We have officially crossed the ocean. Mid-March, the first Lockblox units were shipped to Canada. Innovend entered into a partnership there with AgPro West Supply, supplier of egg machines and other agricultural tools. That company has become a distributor and has already sold the first Food Zuply lockers.

“It’s like a full sea container of Lockblox solutions,” Sander Sciarone and Bjorn Maatman explain. “Farms that sell fresh products straight from the barn and from the land. Thanks to our solution, that can be done without any staff. We offer unmanned solutions in 5 different branches and offer distribution in most European countries.

New revenue model

Sander and Bjorn see a lot of potential  in the Canadian market for Zuply products. “Starting with the agricultural market, just like it started with our distribution solutions here.”

They have noticed that there are quite a few similarities between the agricultural entrepreneurs there and here. “Many Canadian farmers have Dutch roots and automation in the sector is very advanced already, but that’s not all. They are also looking for ways to shorten the chain, and to create a new, additional revenue model by selling directly to customers.”

Custom software

The vending machine software didn’t need to be changed. “But you can’t simply copy everything. It starts with the language, of course. You also have to deal with other certifications, requirements, and with a different currency, of course”, Bjorn states. “The payment system had to be certified locally as well. In cooperation with AgPro, we managed to get all that done fairly quickly.”

They had to come up with a clever solution for the installation instructions due to the Coronavirus. “Because of the travel restrictions, we couldn’t go to Canada to explain our product. We solved that by making instruction videos in English, with a strong visual emphasis.”