Since 1997, ECS Coffee has been serving the Canadian market high quality coffee and espresso gear. Neil Madden started the company out of his garage in Ontario, Canada as a vending machine business and has since scaled it to employ over 30 people, sell around 1,000 SKU’s and scale from $2 million to $4 million within 2 years.
ECS Coffee has three selling channels which consists of office sales, a retail showroom and a state-of-the-art Magento eCommerce website.
ECS Coffee uses 3 systems including QuickBooks for accounting and invoicing, a retail POS system in their showroom and the online Magneto website. The use of the three systems was completely disconnected meaning they were unable to tie together sales to the same customer via different channels e.g., online and at the showroom. This resulted in incomplete customer history and impacted the loyalty points program.
One of the biggest challenges ECS Coffee faced was with their inventory control. The only time they had an accurate record of inventory numbers was during their annual inventory count on December 31st. They had no way of tracking individual K-Cups being sold or being used as free samples. They also couldn’t track returns and has no means of obtaining automated reports. The consequences the company faced from this were:
Inventory management processes were so outdated that when a product was out of stock, an employee would physically write it on a whiteboard for another employee to remove off the website. Once the product was back in stock again another employee would have to quickly put it back on the website. Because this manual process sometimes took so long, if a customer placed an order online and they didn’t have the inventory to fill the order, someone would have to contact the customer and offer alternatives or process a credit for the account. Getting a call about an out-of-stock item isn’t always the best way to find out, it’s best to know before purchasing. Having a system that allowed for different areas of the business to speak to each other was exactly what ECS Coffee needed.
ECS Coffee prides themselves on exceptional coffee and service. They were not able to achieve this level of service with multiple systems so owner Neil Madden, decided it was time to start searching for an all-in-one ERP solution. A solution that matched the quality of their coffee. Neil reached out to Blue Link and after first initial discussions it seemed like the company would be a great fit for the software and an in-depth business process analysis meeting was planned. During the meeting it was determined that ECS Coffee did indeed need Blue Link ERP as it has functionality for:
Once the needs of the company were laid out, it was determined that Blue Link was the right fit for the business and could successfully implement the required functionalities within the timeframe and budget. Not only was ECS Coffee soon going to be able to provide up-to-date information to their customers for better service, but they were also going to be able to have access to proper reporting and analysis for their inventory and warehouse management.
Blue Link eCommerce ERP
With Blue Link’s ability to integrate with eCommerce websites, when an order is placed online it flows automatically from the eCommerce site to Blue Link and then back again using integration provided by VL OMNI.
Using QuickBooks along with other standalone systems causes error and headaches. Move away from introductory software.
As their trusted technology partner, Blue Link has helped ECS Coffee grow year over year. Now that all manual processes have been automated, an employee rarely deals directly with an order, and they no longer need to update the website manually. When orders are placed and shipped, Blue Link works behind the scenes to ensure inventory numbers are in real time and has successfully integrated all areas of the business to show the same information.
Blue Link has also cleaned up ECS Coffee’s warehouse and inventory by implementing a system that minimizes time and increases efficiency. Instead of an employee walking around looking for items, they’re now following a pick review screen to assist them with this process.
Blue Link allows for resources and information at our fingertips and enables us to make quicker and better decisions moving forward.