How Food Huggers Fulfilled 98% of Orders on Time When Sales Surged 1,679%
CREATING THE OPERATIONAL AGILITY TO FULFILL SPIKING SALES VOLUMES
Food Huggers’ reusable food savers help reduce single-use plastic at home. While demand among eco-conscious consumers is always high, the brand experiences regular viral moments where thousands of extra products need to be shipped in days!
Before they found Skubana, an Extensiv company, meeting those spikes in order volume was a huge operational challenge. Food Huggers had no central visibility of their multi-warehouse inventory, relied on painfully manual processes to reroute orders, and lacked clean data and insights to plan and forecast effectively.
The business partnered with Skubana to automate more of its order and inventory management and give them the operational certainty to scale.
The benefits of the partnership speak for themselves:
- Food Huggers unified its entire landscape of marketplaces, warehouses, and inventory together on one platform
- They eliminated 8hrs of manual workload every week, which they now invest into growth-focused priorities
- They have the tools to expand warehousing and sales channels as far as they want, knowing they can plug Skubana directly in and fulfill orders with no problems
We talked to Food Huggers Director of Operations Juliana Brasil, to hear more about the order ‘overwhelm’ they felt before engaging Skubana—and how much better things are today.
Q: Managing inventory and stock availability is a challenge for every ecommerce business. What unique challenges did Food Huggers face?
JULIANA: To realize our mission of getting more products into people’s houses—and replacing single-use plastics—we needed to be able to handle the big viral events that were increasingly happening to our brand. To do that, we needed to manage our inventory across multiple warehouses, and have agility into where to fulfill orders from. Unfortunately, our previous system linked our point of sale to just two main warehouses. When it did that, we didn’t have the stock there to fulfill them. As a result, we had to reroute thousands of orders, which was a painfully manual process.
Q: What was actually involved for your ops team in manually rerouting orders?
JULIANA: The team had to manually export all the orders that were at those specific 3PLs and couldn’t be fulfilled, and then import them into specific warehouses that could fulfill them. There was a lot of manual data manipulation involved, and anytime you have humans in Google sheets, you have opportunities for error. It also created a lot of lost time. We weren't able to fulfill orders as quickly, because all that manual work had to be done on the backend. We just needed to be much more agile.
Q: Were there any other reasons why you felt now was the time to improve how you managed inventory and orders?
JULIANA: We wanted more transparency on stock levels and availability, so we could understand its value and impact on cashflow. We also wanted better data and cleaner reporting, so we could plan and forecast more effectively.But regardless if you’re a burgeoning brand or an established ecommerce seller, when customers can quickly locate and review your products on Amazon, your company is sure to stand out in a sea of competitors. By making an effort to clean up and take control of your Amazon listings, you can actively monitor your inventory, respond to issues, and provide superior customer service. But first, let's start with understanding what a product listing is and why it's a key component of driving sales.
Q: Why did you choose Skubana and what gave you confidence they were the right choice?
JULIANA: We researched a few different tools, but what we liked about Skubana was how easily it could intertwine in our ecosystem. Skubana's ability to connect to Shopify, 3PL Warehouse Manager, and CartRover meant it had all the integrations we needed. We also had a great account manager, who gave us all the time we needed. We had a ton of calls with him and he ran training sessions, which were really helpful in our onboarding.
Q: How does Skubana help you achieve more as a business?
JULIANA: Skubana enables all our apps and systems to speak to our partners’ systems, which has transformed how we manage our inventory and orders. We can see our entire landscape of products, channels, and warehouses from a single platform, and automate manual processes with a few clicks. All of this reduces inefficiency, makes us more agile, and supports our growth.
Q: Now you have more transparency into your inventory, how are you leveraging that for good?
JULIANA: The first step was to have transparency and see how much inventory we have at all our warehouses at the same time, and its value. Once we got there, we started using that information to drive efficiencies. We use Skubana’s automations to tell us, based on sales velocity, time of year, and product launches, when to restock our warehouses by sales channel. 3PLs have varying costs, and Skubana allows us to take advantage of the more inexpensive option at any given time. Skubana’s automations also tell us which orders we need to reroute to which warehouse, without any of the manual workload from before. On top of that, we can look at sales profitability by channel. So when stock is limited, we can decide to allocate stock to the most profitable channel, which is an important part of staying competitive.
Q: Do the integrations and automations that Skubana provides really save your team time?
JULIANA: We save at least five hours a week just from automating the task of rerouting orders to warehouses which have stock available to fulfill. We also utilize the forecasting features in Skubana to manage our FBA stock and automate Amazon shipments, which saves a few hours a day. Across rerouting, forecasting, and other automations, we save at least a day a week which our team can spend on other growth and customer-focused priorities.
Q: How does Skubana help you achieve your sustainability mission?
JULIANA: Being warehouse-agile allows us to reduce the distance that we're shipping to customers, which helps reduce our CO2 emissions.
Skubana also helps us spread our mission of replacing plastic, because we can sell and fulfill to more people. This helps us get Food Huggers into more houses, which means less people are using plastic.
Q: Have you had any sales spikes since implementing Skubana—and did it actually make you more agile?
JULIANA: We’ve had a couple of different viral events. In one recent viral explosion—when sales surged 1,679%—we successfully processed and routed 2k+ extra orders to the optimum warehouse and fulfilled 98% of orders on time. We had transparency on where the orders were going. When one warehouse was out of stock, we were able to flip a switch, toggle the orders to the warehouse that did have the stock for it. Skubana allowed us to do that.
Q: Would you recommend Skubana to other operations leaders?
JULIANA: If your business gets to a point of growth where you’re spending more time putting out fires than actually growing your business, Skubana will fix those problems and get you ready to scale.
With Skubana in place, when we want to open a new marketplace or warehouse, we can do it with much less hesitation, worry or fear. Skubana isn’t inexpensive, but it's 1,000% worth the cost if you want to handle growth and scale without fear.
READY TO DELIVER, ANY TIME THEY GO VIRAL...
Food Huggers no longer feels worried and overwhelmed at the prospect of an out-of-the-blue sales spike. With systems and software unified, they’re always ready to go.
With Skubana, Food Huggers has the tools and confidence to scale, knowing order flows will be seamless and customer happy. They’re determined to unlock more of Skubana’s potential, and unleash more automation and forecasting power to continue to be a massive player in sustainable living—and keep making the world a better place.