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Creating Room to Grow

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Leveraging strong partnerships to enhance core business infrastructure.

Strong IT support and deep insights allows Ideafruit to focus on core business objectives, maintain awareness of industry trends and adapt to market changes.

Ideafruit is an African fruit company that works across the entire supply chain, from growing to packaging and exporting worldwide.

“We spend our time growing, procuring, cooling and packing the finest, freshest fruit from producers all over the apple and pear regions,” explains Tonja Blom, General Manager at Ideafruit.

Their produce is grown in Grabouw, Vyeboom and Villiersdorp, packaged in Villiersdorp, and exported both locally and internationally to various countries in regions such as Europe, Asia, Russia and the United Kingdom.

Ideafruit partnered with First Technology to gain insightful and expert IT support and direction. This includes ensuring that Ideafruit’s digital infrastructure is on par with best practices and industry standards, used to its full potential and designed to adapt swiftly to market needs.

Addressing The Struggle to Remain Agile and Efficient

With the increasing global demand for digitisation, significantly accelerated by the arrival of Covid-19, Ideafruit decided to place greater emphasis on evolving its IT ecosystem to remain the adaptable, fast-paced and dynamic company it always strives to be.

“As a food supplier, we’ve always been subject to the unpredictable whims of nature, so we’re inherently prepared to navigate unforeseen circumstances,” says Blom.

“Given our macro-economic realities, technology allows us to address an increasingly connected world and current demands in a speedy and effective manner,” adds Oliver Wood, Managing Director at Ideafruit.

Their previous IT support network consisted of a variety of companies dealing with different facets of the IT ecosystem. This was necessary, as digital demands dwarfed the capacity of the in-house IT team.

But with an increased focus on its digital infrastructure and IT responsibilities being spread across various providers, when an issue did arise, it unfortunately opened up the floor to regular rounds of blame-shifting, with each third party claiming it was someone else's issue to rectify. This led to Ideafruit’s in-house IT team wasting an incredible amount of human energy on tracking down issues and finding solutions.

“Our mission is to remain at the front-end of technology development and best practices. With our small IT team, this became near impossible,” explains Blom.

With a glowing track record of ad hoc services already delivered and a strong reputation for both advising and implementing services across the digital spectrum, First Technology was the ideal first choice as a partner who could satisfy all Ideafruit’s digital needs and provide insightful direction.

A Service Level Agreement was implemented and so the fruitful partnership began.

“With First Technology, we have readily available access to a vast range of services, each spearheaded by a team that are specialists in their domain,” says Blom.

A Nimble Partnership Built on a Strong Foundation

As Ideafruit’s IT partner, First Technology acts as a highly dynamic IT support team, digital transformation consultant and solutions provider that advises Ideafruit on all available technology and possible avenues of improvement that could best benefit their business.

“Our first order of business was to assess Ideafruit’s core digital infrastructure and identify any pain points and vulnerabilities,” explains Johannelie Bleksley, Managed Services Executive at First Technology Western Cape.

Beyond consultation, First Technology’s extensive network of industry-leading partners also allows them to implement every solution they highlight.

“We looked at the active directory and made various recommendations around patching, anti-virus services, servers, and the backup environment. Through gaining this deep insight, we were able to lay down a strong foundation for the digital infrastructure, including sub-management, server management, network management and digital security solutions”.

This full-spectrum offering means that First Technology can be leveraged as a single digital partner that provides insightful direction, robust IT support and a rich variety of digital transformation solutions.

As Blom put it: “With First Technology, I receive all the assistance I need under a single roof”.

A Growing Partnership and a Future Filled with Possibility

With an enhanced digital infrastructure driving Ideafruit’s operations, it can now fully leverage the power of digital and remain agile in the age of constant transformation. Additionally, with First Technology’s proactive assistance, Ideafruit has freed up valuable human energy to redirect to core business objectives.

“We believe all great work is driven by strong partnerships. We take great pride in helping businesses function to their true potential so that they can pursue their goals swiftly, efficiently, and with renewed passion,” says Fairoz Jaffer, Chief Technology Officer at First Technology.

About Ideafruit

Ideafruit is a specialist apple & pear company based in the Western Cape, South Africa that operates throughout the agricultural value chain. We spend our time growing, procuring,

cooling and packing the finest, freshest fruit from producers in the apple and pear region of

South Africa.

Here at Ideafruit we know that sustainability in the fruit industry lies in the value chain. Our

farmers spend 11 months growing the right fruit. Once harvested it will be sent to our

pack shed to be cooled, packed and dispatched to markets around the globe.

Our marketing division closes the gap between our farmer and the market by keeping customers informed of the coming harvest. They also source new markets and customers for producers based on the fruit size, colour and quality information being received from our technical team on the ground.

Each division plays a crucial role in ensuring we get the right fruit in the right carton into the right market at the right time.

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