PoultryPlan is a software founded by Chiel ter Heerdt, the owner and managing director of Ter Heerdt, a family business that supplies Lohmann chicks and hens in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. With the tremendous growth of the business in the past two decades, the need for better planning and overview became apparent. This led to the development of the Ter Heerdt Information System (THIS), which was developed by Wim Polman and evolved into a full-time IT system for the entire Ter Heerdt Group. The implementation of THIS allowed the business to be more efficient, improve animal welfare, decrease error and failure costs, and ultimately increase customer and employee satisfaction.
The success of THIS led to a strategic cooperation between Ter Heerdt and the Erich-Wesjohann Group, which prompted Chiel to establish PoultryPlan with Wim Polman and his cousin Niek ter Heerdt. With the further optimization of the software and the hiring of an experienced managing director, Mike Jansen, PoultryPlan started preparing for sales in the international market. Rob Giesen and Barrie Meek also joined the team to make the start-up a success. PoultryPlan is now available for poultry companies worldwide, offering a user-friendly software program that combines all processes and provides a clear and efficient solution for businesses in the poultry industry.
QF Soft, founded by Dennis Lucas in 2008, is the company behind PoultryPlan. Originally, QF Soft began its operations in the hatchery of Lagerwey, where it developed a planning tool for the facility. Over time, this tool was expanded to include a processing plant in the Netherlands, resulting in a comprehensive planning solution for the entire poultry production chain. In 2019, QF Soft became an independent company, with ownership now shared by Dennis Lucas, Jaap Brokking, and Theo Hoen.
In late 2022, QF Soft obtained ownership of PoultryPlan, a company established by Chiel ter Heerdt, the former managing director of Ter Heerdt, a family-owned business that distributes Lohmann chicks and hens in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. This acquisition not only added a new product to QF Soft's portfolio but also gave them access to PoultryPlan's strong presence in the layer market and its effective farm management solutions.
A more complete product portfolio of software solutions for the international poultry market was the reason why QF Soft and PoultryPlan joined forces in January 2023 and continued as one company.
They merged under the name PoultryPlan, with the aim of improving and merging their existing products based on best practices, and enabling continued investment in new and innovative solutions.
The collaboration aimed to offer an even more complete product to poultry companies and integrations, supporting all activities in the entire chain, from grandparent animals to slaughterhouse and further meat processing on the one hand, to the collecting and processing of consumer eggs on the other. The new PoultryPlan aimed to play a leading role in the international egg and meat chain, while retaining the personal approach, service, and practical hands-on approach cherished by both companies.
QF Soft had been active for more than a decade with their product PoultrySoft, mainly focused on the international poultry meat market. It was founded in 2019. PoultryPlan had been operating independently since 2018 and focused on the entire egg and meat chain.
Chiel ter Heerdt, founder of PoultryPlan, expressed his happiness with the merger, saying that it created one full-service company, enabling them to become more mature and grow to gain a leading position in the international poultry market. The two companies fit well together in terms of corporate culture, with employees who shared the knowledge and passion of poultry, making them a full-fledged discussion partner for the chain partner in the poultry market.
Dennis Lucas, founder, and co-owner of QF Soft, also expressed his pleasure with the merger, stating that the PoultrySoft and PoultryPlan products were very complementary. PoultrySoft originated from slaughterhouse and hatchery planning, while PoultryPlan had a lot of knowledge and experience in propagation, rearing, and hatchery. This brought their ambition to be a global leader in planning software one step closer.