How SunRidge Farms is using Vori to boost efficiency and sustainability efforts
- Digital transformation
- Customer service
- Data aggregation & centralization
SunRidge Farms is a family-owned natural foods manufacturer and distributor. Swapping out bulky catalogs with a streamlined ordering system is not only improving SunRidge’s efficiency with customers, but allowing the company to operate more sustainably to align with its broader business practices.
<div class="r-quote-block"><span class="r-quote">A lot of folks feel that this is just always how things have been done. But with a fresh set of eyes, we get to try something new － and that’s just really exciting.</span><span class="r-quote-author">Emily Morgan</span><span class="r-quote-author-title">Private Label Sales, SunRidge Farms</span></div>
Founded in 1982, SunRidge Farms is one of the pioneer brands when it comes to natural, organic and healthy snacking. The company was built on a healthy lifestyle and prides itself on high-quality foods, operating with integrity and maintaining an environmental sensibility.
Today the company manufactures and distributes thousands of snack and trail mixes, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, beans, confections and more. Its products are available in bulk, which supports the company’s mission to preserve the environment and save its customers money.
As the company has grown, so have its needs to simplify the sales process for SunRidge reps, as well as create an easier way for its retail partners to order. Two new employees who stepped into management roles starting in 2020, recognized this need and were ready to do something about it. Emily Morgan and Mike Dorroh both came to SunRidge Farms from grocery companies, bringing extensive experience in store openings, ordering, management and operations. Coincidentally, in the middle of 2021, SunRidge learned about Vori through a retailer, and after an initial meeting the team sensed “endless possibilities” with the platform. SunRidge became a Vori customer soon after.
SunRidge Farms had a few key challenges that it aimed to solve with Vori.
For years, SunRidge relied upon MSI machines to place orders for its customers. The manual process required SunRidge’s team to hand-key orders and also demanded use of a landline phone. At one point the team tried to switch to a tablet-based ordering system, but sales reps found the process cumbersome and it never really took off.
Using the traditional process SunRidge had in place for customer orders created a system that requires a lot of time, back-and-forth, and the possibility of errors. There needed to be a quicker way for sales reps to work with customers and for SunRidge to complete those orders on the back end.
Excessive paper trails
For years, SunRidge has produced a large catalog of its products, which allows customers to peruse products and see what they’re ordering. But that has created a massive dependence on paper, which doesn’t align with the value of sustainability at SunRidge.
Extensive drive time for sales reps
Before Vori, sales reps had to drive out to visit every customer’s store on a regular basis just for the sake of ordering. The availability to order through the order app will ideally cut down on drive time and allow sales visits to be more about customer connection.
<div class="r-quote-block"><span class="r-quote">We needed something a lot more efficient for sales reps and merchandisers to actually sell to stores rather than running in and out. Now they have time to speak to managers and buyers because they can just use their cell phone to place orders.</span><span class="r-quote-author">Mike Dorroh</span><span class="r-quote-author-title">Sales & Service Director, SunRidge Farms</span></div>
The team at SunRidge Farms wasn’t necessarily shopping for a solution, but some of its retailer customers had started using Vori and told them about it. Now that SunRidge has been using Vori for almost a year, the sales reps and other employees are starting to embrace the tool and appreciate its useful features. The primary benefit in implementing a technology like this means more effective sales and better time management for sales reps. Eventually, SunRidge will also integrate Vori on the back-end of its ordering process, which will ensure seamless ordering from start-to-finish － and less printing and paper.
The team has also seen the benefit of having product photos in the app. This aids sales reps in their work and makes it easy for both retailers and SunRidge team members to view organic versus non-organic, whether a product comes in a bag or a tub, and more. SunRidge also distributes items in bulk, which is a unique situation, and Vori worked closely with the team to build in functionality for bulk items.
The sales support from Vori has been crucial as SunRidge gets up-to-speed on the technology, too. Whenever there’s a question or concern, a Vori representative is available to help － whether that’s explaining a feature, providing a webinar for training or trying to work through any obstacles with the app, such as bulk ordering.
<div class="r-quote-block"><span class="r-quote">Vori helps with labor at the retail level, but will also help at the distributor level when it’s set up at the back end. And that’s part of the innovation that Vori provides and why we’re excited to work with Vori and continue to learn and grow.</span><span class="r-quote-author">Mike Dorroh</span><span class="r-quote-author-title">Sales & Service Director, SunRidge Farms</span></div>
While SunRidge is still working to implement Vori across its entire sales team and on the back end, so far the results are promising. Once it’s fully integrated, SunRidge expects a more efficient ordering process, fewer errors and a seamless experience for its customers and sales team. In the process of using Vori, the team at SunRidge also discovered how convenient it is when some of its retail customers are using Vori on their side, too. With both the customer and SunRidge using Vori, the ordering is even quicker and more direct.
One of the most notable results so far is that SunRidge says Vori has provided better product specificity and cleaner ordering.
<div class="r-quote-block"><span class="r-quote">It really helps us communicate better with our sales reps, our stores and their ordering abilities. Once we’ve implemented Vori on our back end, it will also minimize errors and concerns like double orders.</span><span class="r-quote-author">Mike Dorroh</span><span class="r-quote-author-title">Sales & Service Director, SunRidge Farms</span></div>
Equally important, the company strongly feels that partnering with Vori aligns with its values. SunRidge prides itself on innovation with new products and healthier snacks, and constantly works with retail partners to try to find better solutions. That’s why Vori fits into the equation and has boosted excitement for the team about its future. Eventually, SunRidge also believes Vori will allow it to stop printing a paper catalog, which will save significant money in paper － but more than that, it will reflect the company’s values to be environmentally friendly.
SunRidge Farms’ founder always said that his goal was to leave the world better than he found it, and the team is confident that working with Vori will help build a more sustainable, more efficient company that will make it easier to share its products.
<div class="r-quote-block"><span class="r-quote">I love innovation, I love new ideas. If you stop moving forward, you stop moving.</span><span class="r-quote-author">Emily Morgan</span><span class="r-quote-author-title">Private Label Sales, SunRidge Farms</span></div>