In the natural products market, buyers view their purchases not only as something they consume, but as a way they can give back. For many brands, this reality presents something of a paradox. Worthy missions and great products drive popularity, but meeting demand can distance the company from its original mission.
For REBBL, a Berkeley, Calif.-based maker of super-herb beverages, the desire to remain rooted in its purpose while its products became more popular led it to make a choice unlikely for a company with just 15 people and 11 products – implement an ERP system. While its combination of manual processes and web-based systems were managing the business just fine, it knew that situation wouldn’t last.
“We have a goal to provide these delicious and efficacious products people can feel great about consuming, and we didn’t want the lack of systems and inefficiency to get us away from focusing on our core purpose,” said Librado Guerrero, VP of Operations for REBBL.
Encouraged by a recommendation from another company in the food and beverage industry, REBBL purchased NetSuite in October to automate end-to-end financial and operational processes, including procurement software and inventory management, with plans to go-live in June.
REBBL senior leadership agreed that implementing an integrated system now would equip the growing company with best-in-class processes and afford efficiencies that would allow it to seamlessly accommodate new customers and increased transactions without jeopardizing sustainability principles the company was founded on.
REBBL with a cause
Five years ago, REBBL was born of collaboration between thought-leaders and Not For Sale, a nonprofit working to provide sustainable, economic opportunities to prevent human trafficking. The idea was that creating a market for super-herbs unique to places like the Peruvian Amazon would provide jobs and income to some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable regions.
With that, REBBL helped introduce adaptogens like Cat’s Claw, Ginseng, and Maca to consumers in the form of tea-based tonics, having since evolved its product line to coconut milk based elixirs and proteins. It inspired what is arguably the hottest trend in the natural food market today. Adaptogens possess profound body balancing and vitalizing effects by helping calm the adrenals and decrease the flood of stress hormones in the body.
“We’re leading the pace, and carving out this new category,” said Amira Mourad, National Field Marketing Manager for REBBL. “Adaptogens are becoming more well-known and appreciated.”
Growth on the horizon
Now a staple in natural food and health stores, REBBL is available nationwide at Whole Foods Markets. With NetSuite, REBBL can adapt its business to best-in-class processes to create efficiencies. With cloud-based software, users scattered across the globe all have access to information in real-time, and REBBL can easily provision new users and functionality.
“NetSuite will eliminate waste, reduce costs and provide valuable information, and allow our team to put more focus and energy into more value-added tasks,” Guerrero said.
And with easy access to data, REBBL employees can make insight-driven decisions that move business without moving the company away from its purpose – creating real food products unparalleled in taste, function and nutrition that support a unique business model with direct impact in the fight against human trafficking.
“We’ll have real-time visibility into how the business is performing, and spend less time finding data and more time taking action,” Guerrero said.
REBBL (Booth #9219) will join 29 fellow NetSuite customers in the natural products space at Natural Products Expo West, being held March 8-12 in Anaheim, Calif. What’s more, REBBL’s CEO Sheryl O’Loughlin will keynote the event, sharing with the more than 77,000 attendees her advice on how to maintain mission while facilitating growth. NetSuite will be at the Natural Products Expo as well and will hold a Happy Hour on Friday, March 10 from 4:30- 6:00 p.m. at Booth #2404.
For more, get a free tour of NetSuite’s capabilities for food and beverage manufacturers.