From homemade beginnings
Spotting a gap in Sydney’s cold-pressed juice market, Allie’s began as a homemade venture to fulfil a need for a convenient, healthy and delicious drink without added sugar, stevia, preservatives or concentrate. After testing her juices on family, friends, colleagues, and the café in her office building, and receiving resoundingly positive feedback, Allie took her creations to Marrickville Farmers Market, where they quickly sold out.
To cold-pressed juices for caterers, retailers, cafes, hotels and restaurants
From its humble beginnings selling to locals at Farmers Markets, six years on, Allie’s Cold Pressed Juices are a brand recognised and respected throughout Australia. Allie now supplies her unique blends to catering companies, retailers, upmarket restaurants, hotels including Hilton, Hyatt and Sheraton; and even Instagram’s celebrated patisserie chain, Black Star Pastry. Made through a special slow-juicing method and cold pasteurisation process, Allie’s blends have an extended shelf life and enable cafes, restaurants and hotels to serve clean and delicious juices year-round, without having to make them in-house.
Facing the challenges of scaling
Allie Szwarcberg-Poch, the founder and general manager of Allie’s Cold Pressed Juices (or Allie’s for short) has her hands in every part of the business, from operations, to sales, marketing, and distribution. She closely felt both the excitement and the pain of scaling her business, and particularly felt the struggle around how to accurately and efficiently forecast their inventory.
For the first few years, inventory planning was a daunting process, which required a lot of time and oversight from Allie and several other people in the team.
The pitfalls of manual inventory planning
Braian, Allie’s husband and business partner, came on board with Allie’s Cold Pressed Juices soon after it started. Confident with spreadsheets, Braian took on the task of handling the inventory forecasting.
However, Allie admits that, even though Braian is “good with an Excel spreadsheet” they still faced plenty of issues. When doing inventory forecasting through a spreadsheet, the risk of human error is high, and it’s difficult to have complete faith in the algorithm. As Allie explains:
“One data entry error when punching in the values in Excel had a detrimental impact on our ordering process.”
Due to the nature of both their product and industry, Allie’s need to forecast their inventory and order what they need two to three months in advance. Accurate inventory forecasting is critical for their cash flow and to reduce wastage.
For Allie’s, understocking is more painful than overstocking though. Understocking means letting down caterers, cafes, hotels, restaurants and retailers – damaging Allie’s cash flow and their reputation for excellent customer service.
Managing seasonality and spikes in demand
Producing and selling a product that also experiences spikes of demand in summer meant they also needed:
“Software or a platform that actually recognised our business isn’t identical all-year round.”
Finding StockTrim: A seamless and fool-proof platform
It was six months ago, in August 2019, when Allie first came across the inventory forecasting software, StockTrim. She noticed it was a cloud-based system that integrated with her existing stock management system, Unleashed.
With StockTrim, Allie explains that she has confidence in the accuracy of the information and insights that the software provides. The simple and clean interface disguises the clever technology behind it, and Allie found the transition from spreadsheet to StockTrim seamless and fool-proof.
Ordering stock now takes Allie’s fifteen minutes a week, compared to the previous two hours per week they used to spend. Plus, where it used to take several people to watch over the purchasing and inventory forecasting, StockTrim eliminates uncertainty and guesswork, which means the purchasing is now entrusted to one person and can be done at the press of a button.
For Allie’s, another benefit to using StockTrim is the confidence to pursue and market the best-selling blends. On the other end of the spectrum, the clever inventory insights mean they can reduce or stop the blends that are slow moving.
“We try to keep a very tight range of products. StockTrim tells us what’s slow moving stock.”
StockTrim helps remove the emotion from their decisions and look at their product offering objectively. At a strategic level, these insights have been invaluable because it informs decisions on whether they should: “come up with a new recipe or discontinue” which: “encourages innovation in product development”.
Market research without the surveys
StockTrim also gives Allie’s a gauge on what the market thinks without investing the time and money on actually surveying people.
Join Allie’s and many others with StockTrim’s smart, automated inventory planning
Are you like Allie’s and ready to scale, innovate, gain insights into the market without the surveys, entrust your purchasing and forecasting to one person, and manage seasonal fluctuations with ease?
Give StockTrim a go now.