Fruit distribution company invests in IT to support growth

Worldwide Fruit: investing in IT to support expansion

Worldwide Fruit: investing in IT to support expansion

Worldwide Fruit – one of the UK’s largest fruit marketing and distributing companies – has signed a new contract with incumbent IT outsourcer, Quiss Technology, which includes technology to reduce the number of servers required for the company’s global business. 

As a leading supplier of apples and pears to UK multiple retailers, the company relies heavily on efficient IT systems to ensure the smooth transition from orchard to shop. More than 100 UK growers need to be able to access Worldwide Fruit’s servers so efficiency and accessibility are key requirements for the company’s IT systems, the company said.

“Worldwide Fruit ensures the supply of apples, pears, avocados and dates 365 days of the year, so we’re a 24/7 operation,” said Gordon Clark, finance director of the business. 

“The way we operate means our IT supplier must work in close collaboration with Prophet, who supply us with software designed for the fresh produce market. Quiss had already proved it can work well in tandem with our providers – in fact, I can say the improved efficiency we enjoy thanks to our partnership with Quiss and Prophet has been an important factor which has led to a 1% increase to our bottom line.”

Quiss started work with Worldwide Fruit in 2004 and has played a pivotal role in Worldwide Fruit office moves at Spalding, Whitstable and Chartham; as well as upgrading and maintaining IT systems, changing business applications and deploying wireless connectivity in the fruit distributor’s warehouse.

Clark said: “The Quiss team proved it could handle the continued expansion of our business – and we have planned an increase of 30% in our computer capacity in the new contract. The new contract was made even more attractive by the fact it’s all encompassing so there are no limits to the amount of calls we make to the help desk, or the number of callouts we request. This means we don’t have to keep track or worry if something else comes up – and it means there are no hidden costs. Other IT outsourcers we met with would only offer a limited package which would have led to additional costs further down the line.”

The latest contract also includes the provision for business continuity. This ensures any physical or virtual server failure will be automatically corrected by the software and, in the event of a power failure, available standby time is now greatly enhanced, Quiss said. The installation of the latest technology ensures high availability disaster recovery, the company claims.

“Our recent profitability growth means we have also been able to invest more in the equipment used by our staff,” said Clark. “Office 2010 means multiple users can work on the same document at the same time to respond faster and meet deadlines. The new laptops also have in-built provision for encryption which offers enhanced security.”

Clive Taylor, operations director at Quiss said: “After seven years of working with Worldwide Fruit, and its staff, our knowledge not only extends to the IT systems but also into the way that Worldwide Fruit works as a business and its growth aspirations. This knowledge has been acquired by people at all levels within Quiss, ensuring that we deliver a consistently high level of service.”