The annual battle over the last bag of sprouts is almost upon us. Supermarkets are gearing up for some of the busiest shopping days of the year as hoards of shoppers manically fill their trollies with festive goodies to adorn their Christmas tables.
As retailers steel themselves to meet customer demand, the pressure is on for fresh produce suppliers to ensure their supermarket shelves are stocked to the brim with all the festive favourites. For those supplying highly seasonal products, their businesses can morph into an entirely different type and scale of operation. The ability to keep supply in line with demand is essential if they are to maximise the financial benefit of this seasonal push.
But for those without sufficient supply chain visibility and accuracy, Christmas can be the tipping point when they realise they need more help and automation to track and process their customers’ orders.
From turkeys to fresh fruit and vegetables, suppliers of products with a short shelf life don’t have the luxury of packing their produce in advance during busy periods and have to work around the clock to ensure orders are fulfilled as they arrive thick and fast throughout the month of December.
And, if a celebrity chef name checks a particular product that he or she considers to be an essential ingredient for any Christmas table, these products then fly off the shelves faster than suppliers can often get them there.
Berry Gardens is the UK’s leading producer of soft and stone fruit. It supplies all of the major supermarkets with its fresh produce. Like many fresh produce companies Christmas is an extremely busy time for the organisation and it sees a significant spike in orders in the run up to the period.
Reacting and planning for these spikes leads to frequent and rapid exchanges of data, it is therefore essential that suppliers such as Berry Gardens can rely on their electronic trading platform for the accurate and timely exchange of transactions, from orders and confirmations to shipping notices and invoices, ensuring that extra orders are met and delivered on time.
James Judge, IT manager, Berry Gardens explains: “As a producer of soft and stone fruit, Christmas and summer are our busiest times of year. We work incredibly hard to ensure our fresh produce is on the shelves ready for the festive period and it is therefore essential that we are able to rely on our EDI platform to guarantee that demand is met during these busy times.”
“Our fully managed EDI service from Wesupply just works. The orders come in around the clock and we process them into our ERP system immediately. It is one less thing to worry about during busy periods and we can concentrate our efforts on fulfilling each order we receive to keep up with demand for our products over Christmas.”
Steve Rees, product manager, Wesupply said: “EDI is at the heart of effective trading, especially during busy periods, but for those organisations running and supporting expensive in-house EDI systems, added demand can increase the cost and internal pressure to ensure the system works.
“A fully managed EDI service which can scale up and down according to demand and seasonal fluctuations allows organisations to cope with the demands of the festive season with no additional cost or stress, ensuring that all orders are met and everyone has those essential festive goodies to tuck into on the big day.”