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Fresho helped grow our business, says Sussex based Greengrocer

When Jay Carroll decided to take his business to the next level, Fresho’s state-of-the-art ordering software helped get him on his way, opening up new opportunities for the future.

Jay Carroll, owner of Carrolls Greengrocers in Sussex, had a vision to grow his family business and attract new customers – but his old ordering and payment system was holding him back.

A fourth-generation greengrocer, he founded Carrolls in the small village of Sidley 32 years ago. Over time, with Jay and his wife Sherry at the helm, Carrolls became a trusted part of the community and flourished from a local retailer to a catering supplier, with 20 staff helping run the business.

“Greengrocery is in my blood,” says Jay. “I love fruit and veg. I’m very lucky in that respect.”

“Our old system was long winded”

While Jay’s passion for the business made it a success, his outdated ordering system was making his job difficult and stopping Carrolls from reaching new heights. Taking customer orders manually was time consuming, frustrating, and prone to mistakes.

“Our old system was long-winded,” he said, explaining that orders were taken by telephone, or by listening to messages repeatedly until all the information was written down on messy invoices or scraps of paper. “I was embarrassed to hand our invoices out,” he added.

The process made errors more likely, with some customers receiving the wrong products, or being charged the wrong amount.

His delivery runs were also time consuming, worked out by trolling through each day’s orders and organising them into separate runs.

And the system meant Jay was often tied to the store. Unable to pull up live orders on the go, he and his staff had to be in constant contact whenever he went to the market to check on order updates.

It was a frustrating system for him, his staff, and sometimes, for his customers.

“I was blown away on a daily basis”

Eventually, Jay and Sherry stumbled upon Fresho, and things started to change.

The state-of-the-art cloud software gives businesses control of their operations by allowing them to manage ordering and payments all in one place, and from any device.

“I had no knowledge of Fresho prior to seeing something pop up on social media. My wife suggested I read it, she pushed a couple of buttons, and within an hour, Tom had made contact.”

Tom McArdle, Fresho UK’s Head of Launch, got in touch with Jay after his wife signed them up for a free demo to explain what Fresho is and how it could benefit Carrolls.

Designed by former wholesale food professionals, the platform helps businesses like Jay’s save time and money by automating manual processes. The concept of Fresho as a system by suppliers, for suppliers, ensures full visibility of important business information all in one place. 

It can be accessed from anywhere, so staff and business owners can do most tasks on the go, like updating prices and products, invoicing customers, and checking order volume. 

Fresho also makes set-up easy – even for those not used to using online software.

“I’m probably one of the least tech-minded people you will care to meet,” said Jay. But, he added, “the support from Fresho when we went live was brilliant.

“I was blown away on a daily basis by something else that you would show me. I thought ‘oh, fantastic, how great is that?’”

Aside from automating key processes, Fresho means that Jay can now tailor orders live, and easily manage product prices and negotiated prices. His customer orders are automatically converted to picking slips, and invoices are done with one click, making the process quick and simple.

And he no longer needs to worry about if and when he will receive payments, as Fresho’s system uses automatic scheduled credit card payments.

“I don't think any of us could imagine going back”

Once Carrolls was set up on Fresho’s platform, Jay started to see the benefits for him and his staff.

“I don’t think any of us could imagine going back to the old system now that we’ve been with Fresho. We use it all day every day. It has definitely saved labour hours. It saved me time, personally.

“The computerised invoices are outstanding. Everything looks really smart when it goes out, and everything’s correct.” And, he says: “the delivery runs can now be made into order which is really easy. It’s all very impressive.”

Jay has also noticed that the system is helping to build stronger relationships with his customers, and to sell more produce.

Prior to Fresho, Carrolls had no product lists for potential buyers to browse. Now, all of his products and prices are online, making it easier for customers to choose what they want, and encouraging them to buy new and different items.

“The nice thing is, when someone shows an interest now, you can introduce them to the system right away. They can really look at what a wide variety of produce we sell and hold.

“I can put stuff on there that we can get easily but we don’t necessarily carry. We are selling lots of very different stuff and stuff that I wouldn’t know people wanted. But they keep ordering and repeat ordering.”

“In a big way, it will help going forward”

Now that Carrolls is set up with Fresho, Jay feels confident in his ability to grow the business, and attract more customers.

“I think in a small way in such a short period of time, Fresho has helped grow our business. And I do think in a big way, it will help going forward,” said Jay.

“Fresho, will definitely be part of Carroll’s future,” he added. “I would say to anybody thinking about Fresho to speak with your team, because they’re very, very helpful. If you’re unsure, ask to speak someone that’s done it. I would gladly speak to anybody to tell them that I would not go back to how it was.”

Evie Jones
Evie Jones
Being a member of the UK's launch team, Evie has developed strong relationships with UK suppliers and an understanding of all things wholesale. She has kicked off new sustainable partnerships and loves to involve Fresho's technology to improve the food and hospitality industry. On the weekends, her love of the sea can often see her escaping London life for some quality water time in Devon.
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