Franky Fresh Food has been part of the FOOD department of the Willy Naessens Group since 2007. As part of its strategic pillar of digitization, more and more attention is being paid to onboarding suppliers via EDI for order forms, invoices and packing slips. In addition, sister company Meat Atelier is also switching to EDI from Descartes.

“In the last year I have been pushing more and more to implement the entire process from ORDER to DESADV and INVOIC for as many of our suppliers as possible. This is a logical development within the context of digitization.”

Kathleen Vandeplassche, IT Manager at Willy Naessens Groiup

Challenge: Expanding EDI for order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes

Since 2013, EDI was already well established within Franky Fresh Food. This was due to the fact that the major retailers demanded suppliers to use EDI. In addition, EDI has also been used for the ordering process for about five years. Kathleen Vandeplassche, IT Manager at Willy Naessens Food says: “In the past year I have been pushing more and more to implement the entire process from ORDER to DESADV and INVOIC for as many of our suppliers as possible. This is a logical development within the context of digitization.”

It is not easy to find a good provider to successfully roll out an EDI project. Rather than the price, it is about the partnership and trust. Kathleen Vandeplassche could count on the existing good cooperation with Descartes. This also applies to the expansion to the sister company Meat Atelier, which also needed automation with EDI.

Solution: B2B messaging

Since 2013, Franky Fresh Food has been able to rely on the successful use of EDI for orders. This already meant time savings for the company, a reduced margin of error and unambiguous information.

For the digitization of the processes with suppliers, Franky Fresh Food first focused on the invoices for goods. With EDI and extra built-in checks, invoices are matched faster with the goods received. Since a year, Kathleen Vandeplassche, IT Manager for Willy Naessens Group - Food, has gone one step further: partly because Franky Fresh Food has plans for a new logistics center, she also wants to have the DESADV, the digital packing slip, sent via EDI. Once employees have mastered the DESADV, it is even easier to match the invoices with the receptions. And so the path is paved for the successful and more efficient operation within an automated logistics center.

Looking back, Kathleen Vandeplassche states: “I know from experience that an EDI project can sometimes be an agony. And I was cautious when I started in the company given the plans for expanding EDI. But thanks to the good cooperation with Descartes, I had nothing to worry about. There was no need to change providers at all.”

Even though many suppliers have now switched to EDI, Kathleen Vandeplassche still has a lot of work to do. Onboarding the remaining suppliers still takes up about half of her time. On the other hand, she now also sees a strongly growing demand from customers for the use of EDI for invoicing. This mainly concerns larger chains with an ERP that see the benefits of EDI.

For the introduction of EDI at sister company Meat Atelier, Kathleen Vandeplassche also chose to work with Descartes. Because the messages, the settings and the use of the platform were familiar, the choice for Descartes as the provider was obvious.

As a tip for a successful EDI project, Kathleen Vandeplassche emphasizes that she makes good agreements with companies right from the start to onboard them for the entire inbound and outbound process. Sometimes companies do not see the benefits of both sides of the process or do not consider them relevant, but getting messages back via EDI also facilitates the operation on the part of Franky Fresh Food.

Choosing a provider is certainly not just about the price, but about cooperation and reliability. For Kathleen Vandeplassche, the good cooperation in trust reflects the 'unburdening' that Descartes puts first in the implementation and follow-up of EDI projects.


Time savings - less need for checks and corrections, and reduced administrative burden with EDI.

Lower error margin - automation means less manual intervention and therefore less risk of errors.

Reduced processing costs - less manual handling, less paper and fewer corrective actions lower costs and reduce environmental footprint.

Standardization - GS1 ensures unambiguous data exchange.

Success Story
Franky Fresh Food


Vandenbogaerde opts for scalable EDI communication

The entire order-to-cash process is automatic and can handle more without putting pressure on the administration.

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