Dutch companies, Agro Merchants Westland and The Grape Hub, recently started exchanging digital messages. They do so via FreshBabel Messenger. This link ensures neither company has any more administration around the processing of deliveries, production, or the shipment of goods.
f.l.t.r: Rob Oosterbaan and Michel Versteeg of Agro Merchants Westland, and Jan Willem van Wyk of The Grape Hub.
The desire to communicate digitally
Both these companies occupy space at the same location in ‘s-Gravenzande, the Netherlands. They work together a lot. The Grape Hub and Agro Merchants Westland work closely together in the area of packaging and logistics. Before, this cooperation brought a lot of administrative tasks along with it. This digital link using FreshBabel Messenger now ensures all these tasks are automatically processed in both companies' software systems.
"A need arose because we intensified our collaboration. We wanted to see how we could set up our processes to be more efficient. We also considered our increasing volumes. In the past, we communicated mostly via e-mails, PDFs, and Whatsapp. We also spoke on the telephone and shared Excel sheets. Each party had to re-enter the data into their system. Thinking back, that was very ineffective," says Jan Willem of The Grape Hub.
Re-entering data is a thing of the past
For most fruit and vegetable company employees, re-entering information has become a daily task. Certain information is not automatically fed into the software system. Not if a different software system is sending this. This kind of data includes orders, transportation, and shipments. Simply put, documents written in various software languages are being sent back and forth. This causes digital linguistic confusion.
The Dutch software company, JEM-id, therefore, developed FreshBabel Messenger. It works like ‘Google Translate’ for different software systems. FreshBabel Messenger translates software system A's messages to ones suited for software system B. These messages concern things like orders, production, logistics, and transportation.
Agro Merchants Westland works with a customized software package. The Grape Hub uses GreenCommerce, a fruit and vegetable sector-specific software system. Agro Merchants Westland and The Grape Hub can exchange messages via this FreshBabel Messenger link. These messages announce expected arrivals and shipments, and the confirmation of this.
Messages about production order requests can also be exchanged. The reservation of goods for this and the results from the production request concerned can also be communicated. These results contain the goods produced and the product/s and container/s used. Agro Merchants Westland's Richard Bos explains, “Volumes are increasing."
"It, therefore, became crucial for us to standardize our processes. This software helps improve the process and reduces costs. It is, therefore, important to us to keep investing in our IT systems. These are part of our company and contribute to its success. We are also looking at how we can scale up for other clients. We already have the connection FreshBabel Messenger."
"It is becoming easier for us to make new EDI connections in the future. The foundation has now been laid. We can discuss this with new clients who may already be on GreenCommerce. We see demand for this increasing," concludes Richard. In the future, all of Agro Merchants Westland's clients could work via FreshBabel Messenger. Regardless of which software system they use.