and B2B integration. After we started with Babelway, we didn’t even look at other suppliers on the market for EDI and B2B Integration – we were just too pleased. It’s fast, cheap and reliable, and that’s exactly what we need.


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