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Source: Impact PR

New retail automation technology introduced by one of the country’s largest beef and lamb suppliers is helping to increase efficiency within its growing domestic business.

PrimeXConnect, an automated transaction platform designed for the meat supply chain, was first piloted by ANZCO Foods in the New Zealand market in 2019 as they sought new ways to help manage the unique nature of the domestic business model.

The system is designed to replace the traditional email and phone call based offer-and-order model that has been favoured by generations of Kiwi butchers.

The platform allows ANZCO Foods customers to place orders from the shop floor at any time from their computer, laptop or phone. The automated process then ensures that the confirmed orders are routed to the company’s distribution centres for delivery.

Through the support of ANZCO Foods, PrimeXConnect has become the largest meat trading platform in the local market, with continued month-on-month growth in customer numbers and orders being transacted via the new technology.

Rick Walker, general manager of sales & marketing at ANZCO Foods, says that PrimeXConnect has enabled his domestic sales team to focus on driving new opportunities and strengthening customer relationships.

He says in contrast to the rest of their $1.6bn export business, the domestic market has always been highly fragmented and characterised by a large number of relatively small customers, with a corresponding volume size per order that needs to be delivered in a short window of time.

“The local market makes up close to half of our global customer numbers but only around 15% of our total revenue, thus highlighting how labour intensive it is.

“While we started working with PrimeXConnect before the impact of Covid-19 on our business and the world, the past 18 months has accentuated how important it is to drive greater efficiencies through the whole supply chain via increased automation.

“What we are seeing here in New Zealand is the development of a new generation of butchers and food processors who have graduated into senior purchasing roles and are looking for better and new ways of working with suppliers to ensure they can access the beef and lamb they want when and how they need it.”

“The adoption of this new technology has also provided ANZCO Foods with the opportunity to enhance the value our salespeople can bring to our customers via more direct personal engagement.

“Automation is an important tool, but building relationships and understanding our customers’ business, opportunities and challenges will always be paramount to our ultimate success. Our domestic sales team is now better equipped to do that thanks to the introduction of PrimeXConnect,” he says.

Michael Chandler, PrimeXConnect CEO, says strong demand for ANZCO Foods products around the world means that the domestic market is also having to deal with higher prices and periods where there may be shortages of certain beef and lamb products, both of which are driving a change in purchasing behaviour.

“We know digital automation has a clear role to play in helping to drive efficiency at all levels of the meat supply chain.

“This platform has been designed to help suppliers adapt to changes in the macro- environment allowing them to make and communicate price updates dynamically.

“Suppliers like ANZCO are also now able to create promotions for very targeted customer groups, around a specific cut of meat.

“This process, which used to be manual, means they can send communications about a specific cut of meat very easily,” he says.