Coffee roaster Kua gets ready for exciting new opportunities using Unleashed

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How can you prepare your business to say yes to new opportunities as they come? The answer lies in implementing cloud-based inventory management software.

Darcy Small, the co-founder of Kua Coffee, tells us how his team did it.

Kua Coffee is not your typical coffee business. Based in Sydney, we’re a social enterprise that sells coffee to workplaces.

We source speciality coffee from Mount Elgon in Uganda, making sure our farmers and their families are paid a fair wage. When customers buy from us, the profits go towards new native trees, soil-conserving waterways and a sustainable income. And because we run a closed-loop service, we recycle your coffee grounds in local community gardens and reuse projects.

Spreadsheet system struggles

Our previous inventory management systems relied on spreadsheets and manual entry work. We ended up needing a full-time person to manage customer orders, fill out spreadsheets and process the invoices — this was just to manage 30 customer accounts.

Then Covid happened and we needed to diversify by opening two new channels. We decided to sell directly to consumers and to cafes.

With more diversity came more products to manage — and we had a goal of getting 100 customer accounts in the next 12 months. We really struggled with a system that could scale to where we wanted to be — that’s when we knew we needed to change and we found Unleashed.

kua coffee bags

Manual inventory management systems hinder growth.

Getting comfortable with Unleashed

Before we implemented Unleashed, we mapped out all our workflows. Our supply chain spans two continents: we source from Uganda, roast our beans in Sydney, and deliver to customers and workplaces, and collect the waste.

We spent three months leading up to our go-live date establishing best practices so that we’d be comfortable with the software when it was time.

It took us a few months to get across the system and experience what it’s capable of. But once we were comfortable, everyone from our brand to the sales team uses Unleashed to get their data.

We had 30 customer accounts. [Unleashed] almost overnight allowed us to scale to 100 customer accounts across six different product groups. There was no way we could’ve done that without Unleashed.

kua coffee team

With dedicated inventory management software, Kua became more efficient and could scale for growth.

Ready for when opportunity knocks

We are able to confidently say yes to new opportunities and tender for bigger clients because we know we have an automated inventory management system that’s going to be able to grow with us.

I’d definitely recommend Unleashed to others like ourselves. Setting an automated system up at the start will allow you to grow without any headaches and take opportunities as they come to you.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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