Urban Farm OÜ, specializing in vertical farming, has been using the Telema EDI Supplier service for the past few years. The company’s founder and CEO, Artur Sirkel, firmly believes that without the Telema EDI solution, handling orders and invoices during the company’s rapid growth would have been significantly more labor-intensive and costly.
Urban Farm OÜ began its operations six years ago and was at the time the first vertical farm in Estonia. Most of the produce is grown on-site within retail stores – plants sown and germinated in the main farm are grown in greenhouses resembling refrigerators. This is the only way to provide the urban population with the freshest sprouts leaving the smallest footprint. Urban Farm’s products are available in major retail chains such as Rimi, Selver, and Kaubamaja. Another part of the produce is sold to restaurants, including both Michelin-starred restaurants in Estonia.
Telema services were implemented in 2021, along with the growth in production volume. Although the owner of OKO restaurant, Tõnis Siigur, had recommended Telema at the very beginning of Urban Farm, the solution was adopted only later. When the order volume became so substantial that manual document handling robbed employees’ time from dealing with customers or production issues.
Telema EDI Supplier – Speedy Deploy
Urban Farm uses the ERP Merit Aktiva, and since Merit is a good cooperation partner of Telema, the implementation of Telema EDI Supplier was completed within a week. “We wanted a solution that we could implement as quickly as possible,” comments Sirkel.
With the EDI Supplier service, buyers’ orders automatically move through Telema into Merit ERP. This allows Urban Farm to process orders immediately without manual data entry. Subsequently, the company can generate invoices in Merit, which Telema then translates into a suitable format for buyers and automatically delivers them to the buyer’s ERP. This electronic data interchange eliminates the need to re-enter data on both the buyer and seller sides, benefiting both parties.
Electronic Data Interchange Saves Time and Money
Since the adoption of Telema EDI Supplier in 2021, Urban Farm’s monthly document volume has grown to nearly 400 documents and the number of transactions continues to increase. During this year alone, Urban Farm has exchanged 2,700 documents via EDI, which is 50% more than during the entire year of 2022.
“If I had to manually enter all these transaction documents into the system, it would be an immense task. My work with sales and production management in the company means sitting at the computer. It is very important whether I spend an hour, two or three at it,” added Sirkel. “Without human intervention, there are fewer mistakes and, most importantly, considerable financial savings.”
Awaiting New Automation Solutions
Artur Sirkel is convinced that today there is no escape from automation. He emphasizes that automation not only saves people’s work time but also reduces various costs, from server infrastructure to the accountant’s computer and desk lamps.
He anticipates that next spring, the company will likely have three times as many documents to handle. While sales are lower during the summer gardening season, they significantly increase during winter and spring. Sirkel already foresees a substantial increase in the value derived from Telema services.
Sirkel values Telema as a reliable partner. “Telema is a very pleasant business partner. I know exactly what their vision and position in the market are.” He appreciates that Telema is willing to guide the company towards other beneficial solutions and software options, showcasing the vast possibilities available. Knowing how much Telema invests in the development of their systems and products, Sirkel is confident that in the coming years one can expect many exciting solutions to emerge from Telema.
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