Sana Commerce builds online ordering portal for Food & Dairy Co
B2B eCommerce platform Sana Commerce says Sydney wholesaler Food & Dairy Co has gone live with its ERP integrated ordering portal.
Last year, Sana Commerce designed and deployed a new B2B online ordering portal for the leading food and beverage provider. Food & Dairy Co is a family-owned Australian company that supplies produce to restaurants and cafes across the Sydney region.
The new ordering infrastructure led to 82% of clients placing their orders online and a drop of 75% in the number of customer support calls.
Food & Dairy Co CFO Daniel Wickman says the strong growth experienced by the company during the past few years had put increasing pressure on its order-taking processes.
"Our customers tend to assess their stock needs after they close each evening," he says.
"This meant our staff had to process anywhere between 600 and 700 orders in a two-hour period, and this was becoming unsustainable."
A new order-processing platform
To overcome this challenge, in 2021, the company decided to deploy a more modern ERP system with a B2B e-commerce platform that would be intuitive and accessible to staff and customers.
"We decided we needed to move to an online-ordering system to streamline the processes and reduce the work burden on staff," says Wickman.
"We turned to our technology partner Microchannel for assistance and guidance."
After reviewing a range of alternatives, a decision was taken to deploy Microsoft Business Central and Sana Commerce.
Once the new ordering platform was up and running, Food & Dairy Co found it was quickly enjoying some sizable business benefits. Wickman says one of the most significant was the ability for customer service agents to spend more time in quality interactions with clients rather than simply taking product orders.
"We also quickly found that staff were wasting less time because of the improved workflows that are now in place," he says.
Although the initial implementation meant some customers required more onboarding than others, the end result meant the customer service team went from processing 500 orders in a day to only 120 per day.
Wickman said the new integrated platform also assisted the company with a shift to remote working.
"Prior to working on a cloud-based system, working from home meant having to remotely access the company server using independent software," he says.
The new platform has also improved the quality of data across the company. Agents know they can use information in Sana Commerce that will always be up-to-date and a relevant source of truth about customers and their interactions.
Another benefit is that customers can explore the entire product range before placing an order.
"The idea was to get the customers browsing and seeing our range," says Wickman.
"We've got 400 SKUs and we've probably got about 70 of them that everybody buys that are really popular. This number is now increasing."
While the Sana Commerce and Business Central deployment went smoothly, Wickman says he still learnt some relevant lessons during the process. The first was that up-front planning is crucial as it ensures the new technology will fully meet business requirements.
"It's also important not to rush the rollout. It's natural to be deeply invested in the outcome of a project like this, but it is vital to give the IT team as much time as required to complete the process," he says.
Wickman says Food & Dairy Co plans to continue looking for innovative ways in which the new Sana Commerce platform can be extended and enhanced in the coming months.
"We are confident we now have a scalable and flexible platform that can support our ongoing growth," he says.