AFFINITUS which develops Software specifically for Fresh Produce, has secured two new produce contracts for the latest version of its Agricultural and Packing management software that aims to raise efficiency, traceability and profitability.

Agrilogik is the answer to fresh produce technical management software. Launched in 2015, innovation and working closely with their clients, AFFINITUS has updated Agrilogik to be an easy to use, full of functionality system which will only improve the lives of Packhouses and Growers. Redfox looks into the benefits that both suppliers and buyers can expect to experience from the upgrade.

“Technology has caught up with what customers needed years ago and we have really pushed on in terms of our business management software for Fresh Produce. Says Ian Parfitt from AFFINITUS. “We’ve made a major investment to upgrade our complete range of solutions (Freshware, Agrilogik and Chefserve) to Version 7. With the very latest development in computing language – what they class as the .NET framework.”

In simple terms, Parfitt says the latest update provides a cleaner look and feel to the users’ screen, while programs run more efficiently. Data is displayed in real time and in an intuitive manner, making it appear much like a mobile application. Users can also configure the screen to their own style; meaning they can click and hide fields or different sets of information for a tailored display, all combined with different hierarchy’s of user level security.

Phased upgrades to Version 7 will roll out this year across the Freshware, Agrilogik & Chefserve systems offered by Affinitus. The company has just taken a new order for the Version 7 of Chefserve from Ralph Livesey, a Preston-based foodservice distributor supplying hotels, school, restaurants and hospitals in the north-west.

And after securing new capital contracts with two UK fresh produce grower-packers during the latter part of 2017, Affinitus is preparing for the updated Agrilogik application to go live at these two businesses as early as May/June this year.

“We’ve been contracted by a major supplier of brassicas to retailer Tesco, called TH Clements, which is based in Lincolnshire, while the other new client is an active supplier of produce to Sainsbury’s who prefers to keep a low profile,” Parfitt tells Redfox.

“The grower-packer domain is a new area of the market for Affinitus, beyond what we do now. It’s a focus we want to push on with, via our Agrilogik solution, and we are willing and ready to understand specific business requirements to progress our systems even further”

Indeed, Parfitt and the AFFINITUS team have seen a growth trend within Foodservice, Growers and Packers which is that most their customers in these sectors are on the latest, most capable systems yet, provided by the group.

“Currently, the software used by these operators and many of the solutions offered in these unique sectors are outdated and low on functionality, which stunts the production of many grower-packers,” he comments, adding that this is where the upgraded Agrilogik and Chefserve systems will come into their own.

The benefits of Agrilogik

Since the rollout of Agrilogik in 2015 it has been used to manage the technical department processes from field to shelf for fresh produce growers and packers.

Not only does it assist in the management of information necessary when handling fresh produce, such as planting and harvesting processes, quality assurance and its associated documentation, but also the quality control in the packhouse, and labour force management regulations.

Extending its full featured functionality to hand-held devices which logs information whether staff are in the field or packhouse, which is then automatically transferred from the device to the user’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution to provide real-time scenarios for decision making.

“Agrilogik automates a grower-packer’s compliance with customer specifications, whether that’s a retailer or a wholesaler, as well as the documentation required by certification bodies,” Parfitt comments.

“It’s easy to use, it increases efficiencies to save time, it helps with traceability, and it allows users to track products and to make informed decisions quicker, whether their product is being grown, planted, picked, packed or going through quality control.

“Quite literally we’re providing a forecast of what products should be available for harvesting and tracking that product’s journey right through to dispatch to the retailer or wholesaler.

“Margins are so tight for most grower-packers but with Agrilogik they have more control over the cost of growing or production and dispatch, and less waste, and we work closely with our customers and their other solution providers to ensure our system is used to its fullest potential.”

Agrilogik also integrates fully with Freshware for grower-packers wishing to utilise a similar system on the trading side and for imported produce.

Standing out

Having competed for the tender with TH Clements in particular – Affinitus was one of 14 possible suppliers – which just goes to show the unrivalled benefits of the Agrilogik system.

“It gave us a real indication that we’re doing something right,” Parfitt says. “From Day One, we presented the fact that we have a lot of functionality, which is a result of investing in our operating system over the last 26 years, and regularly upgrading to the latest advanced technology.

“We endeavor to be proactive and that sets us apart. Affinitus also has a small but nimble, dynamic management structure that comprises Paul Hardy, Lana Korzhuk and myself. Between ourselves, we can make decisions quite easily and quickly, so we can commit to further innovation.”

“We offer a personal approach and understand each and every business need, no matter how big or small – that’s what TH Clements and many other customer like.”

So what is data technology?

Data technology is used by growers and buyers to accurately plan ahead, cut costs, eliminate delays and control quality, as well as to accurately forecast yields. One of AFFINITUS core values is to provide customers with a full picture of all areas of the business.

Based in Kent, Affinitus has been offering software solutions to the Fresh Produce Industry for 26 years; serving wholesalers, importers, caterers and foodservice operators, as well as food manufacturers and retailers in bakery, dairy and butchery.

During that time, the firm has continually upgraded its suite of systems with the latest technological capabilities, and adapted its offer to not only meet but exceed expectation.

The company also provides support around the clock via teams located in two offices; one in Kent and one in Warwickshire. To offer better customer service to their market clients, Affinitus also operates a third office on-site at New Covent Garden Market in London.