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Erudus and Merlin Integration: Wholesaler's View

Last month we gave you a preview of the new API integration between Erudus and ERP software house Merlin. Now we’re digging a bit deeper to see exactly how this new partnership is helping Merlin’s customers.

We spoke to Phil Nicholson, Sales & Marketing Manager of Q Catering to see the venture from a Wholesaler’s point of view…

Q Catering and their business needs

Phil says: “Q Catering Supplies are proud to have been serving the catering trade for the last 17 years throughout Kent, Surrey & East Sussex.

Operating from our depot in Sittingbourne, our 16 multi-temp vehicles serve all sectors of the catering industry including schools, cafes, pubs, restaurants, care homes, contract caterers, delicatessens and many more.

We currently carry over 3000 lines from Frozen Foods, Chilled Meats & Cheeses, Ambient Products through to Disposables and Cleaning essentials. We offer a ‘one stop shop’ to many of our customers.

We pride ourselves on our standards of customer care and service through our team of friendly staff that are always available to offer help and advice.

We’re also a proud member of Fairway Foodservice – a network of independent food distributors and foodservice wholesalers servicing the catering industry throughout the UK, Eire and on the Spanish Costas and Balearic Islands.”

Q Catering Lorries

The features Q Catering find most useful

Phil says: “All of the features Erudus provides have been useful to us, but the most commonly used feature amongst our customer base is the Allergen & Nutritional Data Search. For the field sales team, Erudus has been key to expanding our business: Being able to offer customers access to Erudus has proven to be incredibly valuable in terms of opening new accounts, and moreover retaining them. The Recipe Builder and Menu Planner is very popular with end users, and of course once all their data has been input its key to them that they continue to have access – which is uninterrupted all the time they are trading with Q Catering.”

How they’re benefiting from an Erudus and Merlin integration

Phil says: “Our office and telesales team are frequent users [of Erudus], and now that the API link has pulled through relevant allergen and nutritional data and imagery into Merlin, they are in a position where they can answer product questions literally at the click of a button.

Reps in the field benefit from the same luxury, as they can research product data whilst using Merlin – instead of having to open up Erudus separately, or make unnecessary telephone calls to colleagues. It also helps us greatly in our advancement towards online ordering and a transactional web presence.”

Merlin & Erudus Integration

What they’d like to see in the future from Erudus

Phil says: “We are hoping that the next stages of Erudus development contain some form of costing capability. At this stage customers are using other allergen and nutritional analysis software options that include such elements as stock management systems (by value) and GP calculators. These software packages do not contain the in-depth data pool held by Erudus and caterers are having to add the extra cost of a secondary system in order to prove their financials.”

Here’s what Merlin had to say about what the integration means for their customers

Ashley Jones, Sales and Marketing Director of Merlin says: “The food and drink distribution industry has been a key market sector for us since the early days of the business, and we’ve recognised the vital importance for our customers to have instant access to accurate and up to date product information on ingredients and allergens; so we jumped at the chance to develop an Erudus integration with one of our customers.”

Erudus COO Jon Shayler these partnerships will make the industry stronger

Jon says “I’m pleased to welcome Merlin into the integration partnership fold, and look forward to seeing their customers reap the benefits.

Integration partnerships such as this allow us to push food product data even further across the industry, supporting brands, wholesalers and caterers alike.

All of the team at Erudus are looking forward to seeing the benefits our mutual customers will unlock over the coming months, and we’d like to thank the development team at Merlin for their efforts in making this happen so quickly. It’s a time-consuming process for the foodservice chain to manage product specification data, and exploring options with companies such as Merlin allows us to reach more people and make their life easier.

We’re thrilled about Merlin’s integration with the Erudus Data Pool – it reinforces our commitment to partner with software providers in order to push product data further afield within the food industry.

This is another significant step forward in making a single source of truth reach further across the food industry.”

Find out more about the Erudus and Merlin API integration here.

Find out more about Q Catering here.