A leading Queensland fresh produce company is set to trial an emerging digital trading and supply chain optimisation platform, which is hoped to boost operations and productivity.
OmniOrder will aim to allow Qualipac to easily manage inventory at the batch level, take orders digitally with a trading app, and reconcile everything automatically.
“We are excited to deploy OmniOrder which will give us a permanent online ‘shop face’ which doesn’t need to be separately managed,” Qualipac Sales and Marketing Manager Kees Versteeg said. "It simply works as we manage our inventory normally, and cuts down on manual data entry, and we can use it for both direct sales and sales through wholesalers."
The platform's creator Optomni is an Agtech company dedicated to digitalising the fresh and perishables supply chain with an omnichannel wholesale platform that helps growers and wholesalers reach more customers, find new market opportunities, streamline inventory and ordering processes and reduce waste through demand prediction and automated supply matching.
Vegetable growers, Qualipac was one of the first to reach out to Optomni after the initial announcement of launching and has been part of the feature development process. Optomni Co-founder and CEO Murad Mekhtiev says OmniOrder will become a digital marketplace for domestic and export as more growers, wholesalers and buyers get on board. The company is now taking the next step in our partnership by implementing OmniOrder in Qualipac’s operations, and a Pilot is the first step to do that.
"But it’s also a platform that adds value straight away by improving supply chain efficiency, even for growers using it with their existing customers, whether wholesalers or direct buyers," he said. "OmniOrder will be piloted with a small group of Qualipac’s customers as an ordering interface. In addition, as OmniOrder allows inventory management, it will seamlessly integrate with a number of back-office functions, which is the reason for starting with a Pilot."
He added that OmniOrder will make it easy for Qualipac to publicise available supply to different customers and make it easy for those customers to lock them in.
"At the same time, it will streamline a number of administrative processes tied to order management, fulfilment and inventory management," Mekhtiev said. "Also, it will give Qualipac a forward view of incoming demand which will help to make better supply decisions and reduce waste, which we believe is the greatest opportunity for unlocking value in the industry."
As a startup, and new software vendor to the fresh produce industry, Mr Mekhtiev says showing credibility and winning trust with growers is crucial, even though the company's founders have worked with some of the larger growers and distributors in previous roles, and working with Qualipac is a major boost.
"Qualipac is a well-known brand in the industry, with a reputation for being forward-thinking and innovative. By taking a public approach with this pilot, we aim to demonstrate that we’re here to help the industry digitalise, automate and optimise - and we’re here for the long haul," he said. "Our goal at Optomni is to give the benefits of digitalisation, automation and optimisation to the Australian fresh produce industry. Much of the industry still relies on paper-based processes for inventory management, ordering and marketing. A range of solutions exist to digitalise, but digitalising by itself usually doesn’t bring about the return on investment to justify making a change to current processes. Only automation and optimisation bring that, so our goal is to go a step or two beyond existing solutions in order to maximise ROI and impact."
Optomni will also be pitching its value proposition to the Australian venture capital community on the SproutX Demo Day, on Wednesday, December 1. Mr Mekhtiev explains that SproutX is a leading Agtech accelerator that the company has been part of for the past six months.
"The program is designed to get startups investment-ready, provide mentoring and support, and accelerate traction by facilitating connections with industry leaders, investors and growers," he said. "The upcoming demo day is the culmination of the program, where we will be pitching our value proposition to Australia’s investor community in order to raise our Seed round next year, which will help us to create a bigger impact for growers, wholesalers and commercial buyers."