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Stephan T’Sas Directeur T'Sas

Stephan T’Sas

Managing director | T’sas.

“Thanks to Slim4, we have cut waste by 40-50%.”

T’Sas, a market leader in the wholesale fruit and vegetable business, partnered with Slimstock to integrate the supply chain expert’s Slim4 platform with their WMS system. The Slim4 platform significantly improved operational efficiency, reducing waste by 40-50%.

With Stephan T’Sas at the helm, the Belgium family business has grown substantially. In addition to the company’s general management, the managing director is also responsible for purchasing all fruit and vegetables daily. Those products leave the warehouses in Haren at dawn every day to support customers’ needs in the hospitality, catering, and food service sectors.

In addition to fruit and vegetables, T’ses offers herbs, potato products, and fresh, frozen, and dried products. The business is a trusted partner to customers in Brussels and across the country—from Antwerp to Ghent and, in the south, from Mons to Charleroi. Demand has increased rapidly in recent years, especially for Chopped and semi-prepared potato products. An uninterrupted supply chain is paramount here, and sustainability is also essential.

History

For T’Sas, it all started in Overijse, Belgium’s grape-growing region. T’Sas’ Grandfather initially only sold grapes, but when that sector gradually declined, he broadened his offering and started supplying vegetables and other fruits to the catering industry.

T’Sas’s father continued the business’ legacy, and later, T’Sas joined the company. In 2011, they found a new home on Korte Spaarbekkenstraat in Haren. Conveniently located near the wholesale market in Brussels (European Centre for Fruit and Vegetables) and a relatively short distance from the auction in Sint-Katelijne-Waver, this is the ideal location for a wholesaler of fresh fruit and vegetables.

In 2023, T’Sas achieved a turnover of almost €14 million. From receiving orders from suppliers to picking, preparing and transporting customer orders, a dedicated team of 35 employees go to great lengths to provide an exceptional customer experience.

A planning problem

Previously, T’sas depended on its WMS system to support its supply chain planning process. Stephan explains: “We do not have a separate ERP system but manage all our processes with our custom-made WMS. I noticed that the purchasing and inventory management module within that WMS system lacked the advanced functionality we needed. Consequently, the purchasing process took more time to complete every day.”

In search of a partner to help, T’Sas knocked on Slimstock’s door. Daan Lokkers, consultant at Slimstock, explains: “Clients approach us for various reasons. They may be looking to improve efficiency, reduce inventory, improve service, reduce waste, or a combination of these goals. Our Slim4 platform provides a solution for all these needs. With our 30 years of experience, we know how important it is to invest in new features and improvements constantly. Slimstock is trusted worldwide, and over 1,500 companies rely on our Slim4 platform, 100 of which are based in Belgium.”

The Slim4 platform continues to impress

Adopting Slim4 has proved to be a smart move for the fruit and vegetable wholesaler. Stephan explains that his work has suddenly become a lot easier. “The daily order schedule I receive shows me exactly what and when I should order per item and supplier. The forecast fluctuates daily, but the system automatically adapts to optimise the purchasing process.”

The Slim4 platform is a perfect fit for wholesalers. However, Lokkers stresses that the platform can be of great value to any stockholding company. “Slim4 is a versatile technology built to support the operational nuances of retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers alike. We can also scale the platform with additional modules, depending on the sector and the customer’s specific requirements.”

Lokkers continues, “At T’Sas, their planning team takes advantage of Slim4’s planning capabilities to control shrinkage, which is especially crucial for fresh products due to their limited shelf life. However, for manufacturing companies, we also offer BOM optimisation and planning boards. With our complete suite of planning tools, we offer solutions that enable supply chain optimisation in any sector, with additional savings possible in the food sector through waste reduction.”

Up to 50% less waste

T’Sas has been working with Slim4 for several months, and the benefits are already evident. For example, the wholesaler has enjoyed improved efficiency by embracing the new way of working.

T’Sas adds, “Although our WMS system had an inventory management function, Slim4 offers many more possibilities. It quickly resulted in significant efficiency improvements. I start at midnight daily and support the warehouse workers and drivers in their logistics preparations. As soon as the drivers leave, usually around four or five in the morning, I start working on the orders for the next day.”

“What, when and how much should I buy? What did I do last year? Before the Slim4 integration, this was mainly a punt based on a ‘finger in the wind’. Looking at the history at a granular item level took several hours. If you look back at what you ordered last year and repeat that for multiple items, you lose a lot of time,” the managing director continues.

T’Sas can’t stop talking about the benefits that Slim4 brings. T’Sas is excited by the time savings, but he also sees the direct financial benefits. “This process is now much easier. I receive a daily overview from Slim4 with all suppliers, the articles and the quantities required. This is displayed visually, and Slim4 analyses the history over several years, revealing patterns. Accurate stock is essential as we plan fresh products with a limited shelf life. However, with the Slim4 platform, we now have cut waste by 40-50%,” states T’Sas.

Rapid return on investment

Initially, T’Sas was hesitant to invest in the Slim4 platform. Nevertheless, he was convinced of the benefits, and that insight paid off. Thanks to a training course conducted at T’Sas’ office, he was able to start working with the AI-driven platform soon after implementation. “Slim4 is an investment that really pays off quickly! It delivers efficiency gains, enhances service, prevents human error to reduce inventory levels, and minimises waste.”

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