The demand for fresh products has increased enormously in recent weeks. Consumers want healthy food, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic meaning supermarkets are in full bloom. Once might think this is music to the ears of the fresh produce industry, however, not all companies in the food sector are blossoming.
Industry-specific ERP software that provides real-time stock and logistical information is of high importance to fresh produce companies now more than ever. This is exactly what DNHK member Keelings Knowledge offers.
First Customers in Germany
The Keeling family has been active in the AGF industry for over 90 years and three generations. As early as the 1980s, the originally Irish family company developed software specifically for this sector. Keelings Knowledge has developed an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for fruit and vegetable growers, food manufacturers, distribution centres and companies in the catering industry, which is based on their own experience in software development and industry knowledge from international trading activities. The software is used worldwide, including Germany, where the first systems were successfully implemented earlier this year.
“Our customers use our industry-specific software in all operational areas, from purchasing to sales to export and import, in order to increase the quality and profitability in their companies. The software can be used and accessed remotely so that it can also be monitored on the road or even from home”. says Rick Rebergen, head of international sales and marketing at Keelings Knowledge.
Food Sector Under Pressure
The sector is currently under considerable pressure. Many companies face logistical challenges, declining sales or reduced production capacities. Rebergen is also increasingly observing this. “Companies who supply retail customers are experiencing golden times. In the second week of March, supermarket sales increased by 31%, which our customers usually only see at Christmas time.”
At the same time, Rebergen also sees that e.g. gastronomy has come to a complete standstill because the hotel and catering sector has closed its doors. Importers of exotic fruits and vegetables also experience many inconveniences. Since fewer seasonal workers are available, many breeders and manufacturers are confronted with a shortage of staff. There are also logistical challenges, such as fewer containers for the transport of goods from Asia and regular delays at the border through additional controls.
An ERP system that you can rely on offers great advantages in this situation, explains Rebergen. “It is extremely helpful if you can see when the products will be delivered in real time so your company can plan for now and the future.” Of course, these are special times for Keelings Knowledge as well. “Fortunately, we’re used to working remotely, but it is a bit different offering online demos and technical webinars from behind your kitchen table.”
Article by German – Dutch Chamber of Commerce