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Outspan Fresh Logo


Outspan Fresh

Company Background

Outspan Fresh source the finest Outspan approved juicing fruit from all over the world and import equipment from the top manufacturers in the United States, Spain and Italy.

The company turns the science of making the 'finest tasting juice' into simplicity, freshness and theatre. With no prior knowledge fantastic results can be achieved with juicing packages designed to give year round consistency.


Outspan Fresh had taken the decision to replace the Sage Line 50 application. The objective was to replace a pure financial system with a fully fledged flexible management Information system. The strategy was to replace their variety of disparate electronic and manual systems with a single centralised solution that automated all of their processes. The plan was to reduce data duplication and provide the management team with dynamic reliable and accurate information.

“We had a major business window of growth in this sector” explained Group Finance Director Neil Dockar. “However, we were severely hindered by the variety of systems in use within the business. We needed an agile centralised solution that enabled us to work smarter rather than harder while harvesting our unique commercial opportunity within the sector”.

Outspan Fresh operated many disparate systems across the organisation. These included; Sage Line 50 for sales & purchase order processing, invoicing, purchase & general ledger, delivery documentation,
bank reconciliations, accruals and prepayments. Excel spreadsheets were used to manage monthly group accounts, extended trial balance, customer complaints log & budgets. A number of manual processes filled in the gaps.

The lack of integration between the various systems created a number of issues for the business. These included:

  • Inability to quickly access accurate management information.
  • A lack of historical data and reliable sales statistics.
  • Poor control over stock movements and value.
  • Duplicate and triplicate data entry procedures.
  • Reliance on “head knowledge” rather than system knowledge.
  • Various versions of the truth that were difficult to reconcile
  • Reactive rather than pro-active approach by staff
  • System inflexibility caused work around approach that created further administration tasks
  • Increased administration costs as the business expanded

The Requirement

Having assessed the business impact of continuing with the previous systems, the requirements for the new solution soon became clear. These included:

  • A powerful and flexible business management system from a reputable author
  • An easy to use solution capable of meeting the needs of all users within the company.
  • A solution that totally integrated all areas of the business.
  • Reduction in duplication of keyed data to speed up transaction entry and eliminate data entry errors.
  • Complete control of all finance and stock transactions.
  • The ability to produce reports in real-time based on user-defined formats.
  • Centrally controlled procedures based on best practise throughout the business.
  • Reduction in administrative effort to produce information for running the business and associated costs.
  • Less reliance on “Head Knowledge”.
  • An efficient, faster system that provides more relevant business information.
  • A system that operated in the Windows environment running on a MS SQL platform.

The Selection Process

A detailed search of the available options highlighted Microsoft DynamicsTM NAV as a possible solution. “We had heard about Microsoft DynamicsTM NAV through its use in the fresh produce industry” explains IT Manager, Malcolm Cranney. “Anglia’s ability to quickly, understand our needs and business processes coupled with their reputation in the industry clinched matters”.

At the outset of the project, Outspan Fresh commissioned a Solution Model exercise from Anglia Business Solutions. The solution model involves an in depth business needs analysis and identification of the functionality and business process requirements which must be accommodated within the system. The Solution Model document acts as a blue-print for the deployment, provides the basis for technical design specifications and clearly defines the commitment required from both parties in order to achieve a successful deployment


Anglia Business Solutions deployed Microsoft DynamicsTM NAV together with applications developed for the fresh produce industry to replace the Sage Line 50 system. In addition, the following additional functionality has been included to enable Outspan Fresh to work the way it wanted to:

Customer Records
Standard DynamicsTM NAV customer relationship management functionality enables the recording of customer notes against each customer card with unlimited free-format text. The comments functionality was extended to enable a category type to be assigned to each note entered. The notes are searchable and can be filtered by category type. This made it very easy to record and monitor customer promises as well as logging issues.

Call Centre Management
The Call Centre team at Outspan Fresh have a list of customer they call daily to take their Orders. The system can automatically ring the number of the contact via a TAPI compliant telephone. Each member of the team can view their calls and those of the team. On call completion, the results are entered i.e. order placed or no goods required.

Tasks are allocated to a person or team by the system using a due date and time. These can be viewed by sales resource, team, customer or list of customers. Full Outlook synchronisation is provided. All To-Dos created or edited within the system are automatically replicated into Microsoft Outlook as tasks against the assigned person. Changes made in Outlook are also replicated in the main system.

Standard pricing within the system is held at several levels:
a) Customer specific prices – these can have start and end dates and optional quantity breaks.
b) Price group prices - these have the same functionality as customer specific prices but the list can be assigned to multiple customers.
c) Generic Prices - these have the same functionality as customer specific prices but apply across the board.
d) Standard List price - this is stored against the Item.

Using this powerful pricing matrix, Outspan personnel were able to explore a number of pricing scenarios irrespective of the complexity of the commercial arrangement. “The flexibility that this pricing matrix provided us with was a tremendous aid to productivity” explained IT Manager Malcolm Cranney “It saved us from looking in various records to assess the prices to charge clients. Moreover, having such information held centrally meant that it was correct from the start. This reduced our issuing of credit notes to virtually zero”.

Rapid Order Entry
The solution was configured to optimise the order entry process. Customer templates were set up and assigned to a customer. Each template contains a list of items unique to that customer (similar to a favourites list). Every time a new order is created for that customer all the stock lines attached to the assigned template are automatically pulled into a sales order. All the user needs to do is to enter or amend the quantities if necessary. The system automatically calculates the correct price. This dramatically increased the speed of order entry and reduced transcription errors.

The pre-defined template also acts as an aide-memoir during order entry to check that the customer has ordered all of their normal Items. This facility increases sales opportunities and customer satisfaction as well as reducing last minute changes. The system also holds a list of “Substitute” stock codes for items on the template that can be suggested if the main item is out of stock when processing a sales order.

A flexible pricing authorisation procedure was also introduced as part of the deployment. This enabled users to override a price to cope with a specific commercial situation. However, these changes were flagged and orders could only be fully released once authorised by a supervisor. “This saved many hours of operator and supervisory time” explained Malcolm Cranney. “It meant that we could facilitate rapid order taking and park pricing issues to be dealt with later. This elegant approach provided us with the precise flexibility and control we needed to continue to grow the business”.

screenshot showing customer recurring orders screenRecurring Orders
The system facilitates the creation of recurring order log. This identifies which goods will be delivered on a particular day. The daily templates are then automatically converted into actual sales orders. The system can use either Outspan’s or the customer’s part numbers. Both part numbers are stored on the order line so whatever needs to appear on a document (e.g. Delivery Note) will be available.

Order Creation Log
On creation of an order, the system automatically logs the time and date as well as the user responsible. Reports can then be generated to show all orders which are more than x hours old that have not been finished (i.e. where the status remains “open” instead of “released”). This analysis assists in identifying and resolving bottlenecks and recurring delays.

Routes & Drop Numbers
Each customer is associated with a specific route and drop number. These details are automatically copied onto new sales orders where the user can override the default values. The routing information is copied onto each line of the sales order so that analysis of sales by route is available. This functionality was extended enabling the route and drop number to be set depending upon the day of the week the goods are delivered.

Multiple Delivery Points
To efficiently facilitate rapid order entry for customers with multiple delivery addresses, virtual customers are set up for each ‘Ship to” address. This automatically pulls through the correct invoicing and delivery points for that customer location. This has proved to be a major time saving facility while entering orders.

Sales History
The system provides analysis of stock purchased by a customer through its “Customer / Item” sales report. In addition, it provides a top down view of total sales for a customer for a particular period. To suit Outspan Fresh’s needs, the historical information was extended so that either the quantity of stock sold or its value can be seen for each item for a defined period against the customer. This facility has proved invaluable for account management purposes.

With the previous systems Outspan Fresh had to raise invoices against the full order quantity regardless of whether or not the goods were in stock. This resulted in many credit notes being raised for short deliveries. The new solution was configured so that invoices are only raised for the POD quantities. One invoice per shipment is created. The price of the goods is updated upon invoice creation so that the latest price can be ascertained based on the shipment date.

In a further refinement to the system, consolidated invoice can also be created based on one or more shipments to the same customer. Each shipment is shown separately on the invoice so that a full reconciliation is available. Customers who require consolidated invoices rather than one invoice per shipment are identified using a “Combine Shipments” flag. The invoice due date is calculated from the date of the earliest shipment.

Delivery Instructions
The system was refined to enable the recording of precise delivery and picking instructions. These are then automatically emailed or faxed to the relevant warehouse. Each warehouse is associated with a default shipping agent. Where a third party courier is involved, a separate delivery instruction can be automatically produced confirming the pickup and delivery details.

Delivery Charge Reconciliation
Delivery charges represent a large cost of doing business at Outspan Fresh. To control this aspect, each customer and their relevant delivery address as well as all warehouses are assigned a “Region/Area Code”. These company wide area codes are then associated with specific courier area codes from which the costs may be based.

An entry is automatically generated whenever an item is shipped or moved. A further system facility enables the comparison of estimated costs against the amount actually charged by the courier. This enables the management to quickly detect and resolve anomalies in the transportation rates.

Solution Benefits
There have been many refinements to Outspan Fresh’s business processes as a result of implementing the new solution. These have led to a number of significant improvements in efficiency throughout the organisation. A variety of disparate systems and processes have been replaced with a centralised business management solution that is accessible across the whole organisation.

The rapid order entry enhancements mean that administration tasks are completed quickly and efficiently. As all processes and procedures are now centrally managed, data duplication has been virtually eliminated.

In addition, Outspan Fresh now has full visibility of quantity, value, quality and location of all stock at any given time. This provides for efficient management of the supply chain and greatly reduces the amount of wastage on product lines with limited shelf life.

“The partnership between Outspan Fresh and Anglia has succeeded in delivering a powerful business management solution within timescale and budget that precisely meets our needs” explained Group Finance Director Neil Dockar. “We are very well placed to grow rapidly to exploit our unique position in this market using IT as a competitive aid. We now have full visibility of all parts of the business and can react rapidly to any potential issues”.

Software & Hardware Overview

  • Microsoft DynamicsTM NAV
  • - Financials
  • - Warehouse & Distribution
  • - Relationship Management
  • - LinkFresh® Developments

Services Overview

  • Solution Model
  • Project Management
  • Implementation & training
  • Software Design
  • Development
  • Data Transfer
  • Document Design
  • Infrastructure Audit

For further information contact:
Anglia Business Solutions Ltd
Harston Mill
CB22 7GG

Tel: 01223 873400
Fax: 01223 873401


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