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Frutura moves fruit and vegetables

Obst- und Gemüsehandel Frutura l

Fruitful connections

Alongside the long-established Electronic Data Exchange with the retail sector, the Styrian fruit and vegetable company Frutura is increasingly relying on EDI in its collaborations with suppliers, resulting in fruitful connections.

“We may live in the present, but we do so for the future.” This motto guided the founding fathers of Frutura, whose origins in the production and marketing of dried fruit date back to the 1990s. Today, Frutura handles an incredible 230,000 tons of fruit and vegetables annually. Alongside the two fresh produce hubs in Hartl near Kaindorf and Vorchdorf, the competence center now includes a packing house, banana and exotic fruit ripening facilities, and a fresh logistics company. And the original motto from back then still holds true today: for instance, with its internationally acclaimed flagship project in Bad Blumau, Frutura is a pioneer of sustainable agriculture. Here, thermal water is used for heating greenhouses, enabling year-round harvesting without losing a drop of water. As a pioneer with an eye on the future, Frutura also proves itself in the EDI sector.

Special solutions for special products

Frutura has been relying on EDI in its business communications with SPAR Austria—its largest customer with 1,600 stores—since 2010. What originally started with the exchange of orders has been expanded over the years to include additional messages such as dispatch advices, order confirmations, and invoices. In the fruit and vegetable sector, Frutura has proven to be an absolute pioneer, as EDI has only truly begun to “bear fruit” in this industry in recent years. “After all, these are fresh and perishable products, which are fast-moving and require very complex processes,” explains Gerald Goldgruber, strategic head of process management and SAP at Frutura. “There are also additional challenges such as seasonal fluctuations or weather events that often require changes and thus a lively exchange.” What has been working as a charm in EDI processing with SPAR for many years has recently also become increasingly interesting for Frutura in dealing with upstream suppliers. However, this primarily required the development of a common “EDI language,” a task with which EDITEL, along with activeIT, Frutura’s software partner, was entrusted last year.

Challenge accepted!

The main component of the project was the integration of Frutura’s upstream suppliers into the SAP Ariba procurement platform. First and foremost, it was necessary to define a seamless procurement process and meet the different technical requirements (cXML, EDIFACT, etc.) of the participating companies. Last year, a “prototype” was developed with the initial suppliers that digitally represents the entire process, from ordering to invoicing. “The results of the initial connections have proven to be very promising,” Gerald Goldgruber, judging the project very favorably. A major reason for Mr. Goldgruber’s satisfaction was “the very pleasant and unbureaucratic project partnership on an equal footing as well as the EDITEL team’s quick response times throughout the project.”

Benefits on all sides

One reason for the successful completion of this project lies in the good and intensive interaction between ERP and EDI providers, as demonstrated in this example. This interaction is essential for ERP systems from different manufacturers to exchange data using standardized EDI formats, which works particularly well between the ERP system SAP at Frutura and the suppliers’ ERP system, traceNET. “In this project, as well as in many others in the past, we were able to benefit enormously from the in-depth expertise of activeIT in the fruit and vegetable sector,” explains EDITEL CEO Gerd Marlovits. activeIT, whose traceNET inventory system is tailored to the specific requirements of fresh food, agrees: “Our very intensive and personal interaction is most evident to the client by the positive final result,” says Christopher Immervoll, consultant at activeIT. Gerald Goldgruber from Frutura also reflects on the past year:

“It brings numerous benefits on both sides: on the SAP level at Frutura and with the suppliers using traceNet, there is a reduced probability of errors, faster transmissions, no duplicate entries, and increased process transparency.”

 

In brief

  • EDI onboarding of suppliers to SAP Ariba
  • Handling of various data formats: cXML, EDIFACT
  • Process definition based on the creation of a prototype
  • Used message types: ORDERS, ORDRSP, DESADV, INVOIC
  • Ongoing coordination with ERP partner activeIT
  • Consultation and support provided by EDITEL throughout the project phase

About FRUTURA Obst & Gemüse Kompetenzzentrum GmbH

Logo FruturaThe Frutura Group is a producer and the largest marketer of fruits and vegetables in Austria, as well as a pioneer in sustainable agriculture. Annually, the company handles 230,000 tons of fruits and vegetables at its two freshness hubs located at the company headquarters in Hartl near Kaindorf and Vorchdorf. The Frutura Thermal Vegetable World in Bad Blumau is regarded as one of the most innovative and sustainable fruit vegetable productions in Europe. Sustainability, innovation, and appreciation—both in the respectful treatment of employees and partners as well as in the careful handling of natural resources—are the foundations upon which Frutura’s corporate culture is built.

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