The Chapelloise is a small family business, a wholesaler in bakers' flour, butter, eggs, cream, and other fresh produce, mainly targeting bakeries and butchers, and more locally assuring supplies for individuals.
Is traceability a legal obligation in the fresh produce sector?
Legislation changes regularly and new European standards apply. We must be able to maintain traceability for each product, its origins, and the quantities bought and sold. In case of health problems, we need to determine the origin of the product immediately, and the customers to who received delivery of the implicated batch of products.
Are there regular inspections?
Inspections are frequent. In our case, we have fewer inspections than when we started up. I think they were reassured by seeing the software tool we have implemented, and our methods of traceability. They have also accepted listings from Mercator instead of handwritten records that we previously had to keep up to date.
Do the producers assign lot numbers to products?
It is a theoretical reality because even though the legislation imposes traceability, it does not specify much about the means and application. Some providers indicate the references of the lots on their shipping documents, for many others, we are obliged to use the numbers on the boxes or packaging and manage our own numbering. The law should be stricter and require more clarity from producers.
Why did you choose Mercator?
Our company exists since 1996, the beginning of the IT era, we were afraid of losing data or not being able to find it at the appropriate time, so we kept references to batches both on paper and in Excel.
Since the implementation of Mercator in 2005, we can say that if it has not changed our lives, it has completely revolutionized the company's working methods, especially with the assistance of DWL Consult (note: the dealer responsible for implementation). The first year was tough because one does not change old habits easily.
We work on one computer; my wife is primarily responsible for the administration. I have a laptop with a mobile internet connection that allows me to access my data any time.
One workstation meets all your needs?
With the exception of bulk products, which we bill immediately, we invoice every 15 days. Thanks to Mercator, a fully automated operation that amounts to around 2,000 annual invoices.
With Mercator, it is easy to add posts and licenses that will be operational immediately. The dealer who handles installation and configuration is also very important. Mercator is like a development tool that already in its basic form comprises everything necessary.
La Chapelloise website