TasteConnection’s Geoff White has been talking to us about how AgileChilli helps his team develop scintillating seasonings, prove provenance, and manage margins.
“We’re a bespoke business.”
A short product life cycle requires continuous innovation at TasteConnection, who are now part of the Nactarome Group.
Geoff White explains: “There’s a lot of dialogue between our creative people and the customer.
“A customer may ask for a set of options for their next seasonal range. We’ll give them lots of ideas as start points, and work with them to tweak the flavours to fit exactly what they want.”
“Customer relationships can be complicated.”
TasteConnection’s customers include many well-known premium snack manufacturers. These brands may also produce top-end own label ranges for supermarkets.
“Our immediate relationship is with the manufacturer, but it’s complicated because we also have a relationship with their retail customer too.
“It’s the consumer who really matters. That’s who ultimately needs to love the result. We want to make something which gets people buying time and again.”
“The provenance story is everything.”
TasteConnection is focused on a premium product, and don’t offer commodities like conventional salt and vinegar seasoning. AgileChilli helps show provenance.
“The food industry has a fascination with provenance. Turkey crisps won’t cut it, we need to have Norfolk turkey. That means we must have an easy trace back to the exact farm each Turkey came from.”
“We need to be very smart with stockholding.’
Customers requesting big uplifts in quantities of bespoke seasonings, with little notice, can cause headaches. AgileChilli provides visibility of who supplies what.
“We develop bespoke, and manufacture to order. We hold a core of product and materials that go into most of the seasonings, that we can then turn quickly into finished products when a customer places an order.”
“We were frustrated.”
With a myriad of back-office systems to navigate, account managers were often not using available data to full effect. AgileChilli unlocks your data.
“Moving to AgileChilli was driven by the sheer frustration of information being available to account managers, but them not using it as it was difficult to access.
“AgileChilli has been massively better for us. It means all the information is available very quickly and easily to the account managers, and they are using it daily. They can see all the business we’ve done with any customer.”
“We have evidence to justify price increases.”
With AgileChilli, justifying a price increase becomes easier. There is clear traceability of cost changes on every ingredient.
“We have cost of manufacture on a batch-by-batch basis, and invoice values, so we can look at our gross margins, on a product-by-product and customer-by-customer basis.
“Now we can monitor how margins move. And, as cost of materials increase, we have hard evidence to talk with our customers and say, ‘we need to increase our prices, and this why’.”
“Simplicity, capability, and flexibility.”
Simplicity and capability don’t often run hand in hand, but with AgileChilli they do. That’s because of its flexibility. Undoubtedly, I’d recommend AgileChilli.
Geoff White, Taste Connection