We firmly believe that our role at WaudWare is to provide the computer solutions and software support that help businesses in the fresh produce industry succeed! The following case studies represent our dedication and commitment to improving the profitability and performance of fresh produce businesses in North America.
Westrow Food Group
Putting Fresh First Since 1983.
In 1983, the Westrow Food Group got its start selling fresh salads in the city of Vancouver. Building on this early success, in 1986 it expanded to include a popular line of Mexican foods. In 2005, Westrow purchased a reputable produce brokerage to expand its product offering. Since then, Westrow’s client base has grown as has the company's product portfolio which now encompasses a broad range of products typically found in a grocery store's perimeter aisles: fresh meat, seafood, deli, bakery and fresh produce.
Westrow Food Group's growth triggered a management decision in 2009 to centralize all administrative functions necessitating a significant change to their operating systems. Wrestling with moving data between various business components - and the potential for error when doing so - was costing the staff of their Account Receivable, Accounts Payable, Purchasing, and Brokerage functions a significant amount of time that could better spent in managing the business. It was around that time that Westrow management met WaudWare president, F. Charles Waud at a CPMA event. After discussing and exploring all of Westrow's operational/business challenges, it was agreed that WaudWare would design a new Brokerage Module for Produce Inventory Control System (PICS) software that would efficiently handle all of Westrow Food Group's needs within AR, AP, Purchasing, and of course Sales Brokerage, where it all began.
Westrow employs 59 people across Canada. There are now a total of 9 PICS users in Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Purchasing and the Brokerage areas of the business. With PICS deployed, Westrow is capable of processing significantly higher volumes of transactions than in 2009. The amount of time spent per transaction or dealing with input errors has decreased and Westrow's management are increasingly able to ask different, more strategic questions of their business. The level of support received from WaudWare has been exceptional, especially when you factor in the time change between offices in Ontario (WaudWare) and British Columbia (Westrow).
The Need for Speed and Accuracy.
Pier-C Produce is a year round supplier of onions, carrots, parsnips, beets and rutabagas as well as a seasonal supplier of green bell peppers, pumpkins and cabbage. Since 1985, Pier-C Produce in Leamington has aimed for excellence as a grower and shipper.
With 5400 acres of quality food that is grown in various regions of Ontario and Mexico, Pier-C Produce provides customers versatility and excellent product inventory. Pier-C Produce employs exceptional storage techniques and innovative technology to increase production with state of the art packaging equipment for flawless presentation. Pier-C Produce growers are of the highest standards and are selected from the most fertile growing regions in Ontario and Mexico. By utilizing these growers our carrots, onions, parsnips and beets are grown in rich black soil which allows us to provide our customers the best field produce available. Pier-C Produce services retailers, wholesalers and processors across North America with fresh in-season field produce, and carrots and onions year round.
Introduction to PICS...
Pier-C Produce started using PICS in 2007 specifically for Sales Orders and Purchase Orders. Back then, traceability was handled manually. Everything worked. It just worked slowly. In 2010 Pier-C decided to start using PICS to its fullest capabilities - including traceability for food safety.
How PICS adds value...
Today's produce operation demands quick and easy access to information including forensic data that allows the business to determine cost flows from the original purchase order through the work order, and all the way to finished product. PICS does that. PICS also improves productivity and performance and offers confidence and peace of mind that everything is bought, sold, traced and counted accurately.
Pier-C Produce was the first PICS Customer to implement Growers Pay. In a collaborative process, WaudWare software developers worked with Pier-C managers to determine goals based on spreadsheet formulas. The ultimate goal was to create an accurate method for paying growers quickly and easily. Mission accomplished.
About WaudWare support...
Pier-C Produce's, Food Safety Coordinator, Francisca Fournier refers to the WaudWare team as their "Men in Black". They are dependable, reliable and obliterate any bugs that stand in the way of mankind. We like that.
Century Old Company Peels Away The Past.
From push cart to PDA, this is a story of how "one little company" has stayed in touch with its customers and technology with help provided by WaudWare.
Founded in 1908 by Italian immigrant Antonio Chiovitti, Chiovitti Banana started as a fruit peddling business with a pushcart, which Antonio ran from his home at Bathurst and Queen Streets. Antonio would be proud (and probably a little shocked) if he saw his company today.
Operating from The Ontario Food Terminal there is a sales floor staffed by 5 professional sales reps. Today, customers come by to purchase a fabulous assortment of everything from tropical fruit to nuts. For years, orders were written up in 'salesman books' then keyed in by cashiers. Everything was fine... until 2002. Chiovitti Banana started noticing things: mistakes occurring in transcription - between salesman book and cashier; customers complaining about how long it was taking to get in and out of the store; hand written invoices... It wasn't like the good old days when time was of little consequence. But what to do?
Chiovitti Banana contacted WaudWare. As a proven supplier of their PICS system, Chiovitti felt confident WaudWare would be able to assist with another business challenge.
The question was posed: "Could WaudWare provide a customized solution so Chiovitti's sales people could enter customer orders into a handheld device themselves? In addition, the system has to be able to print an invoice quickly after completing the order." The solution proposed and accepted: WebPICS Sales Order system.
Four years later, Chiovitti Banana continues to sell successfully with WebPICS Sales Order, significantly reducing transcription errors and improving customer service. They have also implemented WebPICS Purchase Order and WebPICS Receiving systems and are looking forward to working with other WebPICS packages soon. When we asked Chiovitti spokesperson Mike Adamo what he appreciated most when dealing with WaudWare, his response was, "the accessibility of the WaudWare staff and response time". Mike further complimented us by sharing that we have "friendly and personable staff". Thanks Mike, we think so too!