Rutherford & Meyer make popular crackers and fruit pastes – you probably have some in your pantry and fridge right now. At first, the main attraction to using Upstock was the integration with Foodstuffs, to provide major time savings and the improved workflow, to eliminate expensive mistakes. But almost immediately the marketing impact of Upstock came as an unexpected bonus – and it was a major one.
Simon Allen, National Sales Manager, says he never anticipated he’d be using Upstock as a marketing tool.
“We knew we’d save time on invoicing, but we didn’t expect it would be such a great marketing tool. We’re loving the access we have to new customers. We’ve had people reach out to us who weren't customers of ours, who just found us on Upstock and now they’re stocking our products.”
When it comes to marketing, how they spend every dollar has to be just as creative as the latest delicious flavour combo they’ve dreamed up. It's always a challenge to get new products in front of customers without a massive budget – so being on Upstock has been an extremely cost effective way to reach both existing customers and a very large audience of ideal prospects.
“In the very competitive snack market, any assistance in marketing our products is fantastic. On one hand, because we’re smaller we can move quicker, be innovative and be first to market. However, on the flip side, we don't have huge resources to market new products.”
Since becoming available in Upstock, Simon has been impressed with the high visibility brand and product exposure R&M is getting in front of thousands of wholesale buyers.
“With Newsfeeds in Upstock we can share updates about a new product, or product range to promote it. It’s a really impressive way to reach such a large audience. On top of that, Upstock is always doing campaigns that send new customers our way. There’s really nothing else like it for reaching wholesale customers.”
Simon said he wishes Upstock existed a long time ago, because it would have made it so much easier to reach a larger customer base.
“If you're looking to expand and don't have a large network of customers, then it’s a really good opportunity to put Upstock’s marketing tools to work for you, to get new customers through this platform.”
As for the reason they chose Upstock in the first place – the integration with Foodstuffs – Simon shares why that was such an easy choice.
“We sell 90% of our product into Foodstuffs outlets. So when it came to revamping our order management systems, choosing Upstock for its Foodstuff integration was a no-brainer.”
"We were running multiple systems for ordering and invoicing, that didn’t always talk to each other and there were so many opportunities for human error – it was very stressful emotionally and financially.”
Now the entire team at R&M is able to easily view all of their orders in Upstock, without chopping and changing between the Foodstuffs Exchange and its accounting software.
“It’s saving the business over two hours a day. That time saved is going into growing our sales and developing new product lines.”
More from our chat with Simon:
Describe your business and your brand. We specialise in platter accompaniments, so fruit pastes and crackers, which we sell into New Zealand broadly, through a variety of channels through supermarkets and independent food services, we also sell into Australia and the United States.
What do you love most about your job? A lot of it comes down to the thrill of sales, making deals, getting a large customer over the line. For example, we work with Air New Zealand, and getting to see the work that I put in to get one of our products on the plane and served to hundreds of thousands of people – it's really rewarding. And also seeing our business grow. I've been in the role for almost three years and we've seen significant growth in that time. So it's really satisfying to see what you do on a daily basis actually has a big impact and that it’s taking us in the direction we want to go.
What are the 3 biggest benefits of using Upstock? The number one has been with the Foodstuffs integration. It’s saved so much time for us. Instead of manually entering invoices, it comes up pretty much automatically – that's a huge time saver for us. Number two is access to new customers. And number three with the time-saving element, it's allowed our resources to shift into more value add. So instead of having a person who was purely data entry, they have been able to perform other customer service and sales functions.
What does your team think of Upstock? It's time saving for them. Instead of picking up the phone and calling an order through, and then someone having to process it or sending an email, they're there on the spot, typing in an order and sending it off, knowing it will go straight through.