Paul Hardy, Director
Agility and traceability have emerged as key enablers in the modern food service landscape. To provide the best possible service and products, food service companies are harnessing various technologies, including mobile technology, which allow customers to place orders, change orders, or get updates on the fly. Moreover, since food buyers today are conscious and want to know the provenance of the food they buy, food suppliers are actively looking to leverage effective and easy-to-use traceability functionality that allows speedy resolution of quality issues. An efficient business process management system is also imperative for food service companies to handle high volume (often small quantity) order intake as many traditional ERP systems have failed to deliver on this point with slow, cumbersome order intake mechanisms. Alongside, advanced analytics has become crucial for food service players to anticipate demand and get the right products in place at the right time. As food service companies eventually reel from the challenges brought about by COVID-19, they are realizing that traditional ERP business planning systems are ‘closed loop’ driven by manually derived sales forecasts. They are now more focused on leveraging Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to replace repetitive tasks with AI that can simulate the same task and report the authorities of work completion. Enter Affinitus.
Affinitus designs and develops market-specific ERP management software for the food service, fresh produce, bakery, meat, logistics, and warehousing sectors. The company offers a range of premier software solutions, including Chefserve, Freshware, Foodlogik, Vanlogik, among others. Affinitus has provided solutions to industry issues of the fresh produce industry with the Freshware software since 1991. “Our Chefserve product has evolved from a fruit and vegetable supply background into a full ERP food service solution, combining the best functionality from our Freshware system and previous food service package—Market Master, but using the latest technology,” says Paul Hardy, the Director of Affinitus.
Affinitus products Chefserve, Foodlogik, and Freshware and the financials work seamlessly together to form a comprehensive ERP Solution for almost 300 businesses in the UK. Food service businesses are constantly striving to reduce staffing costs, and to this end, Affinitus’ customer web portal allows end-users to perform tasks like placing orders, printing their own invoices and statements, and accessing their statistics. The company also facilitates paperless deliveries with its Signature Capture system (Vanlogik).
Aligning with the customers’ current business processes and systems, Affinitus aims to make food service processes quicker and easier, enhance the existing processes, or suggest new methods. By training clients’ staff comprehensively to use all the parts of its system and hand-holding them on-site during the go-live period, Affinitus offers 24/7 customer support. The company frequently visits its clients to help them with issues or discuss future enhancements. Affinitus develops software that encompasses every aspect of the client requirement, thereby eliminating the need for them to include any specialist pieces of software. “We don’t just write software as per our clients’ present business needs but we meet them regularly to develop advanced solutions that help them in the future as well,” Hardy adds. While many food service technology players in the market are dependent on legacy systems and technologies, Affinitus is written in modern technology tools and just carries the functionality that the food industry needs of it. Nothing more!
Affinitus has been serving the food service industry since the early 90’s when traditional wholesalers switched to offer delivery services, gradually growing into national delivery companies. “We are proud of the achievements of our clients and glad that our comprehensive software solution contributes to their success. Their continued success is a measure of our success too,” remarks Hardy. Affinitus’ partnership with OSOLOCAL—a renowned fresh produce supply business across the UK—is a testament to this. OSOLOCAL fulfills national supply contracts using local suppliers to reduce food miles and deliver a more bespoke and enhanced level of customer service. Affinitus enabled the company to leverage a central system that works across the cloud so that suppliers can access the system, see their orders, and integrate with their own systems seamlessly. Many suppliers have now implemented Chefserve after evaluating its efficacy in improving efficiency and profitability.
Affinitus continues to expand and has completed a major recruitment drive last year in the UK-based head office as part of its expansion strategy. The company has recently appointed Andy Makeham as the CEO in the U.S. to accommodate the interest in its software products around the world, growing the business further. Alongside, with unfading enthusiasm and passion, Affinitus continues to develop its market-leading product to strengthen its position in the industry. Affinitus’ Foodlogik, used by almost 100 production-based clients for food products ranging from pies, cakes, and bread to ready prepared meals and sauces, is now becoming essential for traditional food service companies. These companies may also need a recipe-based system for prepared products such as fruit salads, mushroom mixes, etc. To this end, Affinitus plans to advise them on the best possible solution. “Technology has finally caught up with what our customers need to achieve, and Affinitus is taking full advantage of this with the latest developments in its software,” concludes Hardy.