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Dona Chai Grew Their Business 50% Over Six Months With Sweet’s Inventory Application

  customer case study

Dona Chai

Why Dona Chai Loves Sweet?

  • Enables management team to focus on growth, resulting in 50% more growth with the help of Sweet
  • Reduces errors from duplicate or missing order entries
  • Provides their wholesale customers a great customer experience with a branded B2B eCommerce Portal
  • Simplifies price level management to support tiered wholesale pricing strategy

Customer in Focus: Dona Chai

Dona Chai is a Brooklyn-based chai concentrate company started in 2014. It was founded by Amy Rothstein when she discovered a gap in the local chai concentrate market in New York City. Currently, they sell two kinds of products, a masala concentrate and a turmeric concentrate.

In the beginning, they started out with just two customer accounts. Now, they sell to over 800 coffee shops, retailers, and supermarkets. Dona Chai’s products can be found all over the US, from many establishments around their headquarters in Brooklyn, over to the US West Coast in cities like Seattle, as well as internationally in Japan and Canada. Major grocers such as Whole Foods feature Dona Chai products on their shelves.

masala and turmeric concentrate.

Problems Faced

Starting a small food business is an incredibly tough task, especially with a small team. With limited manpower, all of Dona Chai’s team members had multiple responsibilities, from inventory management to sales operations. With just 24 hours in a day, time was precious to them especially if they wanted to grow their business quickly. Due to the lean nature of their team, and their fast-paced growth, small problems quickly became big problems.

Tedious Ordering Process

One major problem they faced was managing their orders. Prior to using Sweet, they were managing their orders on multiple applications:

  • Credit card and processing application
  • QuickBooks Online
  • 3rd-party Inventory application
  • ShipStation (shipping application) 
It was a pain. I would enter orders into the inventory application we used previously, which had a really difficult to use interface, then QuickBooks and then I would enter the order into ShipStation.

While orders were easy to enter into one of the systems, each system was in a silo and not integrated together. For an order to be completed, a Dona Chai team member copied and pasted data from one platform to another manually. This required a lot of time with Dona Chai handling hundreds of orders each week.

Moreover, with disconnects in their workflow, errors were difficult to identify or trace, and therefore were more likely to occur and go unnoticed. For example, some errors were caused when team members made mistakes transferring data across the different applications. When there was an error, it often would require an immense amount of time to fix. This time-consuming process arose because it was difficult to identify which platform held the most accurate data.

Also, duplicate data was a common problem given the frequency of manual data entry or transfers. For example, if a team member was distracted while transferring data and then returned to a task unsure of which system were they in the process of updating, they may re-enter an order that was already entered.

No Wholesale Online Portal

At the same time, Dona Chai was looking for an online portal to help manage their wholesale customers but did want to go through the hassle of creating an online website from scratch.

Frustrated with their then-current inventory management tool and a lack of an online wholesale portal, Dona Chai was looking for an alternative solution that could save them time and streamline their order management.

Solution

Dona Chai

Dona Chai heard about Sweet and the benefits they could obtain from using Sweet from Bushwick Kitchen, another successful company with offices in the same manufacturing facility. Using Sweet, Bushwick Kitchen improved their business operations efficiency and automated their inventory and payments processes.

These were exactly the problem areas that Dona Chai faced in their day to day operations. Based on that, Dona Chai decided to give Sweet a try in hopes of alleviating their operational inefficiencies.

How Sweet helped Dona Chai to solve their problems

While Dona Chai initially had concerns with migrating and transferring data from one inventory system to another, their fears were quickly displaced by the easy onboarding process and high-touch customer support.

I was nervous at first because it’s something new and switching to use a new system for my business was scary. But the support I’ve received from the Sweet team throughout the whole process made it easy.

Eliminates Duplicate Data Entry

After using Sweet, Dona Chai noticed immediate changes in their daily operations. Now, they could just key in their order information into Sweet once and let Sweet automate the process and send the relevant information to their accounting, shipping and payment applications.

Eliminates Workflow Mistakes

In the past, Dona Chai frequently encountered mistakes in the process of manually entering data into each of their different systems. With Sweet, they have reduced their data entry error-rate significantly, to the point where they have not encountered an error in six months.  

Streamlines Business Operations

Dona Chai streamlines their business even further with Sweet’s recurring orders feature. Rather than continually check their calendars for recurring orders set up repeating calendar invites, they can set up orders to create and approve automatically, on whatever schedule is requested by the customer.

Sweet also supports Dona Chai’s wholesale price levels, saving them hours of time digging through past invoices to find out the last price given to each customer. All of their customer-specific pricing is easily configurable and viewable in Sweet, and error-free updates take just a minute. 

Elevates Dona Chai’s B2B eCommerce Sales

Sweet’s B2B eCommerce Portal has been the best thing to happen to my business. My customers love it because it is easy to use and it looks nice.

One of the biggest reasons Dona Chai enjoys using Sweet is the B2B eCommerce Portal.

Having a wholesale ordering portal impresses their wholesale customers and enables those customers to self-serve. Dona Chai provides its wholesale customers a better customer experience, while at the same time capturing operational efficiencies. 

Dona Chai now saves a huge amount of time dealing with orders. Gone are the days of back-and-forth emails between customers to fulfill an order. Now, customers can easily place and manage their orders on the online portal.

Results

Dona Chai has streamlined their operations and given themselves more time to focus on growth. Using Sweet, Dona Chai:

  • Saves 80% of time used to manage orders, from 25 hours to just 5 hours each week.
  • Reduces time spent managing inventory from 5 hours to 1 hour each week.
  • Captures savings from needing to allocate staff to handling their increasing order entry and management workload.

Dona Chai now has more time to focus on what’s most important for their business: profitable growth.

I like how Sweet allows me to run everything smoothly. I can manage my orders, process my credit card payments, print packing slips and invoices all in one application. With Sweet’s integration to Quickbooks, ties all our inventory information to our accounting system, saving us a lot of time.

Do you want to create order and inventory efficiency in your business just like Dona Chai? Try Sweet now, with a 14-day free trial, or sign up and get 50% off your first three months.

Looking for an affordable inventory management solution?

Save time and money by signing up for Sweet today!

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