Farm Fresh South supplies local raw and pasteurised milk that's been sustainably farmed using organic principles, spray free, without any chemical fertilizers. To avoid plastic, they distribute their milk in reusable glass bottles to retail businesses, foodservice and cafes from their boutique dairy farm in Woodlands, Invercargill. The dairy farm was founded by husband and wife Melissa and Logan Johnson with the motto "Better taste, better health, better planet".
We spoke with founder Logan Johnson about life before Upstock
Life managing our wholesale orders, deliveries and bottle collections before using Upstock was pretty chaotic, reliant on spreadsheets, Google calendars and memory. Just dealing with all the different entry points where our orders came from was challenging – text, email, phone calls or via the Foodstuffs Exchange. All recurring orders were manually managed via a Google calendar and new orders were tracked separately in an Excel spreadsheet plus we had a completely different system tracking deliveries. Needless to say, this complexity meant hours daily trying to manage, cross reference and extract the correct information for invoicing. We experienced the realities of human error and had investigated for some time how to centralise and streamline our supply chain from end-to-end.
Before Upstock, we managed Standing Orders via a Google calendar and I had to manually go through and key in all the orders. Now everything happens automatically. There's no manual entry at all.
Now we have all our customers set up with Standing Orders in Upstock. The great thing is, they get an email notification the day before the cutoff, so that gives them a reminder to go and check it and amend the order or approve it, or even cancel it if they need to.
And this is fantastic for our customers. It also means reduced risk of missing orders or human error. Back when we were managing Standing Orders manually, there'd be the odd time we'd just miss a customer completely and they'd be ringing up asking where their milk is. So this completely eliminates that risk and really streamlines the process for both parties.
What was it like managing Foodstuffs orders before using Upstock?
It was tricky and really time consuming to be honest. We had to go into the Exchange and go through each purchase order individually. We actually printed the Exchange purchase orders as a packing slip because we didn't have a specific packing slip to use for them.
Now with the Foodstuffs integration into Upstock we can easily turn around 30+ orders in minutes, all with compliant packing slips. With Upstock reference codes we’re able to track the orders right through the process – meaning little to no errors, fast order approvals and everything flows seamlessly to invoicing, so we’re saving a huge amount of time with no errors!
Have your invoicing and finance processes improved since using Xero and Upstock together?
Because we're a small team with people covering multiple tasks we would have customers chasing us for invoices and it was hard to get them done at the start of the month. But now with Upstock’s Xero Integration invoices are created automatically which is a huge time saver. Consolidated Invoices are also a fantastic feature as some of our customers have deliveries 3, 4, 5 times a week and they don't want invoices every single time. Now they have the option to receive one or two a month. This is a key differentiator which is hugely beneficial for both our customers and our team.
How did you discover Upstock?
Another local food producer mentioned Upstock. We were researching other solutions for over a year. Ultimately, Upstock provided a solution which is primarily so simple to use, but makes the entire end-to-end ordering process seamless for both the buyer and supplier.
It’s game changing for suppliers needing to manage high volume repeat orders and we would never go back now.
What does your team think of Upstock?
The team love it. We also do our own deliveries of milk and have our own reusable glass bottles. Our drivers use Upstock to amend the order on the go, keying in the number of empty bottles for returns – so the end-to-end process from order, delivery and collection is seamless.
If you were forced to go back to doing orders the way you used to before Upstock, what would you say?
I wouldn't! Looking back it added hours and hours to our schedule to gather the invoices and then complete invoices at the end of the month. Now everything is so straightforward, so easy. I couldn't fathom returning to that chaos now.
What would you say to someone considering using Upstock?
With Upstock what took me hours, now takes me minutes. I've saved time, seen critical end-to-end process improvement across our supply chain, so to those on the fence – just stop the excuses and get it done! You won’t look back.
Plans for the future
At the moment we provide whole milk in glass bottles plus milk taps for cafes and hospitality. So our goal is to have a hundred new milk taps installed in the next year to cafes around the bottom of the south island and to different venues. Moving forward we'll add other products like skim milk and cream. From there we'll look at butter whilst expanding further afield over the South Island over the next few years.
I wanted to mention that I've found the team at Upstock really helpful and the team has played a huge role in making life easier for us. If I've had any ideas or suggestions about the product or improvements needed there's keen interest in taking these onboard and making them happen.
Learn more and order today from Farm Fresh South