New inventory system brings grower more insight and structure

Dutch strawberry grower Royal Berry started working with FRUIT stock software this year. This Dutch company used Excel sheets, but using the new inventory system brings them more insight and structure. Royal Berry chose the Klok Software system for its customer-friendly solution.

Nannette Lammerts represented this strawberry grower at the implementation and is one of five people that uses this system to sell the grower's products. The greenhouses team leaders also all work with FRUIT stock.

"That's why the system, which took three months to implement, had to be user-friendly," Nannette begins. "FRUIT stock's Henk Jan Klok helped with that. He specializes in the area of top fruit, but for us, it's about soft fruit. So, some things had to be rewritten."

For example, he had to add an order sheet. "That states which label the order should have, which punnet should be used, and which codes should be on the label." Klok Software developed a system specifically for Royal Berry.

FRUIT stock's Henk Jan Klok at the opening of Royal Berry's latest location.

To orientate itself, this strawberry grower visited a top fruit grower to see the system in action. "We knew nothing of it at that time," says Nannette, adding that having a system they could begin working with quickly was crucial.

Royal Berry and Henk Jan kept in close contact while the system was being developed. When it was introduced, Royal Berry considered people's workloads. "We implemented it in the quiet period from December to early March. Then there's little product. That worked out well."

Nanette thinks using the system will help to retrieve information for possible audits quickly. "Those are definitely going to happen," she says. Previously, all the data came from paper records. "Now, we can get that from the system quickly." That includes information regarding things like traceability.

Once the strawberries leave the greenhouse, they go into cold storage or are immediately packed. It is vital to know from which greenhouse and location the strawberries come. The system tracks where they are refrigerated, and when they are removed, the product gets a 'final' sticker.

Royal Berry packs the strawberries itself. The software comes in again, and the product is labeled for sale. The grower uses the software to link fixed or daily orders - entered the day before or that day - to customer product-specific demands.

Pallet overview too
Royal Berry has several farms with different varieties. Each location's strawberries and packaging must be client-specific. Each buyer has its label with different EAN codes. For a large strawberry grower, this generates a lot of information, for which separate product rules have been created in the system for each customer. "Thanks to the order rules, we can work faster on new orders from the same customer," Lammerts explains.

Another advantage to the system is its overview; the company can start using reports. Clients do not have live access to the system. Plus, there is no labor registration in the system. "We started with sales, production, loading, and inventory." Royal Berry wants to introduce Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) eventually.

"Then we can receive and execute orders and send invoices. SSCC labels will also be introduced," Nannette continues. The EDI will let the growers connect to FRUIT stock. Henk-Jan is working in the background to implement this, Nannette says. When it is ready, they can start running it.

Introducing FRUIT stock customized for Royal Berry gives the company access to more data. "You can use the system to more easily select the data you need, for example, about a specific buyer's invoices," Nannette concludes.

The recent move makes administration easier. Not unimportant for a large, growing company like Royal Berry, which celebrated the opening of another new location in early April.

For more information:
Henk Jan Klok
Klok Software
21 Fokker Street
4143 HJ, Leerdam, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 345 820 202 

Royal Berry 
1 Geranium
6681 RE, Bemmel, NL

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