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How BiRite revamped its online ordering system with Cut+Dry to offer enhanced e-commerce capabilities to customers

05/28/2024

How BiRite revamped its online ordering system with Cut+Dry to offer enhanced e-commerce capabilities to customers

How BiRite revamped its online ordering system with Cut+Dry to offer enhanced e-commerce capabilities to customers

Problem

BiRite was using a desktop-based online ordering system that was a part-and-parcel of their ERP system. However, only about 30% of orders came in online, and much of these online sales were not from their core customers - independent operators. The system has several deficiencies: it was clunky and rigid, it lacked images, and there was limited product information, which made it unappealing to BiRite’s core customer base, leading to low adoption. 

Strategy

To increase customer adoption of an online ordering system, BiRite had to revamp its system with a modern, top-notch e-commerce experience, offering customers ease of use, improved functionality, and rich product information. On the other hand, they had a large sales team working with different sales strategies, so the new system would also need to handle dynamic pricing and varying sales strategies from their large sales team. 

Results

BiRite has a new system that can efficiently and simply handle all its customers' needs. Customer adoption, online orders, and new revenue are growing steadily.


BiRite is a third-generation, family-owned foodservice distributor that has been in operation since 1966. Since its inception, BiRite has grown from a small business with a 12,000-square-foot warehouse to a company that now employs over 300 people with a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient 238,000-square-foot warehouse. BiRite serves restaurants, hotels, canteens and universities in the greater Bay Area and Sacramento and has an extensive catalog of over 13,000 products. On any given day, BiRite delivers about 40,000 cases of products to its clients.

While having been in business for over five decades and running a massive operation, BiRite’s online ordering system was not geared for the 21st century. It was extremely clunky and rigid, and customers found it challenging to use and maneuver on their own. It had limited product information and lacked images, so customers didn’t know what they were looking at. BiRite also had several products, such as ‘just-in-time’ products, which could not be flagged in their old system. It was also a largely desktop-only system. These factors meant that customer adoption of online ordering was extremely low. 

Enhanced e-commerce capabilities

BiRite’s old system had poor search and discovery capabilities. The search function required exact spellings to match a product. With 13,000 products on offer, it was impossible for customers to search and discover new products or for salespeople to suggest these products to them effectively on a manual basis. With Cut+Dry’s ‘fuzzy’ search capabilities, customers don’t need to be entirely accurate with their spellings. They just have to point Cut+Dry in the right direction, and the platform will do the rest. 

Cut+Dry also has enhanced selling modules, like product recommendations and suggested selling features, which recommend new and similar products based on a customer's search and order history. This makes it easier to discover new products that customers may be interested in but didn’t even know BiRite had on offer. In the last 90 days, revenue from new items found through the online catalog increased by 424%. Since its launch with Cut+Dry six months ago, BiRite had more than $8M in new online revenue. 

We are getting a lot of anecdotal feedback from customers that the search capabilities are super cool. We are seeing customers find out more and more about what we do. They are starting to buy more products they didn’t buy before. We are starting to see the benefits of having very good search and discovery capabilities on an e-commerce platform. - Aaron Barulich, President of BiRite

Better e-commerce, more sales

Due to the clunky nature of the system, BiRite’s sales staff spent most of their time entering orders, which is far from their actual job descriptions. This was a significant issue that needed to be corrected so that sales staff could use their valuable sales skills by prospecting new customers and growing their relationships with existing customers instead of wasting their day entering data. 

BiRite’s sales team had been asking the management team for a better e-commerce platform, but nothing that existed before was satisfactory enough to make the change. When Cut+Dry came along, it stood out to the BiRite team. The product itself was great, but the foodservice experience that Cut+Dry had made it appealing. Cut+Dry’s leadership team has over 75+ years of collective experience building software for the foodservice industry, so they knew and appreciated the industry's nitty-gritty, which is reflected in the platform's design.

We have had a really good experience with Cut+Dry; we enjoy both the product and the people. I am more of a people person than a product person, so it is an easy recommendation. I know sometimes distributors are nervous and want their own product instead of a third-party product. As much as I understand that, Cut+Dry really cares about the product they offer. They are invested in it, and they update it frequently. We don’t have the resources to do that, so it is the right kind of partnership for us. - Aaron Barulich, President of BiRite

With the new platform, the sales team was able to focus on building relationships with customers. And the customers love it, too! In the last six months, there has been a 2,135% increase in online orders. The great numbers are a result of BiRite’s approach to launching Cut+Dry to their team and customers. The leadership buy-in was fundamental to setting the team up for success. BiRite created a simple, centralized internal process to address questions and issues and share product updates and use cases. By streamlining the resolution process, it increased customer adoption to 50% in the first six months. 

Key takeaways

  • Launching a new technology is always a challenge, but leadership buy-in and an internal process increase the chances of success. 
  • Deep industry knowledge is a must to design truly superior tech products. Being able to rely on foodservice experts instead of explaining the business makes the entire experience smoother. 

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