Even for medium-sized companies in the fruit industry, the topic of digitization - especially with the entry of the new generation - is suddenly gaining in importance. "We have undertaken a lot of digitization measures in the past year, as we have to expect that the situation on the labor market will only get worse instead of better in the future. Both in Germany and in other European countries, the number of people leaving the labor market will drastically exceed the number of new entrants. In this respect, the demographic change is now really coming to fruition," says Sven Nüchter, Managing Director of the fruit wholesaler of the same name based at the Duisburg wholesale market.
Accordingly, the entire economy needs to be digitized as quickly as possible, the dedicated fruit trader continues. "In all areas of our business, we are trying to take advantage of digital opportunities, whether it's in accounting, recording customer receipts, or taking orders via app. The feedback from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive. What helps is that the current options are also attractive and user-friendly. At the same time, the digitization process is also partly automatic, because at some point there simply aren't enough workers left. However, it's not just a question of availability, but also of cost: wages are developing in such a way that those who are critical of digitization will eventually face efficiency problems."
Sven Nuechter has now been running the family business for five years in the 4th generation.
Secure and clean solution
Processes that would not have been questioned before now have to be checked for their cost intensity and adjusted if necessary. Processes that had been similar for 40 years were now fundamentally changed within a very short time. Nüchter: "In the course of this, there have certainly been minor user problems and number errors, but I don't think you have to let that deter you. After all, the great danger lies in not dealing with it at all. The existing technology is extremely mature and hardly prone to errors in comparison to the previous processes. In short, you now have a safe and clean solution permanently."
The Nüchter company has already been at home at the local wholesale market in Duisburg for many years.
Increase of efficiency
Goods are not ordered via the company homepage, which was also redesigned, but via an external service provider. Despite the comprehensive restructuring, Nüchter sees further opportunities in terms of digitalization, for example at the logistics level. "You could, for example, implement digital concepts to support route planning. Of course, we started where the potential is highest. Nevertheless, you could also try to optimize other areas of the company by means of digitalization," says Nüchter, who employs a total of 20 people. "Our employees predominantly perceive the turnaround as an improvement. Our concern is also not to reduce personnel, but to use existing capacities more efficiently in the future."
Images: Willi Nüchter GmbH & Co. KG