CHICAGO — The huge effort by Testa Produce Inc., to build a “green” and ultra-modern produce warehouse brings with it a sophisticated computer software system.
Testa has worked since 2003 with produce management software, and the related service, provided by Produce Pro Inc. Produce Pro software is used throughout the country, but happens to be based in nearby Woodbridge, IL.
On May 10, The Produce News attended the grand opening of the sparkling Testa Produce facility. As one approaches Testa’s warehouse, it has very distinctive outstanding exterior features. It is unusual because the parking lot is used to support many large solar panels. Although this is intriguing, the panels are dwarfed by the 238-foot high wind turbine that stands in front of the Testa building.
The turbine, manufactured by Massachusetts-based Aeronautica Windpower, is expected to supply 950,000 to 1 million kilowatt-hours per year of zero-emissions energy. This is enough to supply roughly 35 percent to 40 percent of the e 91,000-square-foot facility needs. A seven- to eight-year return is expected on the turbine investment, according to Testa Produce. This is just one of countless environmentally friendly features of the Testa building.
“In order for us to take our business to the next level we needed a software system that could handle our industry’s needs. Produce Pro has done just that,” said Testa Produce Chief Financial Officer Len Moskowitz.
Produce Pro provided The Produce News with background information and quotes for this story as follows:
Several years ago, Testa implemented a major time-saving addition which included a move to utilize Produce Pro’s on-line ordering solution. With Produce Pro software’s e-commerce solution, customers enter orders at their convenience through the Internet.
Mr. Moskowitz said, “Produce Pro’s e-commerce solution gives us peace-of-mind knowing our customers can place an order, check an order, or search our product catalog 24 hours a day, seven days a week and our system will automatically reflect their order. Customers can also get copies of signed delivery invoices without having to call us, which is a major time-saver for both parties.”
Testa Produce receives more than 600 daily orders with 100 to 120 orders done through Produce Pro’s on-line ordering. Through Produce Pro, Mr. Moskowitz said, “When the order is placed on-line, the system instantly creates an open sales order in real time. The e-commerce capabilities have saved us from needing to hire more people during peak times to take phone orders. Our customers that do order online, use it as their preferred method of ordering.”
Another person contacted by Produce Pro to assist on this story is Randy Farber, director of food and beverage for the Bolingbrook Golf Club in Bolingbrook, IL.
Mr. Farber said, “We have been a customer of Testa Produce for many years. Over that time we have become huge fans of their on-line ordering system. The speed in which you can retrieve important information, pack size, pricing, and overall produce details is tremendous. In this business, time is one thing you do not have. Having the ability to locate items as well as revert back to the market report when needed has given us a tool that is second to none. On-line ordering has been a new addition to most vendors these days but so far none compare to Testa’s Produce Pro System. We will continue to support this new method in ordering.”
Forty-one percent of Produce Pro’s customers utilize e-commerce. Jim Roxton, Produce Pro’s inside sales consultant noted, “We recently have had an increase in demand for our e-commerce solution. Our customers hear from other Produce Pro customers about the benefits and features and quickly realize there is a strong and quick return on investment.”