In the food industry it seems like there are almost as many food categories as their are foods. Fresh foods, organic fresh foods, frozen foods, processed foods, energy drinks, sodas, etc. You get the idea. Fishbowl has customers in all these markets, and how they purchase, manufacture, package, and sell their products can vary tremendously across these niches. So how about a specialty organic tea supplier?
Teas Etc. was established in August of 1998. According to the Teas Etc. website, “After a great cup of premium loose leaf tea on her honeymoon, Beth Johnston quit her job to pursue tea.” That’s how Teas Etc. got started and since then they have established themselves as a premier importer of organic teas and, in 2009, won the “World Tea Championship Tea Sampler” category with two of their black teas winning in their respective categories. Teas Etc. is the first female-owned company to win that honor. Additionally, Teas Etc. is FDA registered as a USDA National Organic Certified supplier of tea. Teas Etc. now offers a wide variety of organic teas and it sells online, both retail and wholesale.
When Teas Etc. initially contacted Fishbowl they had been using QuickBooks® for years to track their inventory. According to Beth, “QuickBooks just wasn’t cutting it.” In particular, they were having a difficult time knowing when to reorder specific “base” teas that were used in the manufacture of 40 different products spread across 200 SKUs. For example, their World Champion Assam Reserve tea (shown on the left) is a blend of multiple teas and organic flavorings, only one of which is the base tea, which is used in multiple blends, with differing amounts per blend. Buying the correct amount of base teas to meet demand across all products and packaging types was a daunting task. As Beth put it, “Finding out you were out of something AFTER it was needed was a real pain.”
With Fishbowl Inventory’s Bill of Materials (BOM for the hardcore manufacturers out there) capabilities, Teas Etc. was able to create a recipe for each blend, including the required packaging materials for each specific product. Then, as product was sold and batches were scheduled to fulfill demand, Fishbowl Inventory would accurately calculate the total required amount of each base tea and accumulate the amounts onto a single Purchase Order for easy reordering. Additionally, with Fishbowl Inventory’s Part Report, a given base tea (or any component part for that matter) could be filtered, and all products that require that ingredient in their production will be listed in the report, along with the required quantity or amount. This was a huge help as Teas Etc. tried to get a handle on their reorder process.
Fishbowl Inventory now has an ABC report that automatically lists the amount of various components (teas, in this case) sold directly in bulk, or used in the manufacture of any other product, and over any given time frame. The A products are the ones accounting for 80 percent of demand, B products 15 percent, and C products 5 percent. And the report includes the option to include anything used just in manufacturing, just in sales, or both. Cool.
Read the full Teas Etc. case study here.
Till next time…
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Grant Kimball is currently serving as vice president, partner relations and is one of the founders of Fishbowl. Grant joined the original Fishbowl team in 2001 and has filled many roles in, or related to, sales. Previous to his current role, he was vice president of sales and marketing. Grant brings 24 years of sales experience to Fishbowl, primarily in technology-related fields. In 2003, Grant helped steer Fishbowl towards integration with QuickBooks, the popular accounting package from Intuit Corporation. Since 2003, Fishbowl has focused on this relationship and is currently the #1-requested add-on software solution for QuickBooks users out of approximately 300 software packages. Besides the relationship with Intuit, Grant is also responsible for developing Fishbowl’s growing resellers program, which he is currently managing, and now accounts for over 20% of Fishbowl’s total sales. Grant earned a Master’s in Computer Integrated Manufacturing from Brigham Young University and a Bachelor’s in Operations Management from Cal Poly, Pomona.