Track and trace produce with unrivalled accuracy - LINKFRESH ERP's Consignment Engine


In our last download, we explored a very specific usage of fresh produce ERP - accurately gauging production costs. While in itself a valuable use for the technology, especially for growers, it is just an example of the tracking and tracing capabilities of ERP.

LINKFRESH 365 ERP solutions come complete with an industry-leading ‘Consignment Engine’ that tracks all items coming into a fresh produce organisation.

Tracking and tracing

With complex and often fragmented supply chains something all fresh produce businesses must deal with, accurate tracking and tracing is more important than ever.

In the fresh produce industry, those at the start of the supply chain have very limited control over pricing. This is why tracking and tracing cost is so important. Because pricing is primarily dictated by retailers, fresh produce businesses must assess their operations in reverse to gauge their profitability.

For instance, growers simply do not have the flexibility to raise prices for produce that is more costly to grow. Instead, they need to have a handle on all resources traveling through the business and the costs associated with each one - this is vital to making smart decisions to increase efficiency and maximise return on investment.

LINKFRESH Consignment Engine

The Consignment Engine of LINKFRESH’s ERP is set up to trace individual consignments from the moment they enter a business to the time they exit it. In essence, the feature tracks and records three factors:

  1. What was bought - A consignment includes every item that was received from a single purchase or a group of purchase orders received over a period of time. A consignment can include any number of units of an item, big or small.
  2. How it was processed - This is perhaps the key step. The Consignment Engine records exactly how each consignment was used (i.e. as a component in a product later sold) and crucially any processing costs accrued as a result. It records and allocates the costs incurred, as well as allowing you to capture budget entries for later analysis
  3. How it was sold - This goes far beyond what you might find on a regular invoice. Costs are recorded not by what left the business but in relation to what was initially bought. For instance, if the initial consignment was used towards several different final products, this will be noted as will the proportion of each sale assigned to the initial consignment.


Key benefits

LINKFRESH is the only ERP system to apportion cost back to a consignment receipt. This allows fresh produce businesses to trace any and all expenses back to the consignment they originated from.

While also sometimes known as Grower Accounting, LINKFRESH’s Consignment Engine provides value for fresh produce businesses of all types. The benefits are most obvious for growers, but packers and distributors can also benefit from discovering the costs associated with processing different lines of produce.

LINKFRESH ERP also incorporates a Consignment Pooling feature. This is useful for gauging the overall success of a larger group of products. This works by pooling a co-operative of grower products and calculating returns based on the performance of this pool.

The ultimate purpose of the Consignment Engine is to determine all costs incurred throughout the supply chain and all income received per consignment. It’s this ability to capture data from all stages of supply chains that offers real value to fresh produce businesses - by giving you profitability reporting by Purchase SKU, Vendor, Sold SKU and Customer per LOT received per consignment.

Forming rules through data

A considerable practical benefit of the Consignment Engine is the ability it gives fresh producers to create rules and learn the most profitable vendors and wholesalers. For instance, take this simplified example:

  1. Through data, a grower learns that Crop A is most profitable when raw materials are purchased from Supplier X and sold to wholesaler Y. 
  2. However, the Consignment Engine also tells them that this selling strategy is only most profitable when yield is above Q%. When it is below, more profit can be made by selling to wholesaler Z.
  3. Finally, the grower learns that when the yield does fall below Q%, they will recoup more money by focusing more attention on growing Crop B instead.

To learn more about the LINKFRESH Consignment Engine, as well as how our ERP solutions can transform your business, why not start a conversation with our team by emailing us at

White Paper  Using Fresh ERP to track your cost of production Download