Huel is saving time and gaining insights with elm

The brand: Huel

Huel’s nutritionally complete meals in a bottle are a convenient, healthy and vegan alternative to sandwiches for busy consumers on the go. Founded in 2014, the company enjoys over 40% growth and a turnover in excess of £100 million.

Brian Hopkins-Parkinson, Huel’s Head of Sales, explains how elm takes the frustration out of sales performance tracking.

The problem

“Spreadsheets are clunky. They take a lot of manual work. They break.””

Battling clunky spreadsheets

“Before elm, it was hard to share sales performance across the business. We ended up wasting a lot of time trying to find out what our performance looked like and trying to get insight.

Data came out from retailers in different formats and meant we were reporting on different metrics and time ranges from team to team. We had to download data and input it into various spreadsheets to track EPOS data across retailers. There were lots of formulas that could go wrong and break the spreadsheets.”

“With multiple spreadsheets that show you different things, how can you bring the data together on one graph so you can compare performance across retailers?”

Accepting data limitations

“It took 10 to 15 minutes to update each customer’s excel and dashboard. That added up to a day a month and we still didn’t have access to store-level data. When you want to get to store level, the effort of mining all the data was not manageable for our team so we had to do without it.”

The solution

Eradicating data frustrations

“I really wanted a quick and easy way to look at the top-level information as soon as it comes in. elm is the easiest way of doing this.

The whole point of using it was to save time. The set-up was straightforward and we had a seamless start. We didn’t need training. Now, elm gives us sales data from all the retailers in a universal, consistent format. I don’t have to log into ten different dashboards and pull five different reports. I can look at all the performances every morning without having to try to convert all the data myself.”

“We immediately liked the look of the dashboard. It was user friendly. It looked smart. It’s very much automated.”

Creating value

“Without elm, we’d have had to bring in a junior person to help with data admin. However, using elm isn’t just about saving time. There’s some data that elm tracks that we wouldn’t track previously because it was just too hard. elm gives us more insights because the data is more visual and more granular. This means we can create value in the business, whether that’s improving our selling or seeing issues faster.”

“elm provides the simple stuff that I look at all the time. If you’re using spreadsheets, it’s hard to get the level of visibility that we get on elm.”

The results

– By utilising elm, Huel used category data in one of the leading convenience chains to get a new listing worth £250k annually

– elm has saved us one full-time hire on our retail team

Growth without the growing pains

“We’ve been able to grow a lot without having to create more headaches. elm does all the hard work for us. It displays data in a nice visual way which is easy to share across the business and show people how we’re doing. The sheets we were making previously weren’t as easy to share between teams.”

Massive reduction in zero selling stores

“Having elm’s data, including our historic data, at our fingertips helps us put our selling arguments together when we’re selling to new and existing retailers. For instance, we have the exact numbers for what we’re doing with each retailer at a regional level and for individual stores. If I had to pull that data together myself, it would be a real faff.”

“elm will be an integral part of how we track our sales performance going forward. I’d rather be focused on my sales team selling to retailers than spending their time hacking around a spreadsheet.”

Easy access to detailed data

“You get a lot more granularity and more depth of understanding in each retailer as to what’s driving your performance. We can see which stores are performing the best this week. That information is harder to pull if you don’t have elm doing it for you and putting it into nice, groovy dashboards.”

To learn more about getting started with elm today, email or signup below.