With a complex product base encountering significant growth in both online and offline channels, The Gut Stuff founders invested in removing admin and improving profitability
A gut health brand leading the movement
The Gut Stuff is a Stage 2 brand that has built a name for itself as being the champions of the gut health movement. Not only do they produce a fantastic range of products designed to improve gut health (from snack bars to nutrition diaries and books), but they have an entire division of the business focused on running workshops and seminars to educate consumers about the importance of the gut.
Since launch, they have grown their business through multiple channels: namely their Shopify site, Amazon and bricks & mortar stores like Boots.
Being drowned in purchase orders and stock management
With a range of products being held in multiple depots (FBA, 3PL, pick & pack depot and more), and being sold in multiple formats (cases, units..), the management of the operations function was becoming very onerous.
The operational admin was almost becoming a full time job for someone to handle – and they felt like their current ERP system was creating too much risk of error.
As highly commercial founders with a background in managing businesses, they knew that investing in technology would likely be a smarter move than having more people in the team and would also enable total team alignment: “simplifying where we can is worth its weight in gold”.
They assessed their options and decided on Unleashed as a solution. However, having not used it before, they wanted to make sure that they were setting it up in the optimal way to achieve their own business goals.
“I didn’t have the capability in the team at the time and just wanted someone to ensure we were setting the system up right. I had had my fingers burnt from a previous system setup where I didn’t ask enough questions and just naively assumed it was right for us. It was a nightmare and a waste of cash and team time.
The second time around I just needed the confidence that the investment I was making was being done in the best way for my business. I wanted someone independent of the system seller to do this for me.”
A systems audit with actionable advice to follow
With their multiple sales channels and growth plans it was very important to them to build out streamlined, scalable processes that were automated where possible. The key outputs from the system were centralised reporting, centralised data and integration with the finance team’s Xero workstreams.
Once we had an understanding of the key stakeholders, supply chain nuances, sales channels, reporting and success criteria we could provide a clear and simple report of changes to make to optimise the system, saving them time and money.
“It was so useful to have an independent specialist’s perspective – you were super clear about what was worth investing in and what was a distraction based on so much experience across other brands.”
Reduced overheads and scalable operations
The outcome allowed The Gut Stuff to get their system to a streamlined position where it integrated with Shopify, Amazon and a B2B portal for sales orders; used automation to replicate manufacturing in the system and produce a range of standardised reports for their users. Most importantly, Alana trusts the system and feels confident in their use of it.
“You don’t need thousands of spreadsheets. You can trust software to do your job if you have chosen the right one and set it up properly.”
It is now in use across the business and Alana is able to grow her operations team knowing the foundations are strongly in place.
3 Things Alana Learnt
1. “Bring a third party in early into the process as they will save you so much effort and time. If it’s too late for that, this audit would even be worthwhile after the event to assess your ways of working and make them better”
2. “Don’t rush into these things – spend the necessary time to get it right and learn from others. Proper due diligence is worth the effort.”
3. “Keep in mind other founders may have mixed reviews because they have rushed the implementation – be objective and smart about it being right for your business needs”
“If I could do it all again, I would have come to you guys first.”
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