"This is a real productivity driver that allows us to spend much less time managing our retail audit process."
Co-Founder and President of Freshpet, Inc.
Pets are family
“Our pets are family.” That’s the mantra that can be heard at the Freshpet headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey. It’s a part of the Freshpet philosophy and a reason why co-founders Scott Morris and Cathal Walsh decided to enter the pet food market in 2006 and reimagine the kinds of food we give our dogs and cats.
Freshpet is the only manufacturer in the United States that sells fresh, refrigerated pet food. You can spot the refrigerators--also known as chillers--in popular stores such as Target, Walmart, and PetSmart.
It’s essential that the 11,000 nationwide chillers are properly maintained because Freshpet products are made from all-natural ingredients, and the only preservative used is the chiller. Moreover, the chillers must remain fully stocked, and the aesthetics need to be routinely monitored and audited because they represent the Freshpet brand.
Routine auditing of 11,000 chillers posed a logistical challenge
Prior to engaging Vicasso, the process for auditing the 11,000 chillers consisted of Freshpet employees bringing a clipboard to the store and writing down their findings with pen and paper. At the end of the day, after visiting multiple stores, the Freshpet auditor would return to their office and manually transfer the handwritten data from a piece of paper to a spreadsheet, and then email that spreadsheet to a manager at headquarters. Finally, the manager would consolidate all of the spreadsheets into one master file.
Imagine how tedious this process was. Imagine the potential for human error and the confusing email chains that went back and forth. Something needed to change. A big idea was needed to innovate the audit process.
A new location-aware mobile app coupled with the Salesforce Platform replaces the antiquated auditing process
Soon after implementing Salesforce for Freshpet, Vicasso developed a brand new, innovative mobile app on the Salesforce1 Platform to accelerate the audit process to make it more efficient. The clipboard, pen, paper, and spreadsheets are history.
“Lucky for us, Vicasso seems to specialize in turning big ideas into reality,” commented Scott Morris, co-founder and President at Freshpet, Inc.
Picture this: a Freshpet auditor, Sarah, arrives at a strip mall and fires up the mobile app. Because of GPS geolocation services, nearby retail stores where the chillers are located automatically become available for selection. She selects a retail store, and relevant information appears on screen. Sarah then enters the store and begins the audit process, but instead of writing down the findings on a clipboard, she quickly and easily inputs the findings on the mobile device’s touchscreen. Still using the app, she takes a couple photos of the chiller to provide some visual context. All data is automatically associated with the appropriate retail store and instantly available to everyone at Freshpet in Salesforce on any device.
Daryl Brewster, Former President at Nabisco and current member of the Board of Directors at Freshpet expressed, “having real-time data access allows Freshpet to manage retail conditions in ways that just weren't possible with pen and paper audits.”
Other efficiency-boosting features add tremendous value as well, namely email alerts based on criteria that call people to action. Issues are now getting resolved in hours or days rather than weeks.
The time required to audit the chillers is reduced by 50%
As a result of replacing the pen, paper, clipboard, and spreadsheets with the new mobile app developed by Vicasso, Freshpet’s auditing process of chillers is now more efficient than ever. In fact, according to Justin Joyner, Business Development Manager at Freshpet, “the time it takes to complete an audit has been reduced by 50%.” This saves his team about 250 hours annually.
Another key benefit is having a centralized database in Salesforce where managers and directors can easily run reports. This allows issues to be spotted much faster. “Fewer out of stocks, better retail conditions, and less human error are just a few of the benefits the application has provided Freshpet,” added David Basto, Director at Freshpet.
In 2006, Freshpet made a strategic move to enter the pet food market and re-imagine the kinds of food we give our dogs and cats. Today, Freshpet remains strategic and innovative in part by investing in the Salesforce1 Platform as well as partnering with Vicasso, pioneers in designing the first solutions to address business process efficiency on the Salesforce1 Platform.