Fisher and Woods is a third-generation food supplier, founded in 2005. From humble beginnings with a team of three supplying fruit and veg, the business has blossomed into a thriving workforce of 50, powered by 20 vans with 10 more on the way, while expanding its product range to seafood and cheese products. From supplying local village primary schools to prestigious Cambridge University Colleges and acclaimed Michelin-star restaurants, Fisher and Woods serves a diverse range of customers.
We sat down with Owner and Managing Director, Olivier Roe, Operations Director, Wayne Browning and the Key Account Manager, Kevin Stanbridge to chat about their remarkable business growth, the transition from paper to digital picking and how they’re now saving 50 hours per week.
Here’s what they had to say.
What makes Fisher and Woods unique?
We try to buy as close to the source as possible, straight from the farm while keeping high standards. We buy things that are in season and buy English produce where possible. There is nothing better than dishes that are created in the season of the year.
We have a cheese van called Cheeseology where the product is presented to the customer. This minimises preconceived ideas about what the customer wants. They can get on the van, try the product and talk to a cheese specialist, Jordane, about its origin and what to pair it with. For the chef, it’s essential to talk about the product, try it and smell it before they pay for it. Jordane can process invoices on the van using Fresho on his tablet and the invoices are emailed immediately to the chef’s inbox.
Let’s talk about things before Fresho. How did your business run?
What’s changed since using a wholesale ordering software?
Sales appear as they are happening. We receive the order downstairs in the picking room as the customer is placing it, then process it through to invoice on all the tablets.
When customers order using Fresho, it takes out any ambiguity between what was ordered and when. This means there are no user errors because the customers place that order themselves.
Reduced picking errors
Shorter shifts for packers
Previously we used a piece of paper providing the list of products and quantities. Depending on who wrote the order and who has readable writing, there was a lot of room for error. Using tablets leads to faster order processing with minimal mistakes. Because of this, we have brought their shifts forward so they’re not running into the early hours of the morning before the drivers arrive. Completed a lot sooner, this allows us to put in those extra checks before they leave with the drivers.
No more night shifts
How does an ordering platform impact cost and time savings?
What features do you get the most from?
Full product range and prices
Full product range and prices
Data mode - a feature that lets us analyse business performan
Announcement feature - to help venues with spiking food costs
What is your advice for others in the industry considering software?
Any business based around the food industry should go out and look for software. It offers visibility to your clients and visibility to you. Information is key.