Manual processes stifling their ability to scale
Will Crowthers, co-founder of Jade Leaf Matcha, knew he needed to run his company’s operations like a well-oiled machine if he was going to grow the brand and get his tea into more customers’ cupboards.
But like most early-stage start-ups, several cumbersome processes—from sales orders through to fulfillment—were sucking up valuable work hours and taking their leaders away from value-added, growth-focused tasks.
Order management resembled a game of pinball. Will would have to rifle through emails to round up orders, then jump in and out of different systems to manually log them in Excel spreadsheets, as well as with their logistics provider.
Adding even more complexity was the fact that orders from brick-and-mortar stores were handled in different systems and portals than Amazon (FBA) orders.
With so much vital data scattered across so many locations, Will had no central view and no clear picture of his operations. And with no easy way to track orders either, achieving accurate fulfillment involved hours of long-winded spreadsheet hopping and a sprinkling of guesswork.
Will was even typing out invoices for every order manually, which sucked up even more of his time.
As the business focused on opening up more retail doors, Will knew he had to get a handle on every single operational inefficiency. If he didn’t, the only way he’d be able to meet growing order volumes would be with expensive new hires.
To safeguard the future health of his business, Will had to urgently find a way to make his operations leaner and meaner.
“We were starting to expand and dramatically increase our sales.
I could just foresee a point in time where we were going to have this collision course.
We’d be trying to open up more doors, but still trying to handle everything in a very manual and long-winded way.”
Control and transparency across every corner of the supply chain
While Will was eager to centralize and automate his operations management, he felt nervous about the costs involved. In particular, implementing EDI connections, which were notoriously expensive.
After considering several software options, one platform clearly stood out for Will—Unioncrate.
He was impressed with the company’s transparent pricing, cost-effective EDI, and a team that was packed with CPG experience and focused on adapting their platform to meet his needs.
While competitors’ products lacked flexibility, Unioncrate allowed Will to pick and choose the functions and integrations that added value for the business—and there were no pushy reps trying to upsell him on more than he needed.
After a quick onboarding process, that came with zero disruption to the business, Will was able to make time and cost efficiencies across every inch of his operations, including:
- Single, centralized view of all his orders and inventory.
With total control and transparency of all aspects of the supply chain—and online and offline orders finally in one place—it’s quick and simple to stay on top of his stock, and ensure he delivers exceptionally high service levels.
- Cost-effective EDI connections implemented fast.
Unioncrate contacted Will’s customers to set up connections, starting with his biggest partner first. So straight out the gate, he became EDI-compliant, which opened new doors and new opportunities for the business.
- Tailored integrations that work for his business.
Will opted for Unioncrate’s QuickBooks integration to automate purchase orders and invoicing. He also took advantage of the platform’s warehouse integration, which makes it easy to monitor inventory and move it across different locations.
- Product tracking along the entire supply chain.
Will has instant and complete visibility of where his orders are, from processing to delivery, without the weighty paper trail of before.
So in a matter of weeks, Will saw his processes automated and simplified beyond recognition.
With so much friction and frustration consigned to the past, the task of scaling the business, and growing the brand, felt more achievable than ever.
“Unioncrate genuinely wanted to learn about our business and showed us they wanted to adapt the tool to our needs.
They’re so responsive and easy to talk to, and all the things you look for in a true and sincere partner.”
39 workdays recovered and $50k+ saved per year
Since implementing Unioncrate, Jade Leaf Matcha has dramatically scaled its business, without needing to make extra hires or facing costly overheads.
With the platform in place, they’ve increased their orders tenfold, from 200 to 2,000 a week.
While it used to take Will six hours to process 80 orders, thanks to Unioncrate he can do 200+ in under two hours. That’s more than twice the workload in a third of the time.
Automating their invoicing has recovered a further 2 hours a week. All those saved hours combined add up to 39 workdays injected back into the business, which Will and his team now spend on tasks that directly fuel their growth.
Without Unioncrate, Will estimates they’d have needed to hire a junior supply manager with a salary between $50-65k just to manage current order levels. As they sell more matcha, that saving will continue to multiply.
Implementing EDI connections through Unioncrate has brought massive cost savings. Where traditional connections cost upwards of thousands of dollars to establish—and hundreds more to manage—Unioncrate connects Will with his partners for $1 per month per connection.
Aside from the mindblowing time and cost efficiencies, Will hugely appreciates the five-star customer support he gets. He says that Unioncrate continues to treat him like family. And whenever he asks for extra functionality, the team often has it implemented within a week.
Unioncrate gave Will bang for his buck right out the gates. They help him stay leaner than his competitors and run a thriving multi-million-dollar business with a team of just five.