Spicely is a fair trade organic spice importer and manufacturer in California, committed to sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

Industry:

Food & Beverage

Headquarters:

Fremont, CA

Now with Handshake, we’re saving the company money, and we’re saving the employee time spent on a manual task. We’re seeing such a huge impact on the merchandiser side. They’re able to place their orders right at the rack—it’s brilliant.

Vanessa Bonner
Director of Merchandising Services
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Automating the B2B Ordering Process: The Key to Scalable Growth

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THE CHALLENGE:

Managing a fast-growing business by solving for inefficiencies in the B2B sales and ordering process.

THE RESULTS:

Spicely has experienced operational cost savings from less data entry, helping them avoid order errors.

Orders can now be written in half the time, so merchandisers can see more customers in a day.

Sales appointments are more effective, since merchandisers can spend more of their time talking to store managers and managing displays.

THE STORY:

THE SPICELY ORGANICS SALES OPERATION & THE IMPORTANCE OF MERCHANDISING

Since their start in 2002, Spicely Organics has seen major demand for their high-quality but well-priced line. By 2016, it was clear that Spicely Organics’ sales and ordering processes were unable to keep pace with growth, and this led them to automate their rep and customer ordering functions with Handshake’s full platform.

Selling items with a small physical presence, barely two inches tall, the Spicely Organics sales process is somewhat unique. Early on, they discovered the importance of creating an in-store display that would showcase their product line in a visual and eye-catching way. For this
reason, Spicely Organics’ merchandisers, rather than sales reps, are the key players in their sales process. According to Vanessa Bonner, Director of Merchandising Services, “The merchandiser is the one who is in the store. They're placing and packing out the orders. Customers rely on us to be the product experts and order appropriately.”

PRE-HANDSHAKE: A MANUAL MERCHANDISING PROCESS

Before Handshake, merchandisers had to complete several manual steps to submit an order to headquarters through their original custom-built Netsuite extension to handle B2B orders. The process was even more manual for internal merchandisers, who would write orders on a paper order form and then re-enter them into CSVs or directly into the custom ordering portal. This clunky, time-wasting process left too much room for human error in the order submission process.

“I’ve known we needed some kind of automated order intake system since I started the job in 2011,” explains Bonner. “We would see other companies with handheld devices or laptops and hardwired scanners, and I always felt there was a solution out there that would be right for us.” It wasn’t until they encountered a Handshake rep at the annual Fancy Food Show that Spicely Organics found the exact solution to optimize the merchandising arm of of the business, while at the same time offering online ordering for their self-serve customers.

The decision to implement Handshake’s full platform enhanced operational efficiency and it also ensured employee retention. “In today’s workforce, if you aren’t providing the best tools possible to your staff, you'll lose them to a company who makes it easier to do their job,” explains Bonner.

ROLLING OUT HANDSHAKE: STARTING WITH THE MERCHANDISERS

Spicely Organics chose to roll out Handshake Rep, a sales rep mobile ordering app, to their merchandisers for an immediate impact on their business. They saw results within weeks of implementation. Since using Handshake, the time a merchandiser spends on a customer has been cut in half, allowing them to visit more stores in a day. Given the success Spicely Organics has had with their merchandising team, they are anxious to roll out Handshake’s online customer ordering solutions for similar cost-cutting and efficiency benefits. “Once we get our customers using Handshake, there will be a huge time savings in our internal order processing department,” says Bonner.

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