Portland, Oregon-based RoasterTools, maker of online production management software for coffee roasting businesses, has launched a new wholesale ordering portal that works in conjunction with its production system. Released last month, the portal allows roasters’ wholesale clients to place orders online from any computer or smartphone, and then integrates that info directly into the recipient company’s production system.
Founder and CEO Jon Ewalt told Daily Coffee News that the product will come especially in handy for the many roasters who take orders by phone, email or text, while juggling other business-related tasks.
“It’s not far off of reality for a lot of roasters that someone is handling the phone, jotting down an order while dropping a batch to start the next roast,” said Ewalt. “You can see the mistakes piling up with so many things happening at once; and then they are transferring that information into a spreadsheet, another point where an error can occur. Lots of mistakes in just a few short steps, and the people that lose out are the customers, who get the wrong order or none at all.”
RoasterTools, which won Best New Product at the 2016 SCAA Event in Atlanta, has had the wholesale portal product in development for more than a year, according to Ewalt, who said the system is built to accommodate products alongside coffee as well.
“RoasterTools can handle anything you sell, from coffee to private label/custom offerings to non-coffee supplies and equipment to cold brew,” said Ewalt, noting that while the system tracks cold brew sales and computes roasting schedules for the beans it requires, brewing production is currently beyond its purview.
That may not always be the case though, for while Ewalt and company are reportedly continuing to focus on the portal and “all things sales” for the near term, they are also in constant development of other new and expanded features for the system, which currently starts at $49 for start-up roasters and increases from there based upon monthly production volumes.
“We’re working hard to push features almost daily,” said Ewalt. “We have a lot of ideas about how to make it easier for roasters to sell to more customers than ever before. At the moment, those in wholesale sales are juggling so much — managing prospects, closing new accounts, and generating orders each week. It leaves little time to manage what’s really important: relationships. If we can be a lever to increase sales because we make managing more relationships easier than ever, then we’ve done our job.”
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.