When Adam Bortz bought Little Italy Coffee Roasters, the company was supplying wholesale coffee to 15 cafes. He has since grown the business to supply more than 90 cafes in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and across regional New South Wales. They have also opened three cafes of their own and added a retail branch.
Adam soon realised that this growth was unsustainable with an almost entirely manual fulfilment process. In July 2019 he reached out to Shippit.
We looked at a few different options but went with Shippit because everything is really easy and simple to use.
Wholesale suppliers generally have the advantage of stable sales that aren’t impacted by the seasonality that affects retail. Customers and delivery addresses are already known and orders come in fairly steadily each week. However, knowing what orders would come in each week doesn’t take the work out of fulfilling them.
Before using Shippit, the staff at Little Italy Coffee Roasters had to spend hours checking each order, manually writing out address labels, and preparing consignments for delivery. Once done, they would text their courier for pickup but often missed the day’s timeslot, as it took so long.
As well as being time-consuming, this process was expensive. Comparing courier prices was an extra step the company couldn’t afford to do for each order so deliveries were all made by the same courier company. Booking an order pickup was also sometimes delayed because of issues with the prepaid account, further adding to the time and cost involved.
Staff also had to deal with customer enquiries for missing or delayed orders—chasing deliveries could chew up as much as three hours each week
How order fulfilment works now
Little Italy Coffee Roasters came to Shippit as part of a push to start automating as many manual processes as possible in the business. With the continued growth in sales, manually fulfilling each order just wasn’t sustainable anymore.
By using Shippit, the old long and involved process of fulfilling orders has now been cut down to about 10 minutes. Adam has found that the system is simple enough that anyone in the team can use it and there’s no need to worry about a prepaid credit running out at an inconvenient time.
Order fulfilment used to take two or three hours each week, now it only takes ten minutes, and anyone can do it.
Using Shippit has allowed the company to take advantage of Shippit’s lower courier rates. They can also now use multiple couriers to send orders. This has added up to a reduction in shipping costs of around 15%.
Benefiting from parcel tracking
When they came to Shippit, the coffee wholesaler was primarily looking to save time with automation but ended up enjoying many other benefits. Adam was particularly impressed with the tracking and notification functionality of the software.
For us, the tracking feature has just been revolutionary. It gives us and our customers peace of mind.
Freeing up time to expand
As well as being a traditional coffee wholesaler, Little Italy Coffee Roasters has expanded to offer consultancy and training and has opened three cafes over the past five years.
Having a more automated fulfilment process has also allowed the business to expand into retail as well as wholesale. Previously, it wasn’t viable to offer individual orders of single kilo bags of coffee to the public. Shipping larger orders to established wholesale customers was time-consuming enough and smaller, lower-value retail orders just weren’t worth it.
The business was able to easily integrate Shippit into its eCommerce platform, where customers can buy coffee beans either ground, whole, or in Nespresso coffee pods. This new sales channel is flourishing, reaching a larger audience and helping to grow the Little Italy Coffee Roasters name.
It’s just been awesome dealing with Shippit. I’ve even recommended Shippit to other roasters and friends.
Little Italy Coffee Roasters currently fulfils about 120 orders per month through Shippit, both wholesale and retail.