Change is constant at Ozone Coffee and Eatery. With shipping disruptions, floods, access to produce and rising food costs, the coffee roastery and restaurant with locations in New Plymouth, Auckland and London, is changing its menus more frequently to be flexible in these tumultuous times.
Patrick Watson, the Auckland Eatery Manager, says using Upstock has saved so much time he would have spent finding and chasing down new suppliers.
“Upstock is our go-to for finding new suppliers. If there are two suppliers with the same products and one of them has their own portal, and the other is on Upstock, we’ll go with the Upstock guys, purely because it’s so much easier.”
Most recently, Ozone used the Upstock sample store to experiment with finding a new tea supplier.
“We had a non-Upstock supplier we were thinking of using, but they were often delayed or unresponsive to emails and calls. With Upstock, we’re getting suppliers sending us samples to see who’s got a great product and who can deliver it without the hassle.”
Patrick says it’s easier to carve out time in his day to scope out what’s fresh and new.
“With everything in Upstock, it’s like having a virtual rep who’s always available when I’m ready. Now when I do spend time talking to reps in person, I can actually get more value out of that time and they have more time to showcase their products for us.”
More from our chat with Patrick Watson:
How has Upstock simplified your way of working?
About a year ago I came to Ozone from a similar role at a different company. We weren't using Upstock there. It was that very old-school way of having to call each supplier, send an email or find their email address. And to keep track of that we had just a spreadsheet, printed out where we got everything wrong. It would be like “Oh they [a supplier] don’t stock that anymore” and we’d scribble that on a bit of paper kept by the phone.
With Upstock, it means you don't have to go to the office, you don't have to go to a desk out the back. Everything just runs off an iPad. We've got five iPads in our working space on the floor, all of those have Upstock loaded onto them. As a good millennial, I live on my iOS device, so it’s all very familiar ‘Click on your favourites – add all the stuff’. ‘When you run out of beer, click on this one, when you're out of napkins, click this one’. I've also got the app on my phone, so I can do a lot of stuff on the fly.
When I got this new role as Eatery Manager, Upstock made it super easy to find my feet. It eliminated all the extra complication of learning a whole list of suppliers. It was all there for me – I could see all our suppliers, all the products we order from them, and I could look back at every order we’ve done to date.
What’s your favourite thing about Upstock?
I love my customers, that's why I work weekends. That's why I work long hours. So I can spend time one-on-one with customers. That's what gets me out of bed in the morning. With Upstock I’m saving at least two hours a week that would otherwise be managing lists and spreadsheets. I can now spend that time out front with customers and that makes me really happy.
What’s Ozone’s brand story and how do you make that work for customers across your sites in Auckland, New Plymouth and your four eateries in East London?
We’re a coffee roaster from a little surf town on the west coast of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. We've been around for a little over 25 years roasting coffee. Being the ultimate coffee host is our purpose. That means providing our wholesale customers with the best coffee beans available and the best service to make sure that they are putting out the best coffee for their customers. It's the same in our own spaces. It’s about just making sure everyone who comes into our space has the best possible time. With the best possible coffee? We do have to cater differently to our clients a little bit, but we try to be authentic selves. We find that is what works. We don't try to be a chameleon.