20 MINS WITH – SARAH RUMBOLD

“I don’t come from a typical wholesale food background,” began Sarah Rumbold, GM of Fresho New Zealand. “My background is communications and marketing, but my husband and I had been involved in a couple of restaurants, and we had seen the issues around ordering first-hand.”

The Fresho platform, already running in Australia at the time, quickly caught Rumbold’s attention in 2017. Launching their first supplier in May of last year, Rumbold has described her time in the industry and her experience with Fresho.

“I saw that the market here could use a platform like Fresho, as there was nothing else like it. It’s been a very exciting journey, where we started with nothing, and now we have nine suppliers using the platform, processing more than 120,000 orders each year with an annual gross order value of more than NZ$40 million.”

So what is Fresho NZ? “We create software for the foodservice industry. We work with companies to create efficiencies in their businesses and reduce wastages. Our software is order management for the wholesale food industry, as well as a fully mobile and desktop online ordering application that gives chefs an easy system to order from, and suppliers an easy platform to manage the whole ordering process.”

Not only does Fresho streamline and simplify operations, but it also integrates with accounting software.

“The whole way through the chain, we’re eliminating data entry, creating efficiencies and streamlining processes. We’re making it easier for chefs to order and save suppliers time and money.”

With technology like this, one must ask whether it is perhaps taking away from the relationship-building capabilities that face-to-face ordering can have.

“We’re not trying to eliminate interaction between suppliers and their customers; we’re simply trying to make things easier. By using Fresho, suppliers can spend more time on relationship building, as opposed to data entry.”

Fresho’s software is built for efficiency, something every business needs and wants. “The key thing is minimising data entry and double handling—reducing the potential for human error. From a cost perspective, Fresho is going to save money in terms of data entry hours, fewer errors, and more efficiency improvements. For restaurateurs or chefs, it just makes their day easier in terms of ordering. And finally, in terms of wastage, we see many ways in which waste can be reduced throughout the supply chain,” said Rumbold.

Fresho has hit a niche yet responsive market. Rumbold noted how encouraging people in the industry have been after using the platform. The fact that there isn’t something out there that can reduce data entry and integrate with accounting software makes for a must-have product in a data-heavy area of business.

“It is solving real issues for suppliers, and chefs like it a lot, too. It makes everyone’s lives a lot easier,” she said.

From here, Rumbold said that she has a long list of suppliers in the pipeline for launch in New Zealand. She said there was a much bigger market out there, and they were talking with a number of suppliers. She saw Fresho becoming a significant force in the market. In addition to growth and expansion, Rumbold talked about the need for development.

“Our team in Australia is launching new developments on the platform daily, largely driven through supplier feedback.”

This highlights a significant benefit to working with Fresho—that is in the industry, and they see what needs changing. The developments that they can implement come from real-life problems they see on a day-to-day basis, something they can then turn around and provide a solution to.

Fresho isn’t just responding to industry concerns; they are solving issues voiced by consumers, as well.

“Sustainability and food wastage are quite high up there as consumers are now demanding that businesses respond to this, and actively look at how they can run business in a more sustainable way.” Through the integrated efficiencies, Fresho essentially cuts time spent on administration, and saves the business from food waste—two birds are killed with one stone.

“Tech is also changing very quickly, and again, for any business looking to stay atop of their game, they need to be able to evolve just as quickly. That’s also where Fresho can help because we’re constantly evolving with a team of people dedicated to developing the software. It’s really important for the industry to continue to adapt and adopt new technology,” she said.

Fresho provides a penetrating system to help streamline and maximise efficiency throughout any business. While doing this, it also helps reduce data entry hours and food waste. It sounds as though there are few reasons not to switch to something like this.

As Rumbold finished, “We’ve seen very strong growth in our first twelve months, and we’re excited to keep building on this success.”