Performance Coffee Maker TrueStart Gets a Boost from Unleashed

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You’ve come up with a new and exciting product and demand is growing – but how are you managing your growing number of warehouses, suppliers and customers?

We interviewed Simon Hills of TrueStart Coffee about how Unleashed software’s taken the pressure off as the business has expanded.

One conversation with Simon Hills, co-founder of TrueStart Coffee, and it’s easy to see where the inspiration for TrueStart’s logo comes from – the Hills family and their business definitely dive in head first!

In 2015 Simon and Helena Hills launched TrueStart, which produced performance coffee for athletes.

TrueStart’s coffee is different because its caffeine content is regulated, meaning it provides you with just the right buzz to get you through a triathlon – which is what Simon and Helena were training for at the time.

People with TrueStart products

TrueStart started with an idea for athlete-friendly coffee, but has rapidly expanded to include other products

TrueStart’s expansion – from coffee beans to canned cold brews

TrueStart quickly conquered the gap in the market for performance coffee and decided to rebrand.

Inspired by their expanding family, they expanded the reach of their coffee – beyond the world of athletes in training to the cups of coffee lovers everywhere.

They now offer a range of coffee products, all with the same regulated caffeine content: whole beans and ground coffee, instant coffee, cold brews by the can, coffee bags and loads of great gift sets and merchandise.

Importantly, their products are all healthy, sugar free, sustainable and ethically sourced.

How Unleashed helped rein in TrueStart’s ‘monstrosity’

With this change from one to many products came a lot more spreadsheets, which very quickly became what Simon describes as ‘a monstrosity’.

Suddenly they had multiple warehouses in different locations, various components and several suppliers – as well as an increase in customers, each with their own unique needs.

If all of this wasn’t in a spreadsheet, it was inside Simon’s head – which was creating an unmanageable workload for him and Helena, and problems with bringing on new team members.

And all this while their business was expanding, landing in bars and cafes with their whole beans as well as in large retailers like Holland and Barrett with their cold brew.

All this meant the work never slowed down – a good problem to have, but definitely a problem.

People holding TrueStart coffee and smiling

TrueStart used Unleashed to manage its operations – and take the spreadsheets out of Simon’s head. Image:

Using Unleashed to take the pressure off

This expansion was the driving force behind taking out an Unleashed trial.

Simon says that no matter what they’re doing throughout the day, ‘Unleashed is always a tab that’s open for the whole team’.

Unleashed has quickly become a hub for the business, and despite being relatively new to Unleashed, it’s already taking some pressure off staff workload. And just in time, too, given they have recently released their cold brew cans in Coop and Spar stores across the UK.

Day to day Simon checks for low stock and creates assemblies and purchase orders that are then sent off to his co-packer, Bottled and Canned (also an Unleashed user).

Once they confirm they’ve receipted the stock and completed the assembly, Simon can complete these transactions in Unleashed and move on to processing sales. Thanks to some smart integrations with other software, he’s able to simply press complete on his sales once his warehouse sends conformation of dispatch.

BI reporting and other benefits

Simon loves the Unleashed BI reporting module and says this is what he spends most of his day working in to give him an immediate insight into individual product margins and overall performance, as well as inventory fluctuations and production planning.

Beyond stock management, Unleashed is allowing Simon to build standardised processes for the business – meaning other members of the team can take care of more of the day-to-day work he’s currently doing.

One unforeseen benefit is that they now have uniformity in terms of what pricing structures and deals are available to their customers based on the functionality available in Unleashed.

Simon’s brain no longer needs to be the fully functioning CRM system it once was, and a lot of the pressure has been taken off – he’s even thinking about taking a holiday.

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Alecia Bland - Unleashed Software
Alecia Bland

Article by Alecia Bland in collaboration with our team of inventory management and business specialists. Alecia's background is in ancient languages. When she's not reading a book with her cat for company, you can usually find her cooking, eating or trying to make her garden productive.

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