Case Studies

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.

4 Degrees C

Case Study - 4 Degrees C

31 May 2016

4 Degrees C

Based in London’s New Spitalfields Markets, 4 Degrees C sells a broad range of fresh fruits and vegetables – from prepared fruits, vegetables and salads to edible flowers – to a wide range of clients that covers contract catering, restaurants, event catering, government departments, schools, airways, chains and individuals.

Run by managing director Rebeccah Lawless, 4 Degrees C currently employs 90 staff and specialises in its relationship with British farmers, providing seasonal, UK-grown fruits and vegetables to clients across the country.

The Challenge

4 Degrees C was one of the first companies to implement Chefserve and is well able to attest to the benefits that the system has delivered for its operations in terms of substantial cost and manpower savings.

In business for 31 years, the company began life at the capital’s old Spitalfields Market, selling fresh herbs to restaurants and caterers, before a request for tomatoes from a client encouraged 4 Degrees C to move into other product areas.

Expansion inevitably meant extra paperwork and 4 Degrees C found that an increasing amount of time and staff budget costs were being consumed by the need to invoice manually, while the produce weighing and ticketing process was both time consuming and lacked accuracy, meaning the firm was failing to maximise potential profits.

Key Benefits

  • Substantial cost savings
  • More efficient and productive invoicing
  • Helps streamline operations
  • Adaptable to specific customer needs
  • Helps achieve more effective stock control
  • Very user-friendly
  • Eliminate unnecessary costs from business
  • Greater accuracy in weighing and ticketing
  • Helps maximise profits
  • Ongoing support at your fingertips


Additional information

The Solution

Chefserve, says 4 Degrees C operations director Sarah Barrick, has been invaluable to helping the company streamline its operations and eliminate unnecessary costs across all areas of the business. “Before we moved over to Chefserve, our accounting system involved a lot of manual entry – Chefserve has taken that side of things away and allowed us to have more efficient and productive invoicing,” she says.

“We used to have four people doing our invoicing because all of the invoices had to be manually put on to the system and we cut that down to one person using Chefserve, so the cost savings are quite substantial.”

Garrick herself did the initial testing when 4 Degrees C first implemented Chefserve and says the system has proven to be very user-friendly, with someone always on hand at Affinitus to deal with any queries or problems. “Chefserve is invaluable to us now because everything is one way or another linked in to it – we’re just in the process of having our accounts system moved over to it,” she explains.

Garrick says having the sequel versions of Chefserve installed has also enabled 4 Degrees C to achieve more effective stock control. “Chefserve and the team at Affinitus are very good at being able to either create or manipulate existing reports to allow you to meet customers’ very specific needs,” she adds.

The system also helped 4 Degrees C eliminate wasteful product giveaway during weighing and ticketing, with greater accuracy providing more accurate orders to customers and maximising profits.