Toronto-based Invafresh was the first company to offer a fully centralized, multi-vendor back-office scale management solution to the marketplace in 2003.

Scale management enabled grocery retailers to save on labor, reduce manual error, ensure scale up time, and manage all scale vendor solutions, through one single software platform, said Stephen Midgely, the company’s vice president of marketing.

“These benefits were the impetus for us launching a scale management solution to the market, and they remain key benefits today,” he said. “Invafresh continues to be the category leader in scale management software 20 years later and we manage more scales at more retailers than any other software provider in grocery.” 

Some of the key advantages for retail grocers for having scale management software include:

  • Ensuring consistent data such as pricing, item, and labelling information across the retailer’s entire chain of stores
  • Reduced labor requirements as 1,000’s of scales can be managed by very few administrators (and in some cases a single administrator). This allows in-store employees to spend more time focusing on serving their customers.
  • Ensuring scale label data meets with grocery regulatory requirements
  • Controlling scale pricing/data centrally, preventing in-store price overrides 

Any scale management solution, Midgely said, must manage all scale data correctly to ensure customers know their food is safe and meets their nutritional needs.

“Fresh labelling is critical to ensuring success for both retailers and their customers as both rely on the accuracy of pricing and item data on the package, and that it will be captured accurately at the point of sale,” he said. “Whether producing cut meat in deli, cut fruit in fresh or wrapping steaks in a meat wrapper, scale management data must be accurate across all scales in order to provide customers with a quality level of service.”

Invafresh is seeing an increased move towards technology as a means to optimize in-store processes and counter some of the macrotrends experienced by retailers coming out of the pandemic, such as inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain issues, Midgely said.

That said, technology is also playing an increasingly important role in merchandising, from the use of prescriptive analytics to in-store display ads. It’s no different when it comes to the evolution of scale management technology.

“There is an opportunity for retailers to rethink scale management as an emerging merchandising tool – more effective labels designed to attract and inform consumers,” Midgely said. “We’re seeing the use of QR codes, enhanced safe handling and traceability information, for example, being added to labels to better connect and inform shoppers.”

Fresh is where Invafresh excels, Midgely said — and it’s where retailers make their margin.

Invafresh’s scale management solution supports all major scale vendors, providing retailers with the flexibility to support different scale manufacturers and stay current on the most recent scale functionality without having to purchase proprietary software, he added.

“The Invafresh Scale Management Platform delivers better uptime for all scales across our retailers as they are able to leverage our scale monitoring and self-healing capabilities,” Midgely said. “SMP includes proactive alerting and advanced reporting to maximize the uptime of retailers’ scale networks. It also supports the transfer of data beyond scales to kiosks, electronic shelf labels, ecommerce platforms, and more.”