Goodbye, 2021: A Year with Raw Bites
Merry Christmas! We've added and modified a few things in our Christmas image (if you've been keeping track) - more dogs (well, our office have always had 5 dogs and 1 is a mix so it was harder to draw Elle) and Gail's son is finally riding his scooter at 1.5yrs old and cannot keep still (unless he's watching Cocomelon).
Before the year ends, we just want to look back at what 2021 was for Raw Bites.
We've decided to outsource fulfillment of our online orders in the middle of 2021. We realized that keeping the fulfillment of online orders in our office is not sustainable since it took time away from our team to "think and grow". We were overwhelmed with packing online orders and although it was a good problem to have, we knew that something had to change.
With this move, all our inventory systems are now synced across all shops so we no longer have to manually split stocks. Most of our orders are processed within 1 business day. It wasn't an easy start for us and our external partner since we had to navigate the best way manage the nuances of both our businesses but 4 months since the transition and we think we're now a well-oiled machine.
We're still far from our goal of 200 orders per day 😅 and it was quite ambitious to reach this by this year considering there were a lot of supply interruptions not just from our own imports but also from all the local suppliers that we work with. But we're happy with any growth we've achieved. When stock levels are good, there were days where we can get to over 100 orders on non-campaign days! But since we deal with 90+ brands, there will always be a brand here and there that will not be available.
We've already mentioned this but we're so happy with how fast orders are processed now. On mega campaign days, they start packing at 12:01 AM and orders get picked up on the same day! We could never do that in our office. As a result, we get less follow-ups on "when ship out?" but occasionally still do from customers who ordered today but want their orders shipped out yesterday. 😝
Actually, correction, it should be 7 grocery stores but 6 of it was really HARD WORK. Discussions spanned for several months just to enter more The Marketplace stores within MM, Cebu and CDO, and although there were listing fees involved, we felt that it was a win for us! We don't know if any of these stores will do well but we have a philosophy that if we don't try, we'll never know.
Other than that, we've also naturally extended our products into Landmark BGC and Real Food Rockwell. Hope you can support our retail partners too!
There's still just 3 heads fully running the business (Gail, Jane and our admin) but this year, we grew the pool of external partners that we worked with to help manage and grow the business. We now have an external marketing team that helps Gail with one goal in mind: grow online sales. They hustle during campaign days. Finally, we have videos up in our feed and giveaways too and we plan to do one every month!
Then we have our little retail team (1 sales coordinator, 1 tactical coordinator and a couple of roving merchandisers) that take care of our modern trade accounts. Then we have our office team that makes sure that all suppliers get paid, B2B (grocery and community shop) deliveries are made, and all custom orders are packed on time. Of course, how can we forget our fulfillment partner who works 24 hours on campaign days and takes care of all the packing for online orders.
We're not a complete team yet. We think we need another person on operations or a bookkeeper but at least Gail and Jane have their evenings back!
So that's our 2021. We hope we didn't sound braggy but we're always proud of what we've accomplished with limited resources. 🙃 We know 2021 is not perfect for everyone. It hasn't been for us either but rather but for now, we'd rather look at the good things that happened this year.
From our team to your family and friends, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! As always, thank you for your continued support. We are where we are because of you. :)
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