Published on 27/11/2018 in Customer Stories
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There are always traders who think that e-commerce will one day be the death of their business. But not everyone agrees. Just take a look at Henk De Vlieger. “I admit I lead a double life: I run the ‘Slagerij Henk’ butcher’s shop in Mariakerke and I’m also developing deVersBox.be, a concept that is sold to local stores and enables them to benefit from digitalization, too.” Customers can place their orders via MeatTime.be. “My objective is threefold: to remedy the acute lack of professionals in our sector, to boost the digitalization of local stores and to demonstrate that it is possible to work more efficiently,” Henk confirms.
Henk’s project is based on three pillars: a webshop, refrigerators and controlled-access compartments. To implement his project, Henk sought and found an experienced partner: the company Beluma, which specializes in mechanical parts and access control solutions. “The first time I met Henk, I knew I was dealing with a born entrepreneur,” Pascal Thomas, General Manager at Beluma, acknowledges.
Order on line, collect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Watch the video to find out how to order via Meattime.be.
The next step is to create logistic hubs around towns and cities so as to limit the environmental footprint and boost synergies between traders.
Henk De Vlieger, manager of Henk butcher’s shop and inventor of deVersBox.be.
MeatTime is a practical response to various observations: people who are in search of more flexible opening hours, a profession that seems to attract fewer young people and the growing need for digitalization. Henk: “MeatTime extends the opening times for my customers, provides an incentive for young people (such as my son) and creates a digital trampoline for my colleagues: from the webshop to the marketing and the photos, everything is provided. If you don’t get on board the e-commerce train now, you may well miss it for good.”
Digitalization is no small matter and remains a major obstacle for many self-employed people who are nevertheless passionate about their field. “By not digitalizing their services, they oblige themselves to keep on working at a rhythm of about 70 hours a week. MeatTime offers a more efficient organization of their working time, benefiting a better work-life balance and a better customer experience,” says Pascal. “Our solution aims to extend the experience zone. By offering connected refrigerators at times when other butchers’ shops are closed, we give our customers tangible added value and we extend our presence for what is, all things considered, a limited – and above all automated - investment.”
Digitalization also results in better time management, benefiting the work-life balance and ensuring a better customer experience.
Pascal Thomas, General Manager at Beluma
The cooperation between Beluma and Henk resulted in a future-oriented platform. “We combined our electromechanical solutions with the Proximus M2M-technology and the cloud. The solution is modular and evolutive and works with both text messages and e-mail or RFID (radio-frequency identification),” Pascal explains. “As soon as the order has been paid for on line, it is automatically printed in the store. A refrigerated compartment is also automatically reserved so that the trader simply has to prepare the order and place it in the compartment. In the meantime, the customer receives his secure PIN code,” Henk says.