Qualifirst is an importer and distributor of gourmet foods, selling to the Canadian market. Since 1957 the Qualifirst group has dedicated itself to providing the highest quality food products, for both Foodservice Chefs and Retail customers across Canada. The company strives to exceed the expectation of all customers, in both products and service. They became the first to import the best the world had to offer: Fois Gras from Rougie, Burgandy Escargots from UGMA, Wine Vinegars from France and the list goes on.
Qualifirst was started by Michel and Nicole Farges who started a small fine food company known strictly for its “steak and potatoes”. Their son took to the family business and continued the distribution of food products. Currently, they are located in Toronto, Ontario and have two warehouses.
Qualifirst was growing quickly, and the company leaders knew they needed to make some changes around the systems and processes they were using.
Purchasing – As a national company with two warehouses, it always seemed to be a time-consuming and difficult task.
Routing – With two warehouses, the Qualifirst team struggled without a dispatch system that could coordinate routes and deliveries efficiently
Data – The safety of their data was another issue. Any user could easily delete all data at any time, and they had no way around it.
Business Process Automation Software – Not having a cohesive system was one of the main downfalls for Qualifirst. They wanted to be more efficient by having invoices readily available and sent to all salespeople as well as the ability to see all customer information on one screen. Their original process was to print out the paper with the list of invoices, put it in a box and have the salespeople come and pick it up every morning. This proved to be inefficient and wasteful.
President of Qualifirst, Ray Martin took his time researching all types of players in the software industry and came across Blue Link ERP. Qualifirst had many challenges they needed to overcome, and they wanted an all-in-one solution that could provide a more efficient environment and thus give them the ability to provide even better service to their customers. Blue Link was able to do just that.
When it came to purchasing, Qualifirst was happy to find that Blue Link ERP already included purchasing functionality. Other software providers that the company assessed didn’t have all the features already built in.
Qualifirst was originally using an external online dispatch system that printed out stickers but after implementing and using Blue Link, they came across the order dispatch screen. They knew they needed a better dispatching system and decided to work alongside Blue Link’s team to develop an exclusive dispatch system within Blue Link that would be perfect for the company. Customizations were at their fingertips.
The safety of their data was no concern after switching to Blue Link. In the system, you are able to identify different levels of access for each employee, so some can change/delete data while others cannot, and all changes are logged with employee and date information.
Business Process Automation Software
One of the big must-haves for Qualifirst when it came to software was having the ability to send a copy of the invoices to every single salesperson every day. Even though this was also not a built-in tool in Blue Link, the team was able to design invoices in the SQL reporting services and now they are sending all the invoices in one spreadsheet straight to each salesperson’s inbox – eliminating the manual process and paper wastage.
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As a result of implementing Blue Link, it was clear the company chose the right technology partner to work with. Qualifirst has been able to successfully automate business processes, eliminate human error and decrease time spent on tasks using the software. Qualifirst and Blue Link worked together to create customizations that the company still uses today. Hear straight from the Qualifirst team:
“Thanks to Blue Link’s ARM technology, we have now stepped into the future of business operations. Implementing their automation into our day to day has created a seamless, productive, confident system we rely on. This has provided us with the extra time to dedicate towards sales, company growth, and employee engagement.
Because of this automation we no longer have to busy ourselves with emailing order confirmations, sending invoices, and following up on payments as Blue Link now does all this for us! They work behind the scenes everyday to ensure our clients are contacted, so that we don’t have to. And with the help of their nightly reporting system, we are now able to see each employee’s daily contribution. With quantifying how long they took to pick/pack/process an order, what their fastest vs. slowest times were, and how much free time they had during the day. With this information we have been able to strengthen our team, increase our productivity, and spend less time analyzing areas of improvement.
They have also provided us with a safeguard from errors, as the ARM will notify any employee who did not correctly enter or complete an order. Because of this we no longer require the same level of supervision we once did, as the system will notify us if there is an issue, or a problem we need to address. A year later using ARM and our phones ring less, we have less emails to respond to, less complaints to address, we have decreased staff, increased productivity, and reduced errors. Because of this we have saved time, money and overall, our staff are much happier, and so are our clients. Thank you, Blue Link!”
April Tobin, CSR & Warehouse Lead
Blue Link Elite has provided us with easy access to important business data via an extremely user-friendly interface. This has allowed us to make informed business decisions and has helped us manage our business effectively.