Caffe Ladro, a Seattle coffee institution since 1994, currently operates 16 retail cafés in the area. Well-known as a pioneer of sustainably and ethically produced coffee, the company sources and roasts its own single-origin and blend coffees, and bakes its own pastries and desserts.
With both coffees and baked goods available online for retail and wholesale customers, Web-based sales are an increasingly important component of the company’s business model. In fact, according to Adrienne Kerrigan, wholesale marketing coordinator at Caffe Ladro, the company’s desire to improve online order efficiency was a primary driver for its movement to a new e-commerce platform in 2015.
“Our old e-commerce platform was incredibly clunky and supported only very limited online sales,” Kerrigan says. “I would field several calls every week from customers asking for help on how to navigate our Website.”
A primary selling point for the platform was its ability to automatically handle subscription orders, which are popular in the retail coffee market, and conduct auto-reorders. Aside from its support for auto-reorders, ease of use was another important factor.
“We liked how simple and streamlined the Web stores looked; it was very easy for customers to use,” Kerrigan adds. “That was really important to us. We wanted our customers to feel like the new system we were providing was effortless to use.”
For the coffee roasting side of the business, Caffe Ladro’s own retail stores are its primary customers, as the retail store managers place wholesale coffee orders twice each week. These orders used to come in the form of paper printouts, and had to be manually entered into QuickBooks Enterprise.
To streamline and automate this core business process, Caffe Ladro leveraged single-vendor integration across the e-commerce platform, electronic data interchange (EDI) from another vendor and enterprise resource planning(ERP)/accounting systems. Thanks to this comprehensive integration, Caffe Ladro’s retail store managers now place their coffee orders online through an in-house portal. EDI pulls the order data from the portal and exports it directly to QuickBooks.
Although some manual data entry is still required, its amount has gone down significantly. “A few highly variable items are still changed manually in QuickBooks, but the time spent is maybe 15 minutes versus 90 minutes before,” Kerrigan adds. “Besides the time decreasing, the accuracy has seriously improved, and the EDI integration also makes everything a lot easier with all our other online sales from external customers.”