As good as it gets for packing dates

Once Karsten Farms started using the ViTrax demand planning and packing instructions system, date packing has transformed into a slick process at Karsten Farms’ Pella packhouse. And packhouse manager Jors Malan is looking forward to even more functionality in the near future.

Way back in 2017, Karsten Farms implemented the ViTrax Central demand planning and packing instructions for grapes. Then FarSoft gradually expanded the system to include dates in 2019.

Jors explained, “At the start of the season, we capture the client’s demands to calculate pack plans, instructing the packhouse what and by when they need to pack.” Once the dates are packed, Jors views ViTrax Central to check whether demands were met and how many, if any, are still outstanding.

On dates, the client demands differ notably from those for grapes because the season runs for most of the year, plus it has a long supply window. “The benefits of the ViTrax demand planning and packing instructions module have been significant,” Jors continued. “Compared to the Excel files in days of yore, it has mitigated human error and the big plus is live feedback to facilitate planning – with instant communication from Central to packhouse. What a pleasure!

“A major factor also is the fact that we can zoom out to understand the big picture and then zoom in to view client requirement complexities.”

FarSoft project manager Mariska Cubitt announced that FarSoft was in the process of building a screen-specific module according to client specifications for the date demand needs. “This is a very exciting project. Jors will be using the module as a bird’s eye view to identify demand and pack plan progress.”

All in all, good news for scaling date packing to new heights.