The right tools
Vandemoortele, a Belgian baking company rapidly expanding in the US, is using TrueCommerce integration with QuickBooks Online to build strong relations with major food grocers and optimize its supply chain
Vandemoortele may be new to the United States, but the company’s history goes all the way back to 1899 in Izegem, Belgium. Originally a baking oil refinery, Vandemoortele expanded into dough and pastry products in the 1960s, and in 1978, began making frozen bakery products. Already selling across Europe, Vandemoortele entered the US market in 2017.
“We work with retail and food service brands,” said Vandemoortele’s Vice President of Operations and Finance for the US, Brendan McGinn. “We import frozen baker products, primarily croissants, donuts and maple pecans from France and Belgium.”
The company chose QuickBooks Online for their US accounting system. QuickBook’s web-based platform and user-friendly interface made it an ideal choice. “QuickBooks is a great place to start and such a super easy website to use,” commented Mr McGinn. “Give it a week, and you have it down pat.”
Knowing it wanted to expand to work with larger retail grocers, Vandermoortele realized the next step was to invest in EDI – a must-have requirement to do business with major chains. “We looked into getting EDI because the clients we hope to work with all use EDI,” explained Mr McGinn. The company already trades directly with BJs, as well as a number of restaurants and cafes. “The goal is to increase our presence,” said Mr McGinn.
Starting from ‘Base Zero’
To help with its search for an EDI provider, Vandemoortele chose to work with an accountancy firm, who quickly introduced it to TrueCommerce. Mr McGinn commented: “They said – these are the guys we like to work with. TrueCommerce has a good reputation.”
Still, Mr McGinn was apprehensive of getting started with an entirely new way of trading with retailers. He recalled: “My initial thought was, this looks like it’s complicated as heck. I’d never used EDI before, and neither had my partner. We were coming from base zero.”
TrueCommerce was able to quickly put Mr McGinn and his team at ease. “Having an Implementation Specialist on board, walking me through step-by-step was a really big help,” said Mr McGinn. He went on: “He went above expectations, making it easy for us to navigate the website.”
A web-based platform with expert support
One of the major selling points for QuickBooks is its online platform, which can be accessed and managed remotely. Likewise, TrueCommerce’s innovative Foundry Platform, of which EDI is a part, features a cloud-based architecture. For Vandemoortele, especially today, this is a huge benefit.
“I can manage TrueCommerce EDI for QuickBooks from anywhere,” Mr McGinn said. “I can be at home, I can be in my office, I can be on vacation. The efficiency of it is great.”
TrueCommerce’s best feature, Mr McGinn felt, is its people. “I think TrueCommerce’s biggest selling point is the customer service. That’s what sets it apart, especially for someone like me, who’s coming from a very basic level of knowledge.”
True Commerce’s Managed Service approach combines technical expertise and QuickBooks-specific experience with a solid support infrastructure, to give Vandemoortele the tools it needs to succeed. “I’m not an expert, but I’m getting there,” said Mr McGinn. “It’s definitely helpful to know there’s someone there—that I can pick up the phone or send an email and ask for help.”
Looking toward the future
As Vandemoortele continues to grow its US footprint, it knows integrated EDI for QuickBooks Online will play a critical role in creating relationships with top retailers. “We’re still in the early stages, but so far so good,” clarified Mr McGinn. “We’re using TrueCommerce EDI with one wholesaler right now. We plan to have more clients and customers use it as well.”
To Vandemoortele, TrueCommerce is an ideal partner to help drive that growth. “TrueCommerce is professional, easy to work with, and has very good customer service,” noted Mr McGinn. As for other food and beverage companies, he had this to say. “I would absolutely recommend TrueCommerce. One hundred per cent.”