The fresh produce challenge: T&G deliver added value to their customers

Posted by Matt Stillwell on Dec 6, 2016 3:07:50 AM

The fresh produce challenge: T&G deliver added value to their customers

In the current fresh produce market, whether you are competing for growers or retail space; it is essential to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Developing innovative, efficient and cost effective methods of standing out from the crowd is fundamental in staying ahead in this increasingly competitive field.

In this article, we will talk about an innovative company who has done just this. New Zealand based produce supplier, T&G Global, has launched, what it believes to be, the world’s first online ordering platform for the wholesale produce sector.

T&G Global operate world-wide with over 1,300 permanent employees and thousands more seasonal staff during harvest times. They are New Zealand’s largest grower, marketer and exporter of fresh fruit and vegetables and with their roots going back to 1897, they know that they have to constantly innovate to stay competitive. They believe is the next logical step in offering extra value to their customers.

Read more:  Consumer trends create huge opportunity for branded produce 

Ordering through FirstPick was developed in-house by T&G’s IT team and enables New Zealand-based wholesale customers to order fresh fruit and vegetables in real-time from a desktop, tablet or smartphone, any time.T&G

As you probably know, while online ordering is commonplace in most retail sectors, orders in the wholesale sector are still largely placed by phone, followed by email and fax. FirstPick is a first step in changing this and revolutionizing the way customers order fruit and vegetables.

T&G is targeting 40% usage of the application over the next 18 months after a successful trial in three New Zealand cities. While this option will continue, T&G’s Executive General Manager (New Zealand), Andrew Keaney, expects this will change substantially within two-years.

 “Our customers have been coming onto our market floors for over 100 years to inspect produce, see what’s in season and talk with our produce specialists, but the changing business landscape means people have less time and we need to look at ways to leverage technology to allow our customers to spend more time in their stores servicing their customers, rather than battle traffic or having to physically be at the markets at 2.00am in order to secure stock.

FirstPick future proofs our business and is an easy, alternative ordering system offering customers real-time visibility of what’s available on our floors, at what price and from anywhere.” 

Making things easy and efficient

T&G know that for both their customers and their own business, time is money, and FirstPick is designed to give their customers both.

Customers simply place their order through the FirstPick application, which is then instantly sent to the nearest T&G market floor, for fulfillment by a product specialist such as Graham Cull, who has worked on the market floor for 15 years. He says a key benefit of FirstPick is that it allows for much better communication with customers.T&G

 “I can see the whole day in front of me when I log in. FirstPick gives me much greater visibility and I can communicate directly with the customer instantly if anything is short, like mushrooms for example. We can have a conversation through the site and you get to know the customer really well which means they trust me to select the best produce for them.”

With its clear, easy to use layout, it’s simple for customers to directly communicate with the supplier. And with the app being available for all devices, customers can easily check their order on their phone while on the go rather than having to go and check their computer when cross referencing. By making ordering so easy, it stands to reason that customers will convert to this method and they will continue to use it.

FirstPick has a number of user-friendly features including:

  • A built-in calendar allowing users to place an order in advance
  • Visibility of user history to review past orders
  • ‘Favorites’ and filters for fruit, vegetables and herbs
  • Up to date pricing and real time invoices
  • Status updates on their order once completed via text and email
  • Visibility of what’s in stock and the ability to order T&G’s full range of produce.

The application is fully secure and customer information is only visible to the user and T&G.

Currently FirstPick is only accessible to New Zealand customers, but T&G has already had interest from overseas markets.

Spectrim retrofit CTA

Matt Stillwell

Written by Matt Stillwell

Digital Marketing Manager - TOMRA

Recent Posts

Digital campaign ebook

Subscribe to our newsletter