Cottage Farms - Affinitus Group

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Cottage Farms
Fresh produce ERP success stories

Cottage Farms. Packed with pride.

Executive summary

Cottage Farms is part of the Avalon Produce group of grower/packers, based in Tonbridge, Kent, whose main line of produce is apples and pears.

They carry out Third Party packing at their new facility, which opened in 2014. Gently handling up to 55,000 apples per hour at their busiest, it was vital to have a software solution in place, with quality and accuracy their key to success.

Challenges

Before Freshware, all warehouse and packing information was manually entered into spreadsheets, which meant that there was no real time information on stock levels, production efficiency, status or orders and the P&L Information, as well as the time consuming task of entering all of the data manually. Chris Browning (Managing Director) approached Affinitus, to discuss the implementation of a full ERP system covering warehouse, management, sales, production and distribution.

The Affinitus digital innovation

Affinitus recommended the Freshware packhouse software solution, along with wireless handheld units to capture the data in real time. Freshware was able to integrate into the multi-million pound Aweta apple grader, which allowed stock to be booked in automatically, in real time. Every bin that comes off the grader has a unique bar-code identifier, which allows for full traceability throughout the packing and distribution process.

When the system went live, the impact was immediate, duplication of information was eradicated and all the production details such as quantities packed, stock used, line and labour efficiencies were collected in real time at the point of packing.

Chris Browning — Managing Director, sees the key benefits as:

  • Accurate stock
  • Reduced paperwork
  • Clear view of grading information
  • More control of the whole business
  • Live real-time view of the business at any time

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