Case Studies

Halls International

Case Study - Halls International

02 June 2016

With over 125 Years of being in business, HL Hall & Sons Group continues to expand and move forward, with annual sales of avocados alone topping 5 million cartons last year. Operating in 4 countries, but with sales all over the world, 2014 became an essential time for the business to gain greater control over the business and make use of modern technology.

A specialist in avocados, mangos and limes, as well as a huge range of other sub-tropical exotics including lychees, pineapples and pomegranates, HL Hall has a sizeable presence in the UK, from where it also oversees the company’s operations in mainland Europe

Paul Devlin, MD of Halls UK and European states, we were doing well, but keeping track of stock, ripened product, incoming shipments that may have departed 21 days ago, and letting our Europeans clients know of our availability was proving cumbersome with our existing ERP system. Following an extensive review which included all the specialist Produce ERP systems and the more generic worldwide ERP systems, we chose Freshware. It was obvious that these guys knew our business, and more importantly were listening to our current problems and coming up with solutions even before we had committed to their product.

Additional information

The Freshware system was installed into Tonbridge based UK office during early 2015, and subsequently rolled out to the other European sites and had an immediate positive impact on the business. During Early 2016, Halls have started to roll out the WMS modules within Freshware, so they can monitor product within their extensive ripening facilities in Rungis, France.

Premier Catering

Case Study - Premier Catering

01 June 2016

In little over 5 years, we have grown through both organic growth and acquisition from a 10 man unit to over 80 staff, covering 20 routes with a turnover of £10.5 million and Chefserve has been utilised from day 1 and accommodated every expansion and business improvement we needed to make.

The new Chefserve Wallboard gives me an immediate overview of the whole business and daily KPI’s without management needing to run any reports.

Premier Catering have been one of the first adopters of both the handhelds stock control system, and integrated weigh scales and pick stations. Both have which have saved valuable staff costs but more importantly they have seen their wastage values reduced by almost 60%.

Jason Tanner, Chairman. Premier Catering


Premier Fruits choose system for Expansion in Fruit and vegetables

Case Study - Premier Fruits choose system for Expansion in Fruit and vegetables

01 June 2016

Premier Fruits is the UK’s largest independent wholesaler and supplier of fresh fruit, vegetables, exotics and salads. Based in New Covent Garden Market, the company covers London and Southern England, supplying a wide range of products that includes everything from apples and pears through to pecan nuts, quince, dragon fruit and curly kale. Originally based in Western International Market, before moving to New Covent Garden, Premier Fruits has grown over its 16 years in business to cover nine units at its south London site, employing some 50 members of staff.

The Challenge

For its first 14 years in business, Premier Fruits relied on a hugely time-consuming manual system for its record keeping, invoicing and order processing, where staff members would write out tickets, check weights and update the purchase ledger. Convinced of the need to move to a fully-computerised solution, managing director Jason Tanner began looking for a system that could free up employees from administrative duties, so they could concentrate on more productive tasks.

However, as a company that works as both a wholesale and catering supplier, Premier Fruits required a solution that could meet all of its needs both now and in the future.

The Solution

Since moving over to Freshware in 2014, Tanner says there has been a marked change for the better in the way Premier Fruits does business, although he admits that updating the company’s working methods was not without its challenges.

“I was a bit dubious about going to a fully-automated computerised system,” he says. “It was very hard work for the first six-12 months, getting people to change the ways they did things and to trust the system, but three years down the line – and we’ve got salesmen ranging from 18 to 62 years old – and not one salesman would go back to writing tickets out.”
Rather than eliminating jobs, Tanner says having Freshware in place has made Premier Fruits more efficient as a company, enabling employees to spend time on tasks of benefit to the business rather than having to deal with paperwork. “I said to my staff, ‘the aim is not to get rid of you, the aim is to make the company more efficient,’ and that is what we have succeeded in doing,” he explains.

As an all-in-one solution, Tanner says Freshware provided to be the best option available on the market. “Freshware was the best on everything from the selling side to the accounts programme to just to the ease of use, and when you wanted to make an alteration, Affinitus was there and willing to do it,” he says.

More recently, Premier Fruits has also implemented Chefserve, and Tanner says the system has immediately demonstrated its benefits. “On the catering side, we have just rolled out the scales – the system is interlinked with the scales and that has probably saved us four to five hours a night of one person’s role, which was just doing weight changes. Now, the system automatically updates it and that’s been a tremendous success,” he explains.

Additional information

Key Benefits

– Eliminates time-consuming paperwork
– Cost-effective
– Automatic daily invoicing and order confirmations
– Faster order response time
– Accurate weighing eliminates give-away
– Timely support


“The profit margin reports are so easy. We would say that it’s the best system on the market – a complete all-rounder on the wholesale and the catering side,” – Jason Tanner, managing director Premier Fruits


Case Study - VIDAfresh

01 June 2016

VIDAfresh is a highly experienced, product-based company which sources high quality fresh fruits and vegetables from around the world. The Dartford-based company, which is an industry specialist in melons and pineapples, offers year-round global procurement of citrus through its subsidiary INTERfresh. VIDAfresh’s product portfolio also includes a wide range of products from salad staples, such as lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes, through to melons, sweet potatoes, table grapes and strawberries.

The Challenge

VIDAfresh has had a relationship with Affinitus since its earliest days. The company had an early version of Freshware in place when it officially began life in March 2010, and its relationship with Affinitus has continued to develop in the years since.

However, the challenge, when VIDAfresh looked at installing a new Freshware package was that the company had developed and grown substantially since it’s early days and now required a version of the software adapted to its needs and expectations.

Directly integrated with the $800m Staay Food Group of companies, VIDAfresh now supplies a wide range of fresh fruits, vegetables and salads from locations across the globe including South America, South Africa, Mexico, Turkey and the US.

The company launched its INTERfresh subsidiary in 2013, which focuses on the sourcing of citrus products from around the world.

Key Benefits

  • Very cost effective
  • Covers stock control, logistics and accounting
  • Different modules for different reporting functions
  • Enhanced to client’s specific requirements
  • Better business management
  • Benefits day-to-day operations
  • Superb ongoing support
Additional information

VIDAfresh installed the newer version of Freshware in November 2014, having worked with Affinitus on a tailored system focused on its needs as a business, covering the areas of stock control, logistics and accounting.

Commercial director Chris Rawlins says the system upgrade was made to reflect the significant growth that VIDAfresh has achieved over the past six years, explaining that the company invested heavily in partnership with Affinitus to build a system that suits its needs.

Affinitus built on its standard Freshware framework, enhancing the system to VIDAfresh’s specific requirements while also providing an ongoing upgrade path.

Although Rawlins admits that the tailored system is still a work in progress – explaining that VIDAfresh is working closely with Affinitus to get where it needs to be – he says the firm is starting to see the benefits of what it has been doing.

The new system, he says, gives companies the capability to add different modules for different reporting functions for better business management. VIDAfresh’s initial changeover to the bespoke software in late 2014 was followed by a period of implementation and what he describes as work to get the system up to speed.

During the last six-nine months, Rawlins says VIDAfresh and Affinitus have focused on system changes and tweaks, making sure functions are in place that would be of benefit to the importer’s day-to-day business.
Rawlings adds that VIDAfresh is separately in the midst of bringing in its own servers on site – at the moment these are hosted off-site – with the assistance of Affinitus, as part of a complete overhaul of its functions, which is expected in bear fruit in the months to come.