Blattwerk Convenience Food AG was founded in 2012 by kellermann.ch, a leading fresh-produce company in Switzerland. With its parent company as the supplier, Blattwerk introduced the city of Zurich to a new concept in fast food: Schnägg.
At Schnägg vans stationed in different parts of town, customers can purchase fresh, healthy salads, sandwiches and soups for only a schnägg, the colloquial Swiss term for five francs. By stocking the vans with products prepared from scratch the same morning, Blattwerk lets customers live up to the Schnägg motto: “Eat fresh.”
Quick start of operations
In spring 2012, Blattwerk began seeking IT solutions for its business. To capitalize on high seasonal demand for fresh food served outdoors, the company wanted to deploy the Schnägg vans before the end of summer. Looking to stand out on the Zurich food market and generate fast returns on its startup investments, Blattwerk sought technology to achieve three key objectives: create a convenient, wireless purchasing process; enable on-time supply of products; and start the entire operation quickly and cost-effectively.
maxess helps overcoming key challenges
In May, Blattwerk contacted IBM Business Partner maxess systemhaus GmbH to inquire about mobile point-of-sale (POS) scanners. Maxess quickly recognized other key challenges for the startup, such as how to integrate sales data from the vans with back-office supply systems. The Business Partner showed Blattwerk how it could support all of its processes, with minimal time and expense, by using maxess x-trade suite software on the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise platform. Ultimately, Blattwerk used the cloud-based solution to get the Schnägg brand up and running in the warm weather of August.
Custom developed software modules meet unique requirements
Used by top retailers in Germany yet also suitable for small businesses, x-trade suite software is a set of retail ERP software modules. To meet the unique requirements of Blattwerk, maxess custom developed a mobile cash-register application that integrates with the core solution. And by deploying x-trade suite software on the SmartCloud Enterprise platform, maxess allows Blattwerk to essentially rent its ERP environment. “Tapping into x-trade suite in the IBM Cloud is ideal for a company like ours,” says Erich Hoffmann, CEO, Blattwerk. “We gained a system that supports our critical business processes and we launched it fast, without investing in a lot of expensive hardware.”
Blattwerk also implemented maxess Linea-Pro 4 credit-card scanning devices, which attach to Apple iPhones and enable cashiers to send purchase data wirelessly to the cash-register application. On the back end, the x-trade suite software enables seamless electronic data interchange (EDI) with kellerman.ch. Thus, the parent company automatically receives the data it needs to properly supply Blattwerk for the next day.
Smooth growth is ensured
Deployed in only three months, the solution now supports five Schnägg vans. As it expands, Blattwerk is confident that the cloud-based solution will help make for smooth growth. “We get good food to market very quickly at low cost” says Hoffmann. “Thanks to maxess and IBM, we got our business to market that way too.”