Kendamil is improving its ROS with elm

The brand: Kendamil

Since being developed six years ago, Kendamil’s award-winning infant formula has won the hearts of parents who value quality over price.

As befits a manufacturer based in the heart of the Lake District, a UNESCO world heritage site, Kendamil is committed to producing the most natural, sustainable products. The only infant formula made in Britain, Kendamil has no palm or fish oil and only uses milk from Red Tractor accredited UK farms.

Dylan McMahon, Head of Growth, explains how elm gives Kendamil the information needed to achieve treble-digit growth in a market dominated by billion-dollar conglomerates.

The problem

Pulling out information is challenging

“Accessing data from retailers isn’t a straightforward task, especially if you’re in a variety of retailers. Unfortunately, the retailers that you might work with haven’t upgraded their systems as much as you’d like to believe they might have. They care a little bit less than you do about having access to their data.”

Wasting valuable time

“In order to ensure we were close to our sales numbers, we had a member of our team pull together sales data out of each retailer’s tools and pop this to us on a daily email. But this was never granular enough because we couldn’t break it down by range. So, we got a more technical member of the team to work on this task. He spent five+ hours a week pulling data together from 1,200 stores for just one report.”

“We’re a bootstrap business. We didn’t have the time to constantly build and maintain all the spreadsheets required and we had no view on a week-to-week basis of historical performance.”

The solution

Incorporating historical data

“Senior leaders across sales and finance were involved in the decision-making process. We chose elm as it was a competitively priced way to consolidate our sales data.

Getting started with elm was simple and quick too. They were able to incorporate historical data too so that we could instantly analyse past store performance from day one.”

Constant access to relevant information

“elm provides granularity to our data requirements. I can see SKU performance every morning and then drill into specific stores to see how we’re being replenished on shelves. I can see where we might need to merchandise a store, based on missing sales, and how we’re performing in a certain territory such as the South West.”

Growing with our business

“We realised that we weren’t going to hire a new data analyst. elm was doing, for a very reasonable cost, what we needed that analyst to do as a full-time role. We were confident we could get everything we needed with exactly what elm was providing us with. elm’s tools like the Amazon lifetime value feature, geographical data analysis and store replenishment insights are really useful. And their team continues to build on this every month.”

“elm is a cost-effective tool that takes the place of at least half a person in the early days of a company and that will only grow as we do too. It does a huge amount for us.”

“We use it every day at a pretty high level, but when we need to we can also go very deep on any piece of analysis straight away. It answers virtually every question that we have on a week-by-week basis and saves a lot of hours.”

The results

“elm’s been with us through huge growth. The Data Analyst moved on from the business and we’ve not had to replace him since, even though our distribution has gone up by over 320%.”

Scaling data with growth

“We grew a phenomenal amount last year, well over 800% in the UK. Thankfully we were using elm! Without it, we’d have had no view of our store-level performance.

Using elm allows us to scale without worrying about setting up new connections and complicating our sales data any more than it needs to be.”

Winning over retailers

“On a week-to-week basis, we are trying to understand how we can take data, say from Tesco or Sainsbury’s, and show it to Co-op and convince them that they absolutely need to stock us. We’re also trying to get more new products into existing retailers and get into smaller, convenience stores. We’re doing sales presentations to retailers all the time and we always use elm to prep for this.”

Highlighting hidden issues

“We expanded with one retailer from 70 stores to 200 stores, just as COVID kicked off. We continued to perform well in the first 70 stores, but the additional 130 were up and down. We could never really guarantee if we were on shelves. We ended up realising that they had substantial stocking and replacement issues with our SKUs. We used elm’s smart actions to make over 150 calls to store managers to check whether or not the product was on shelf, whether or not barkers were in place and whether or not they were even aware that they were meant to be stocking us.

You’re judged against your ability to deliver a certain ROS. Over 25% of stores didn’t even realise they were supposed to be stocking us. To be told that a store manager doesn’t even know what product you’re talking about is pretty concerning. This was all made possible with elm.”

“elm flags that there is stock sitting in the back of a store which isn’t being sold. We then action this to get the issue resolved very quickly.”

Informed merchandising

We’ve started utilising one of elm’s partnerships – with the field agency Redwigwam – which allows for automatic syncing of the actions elm automatically provides on their system every week. By alerting these partners to elm’s smart recommendations, they can visit stores on your behalf and merchandise the shelf. elm’s analytical tools tell you which stores have issues and then match that against the potential call value and ROI if you were to visit and merchandise the store. Everything is done for you, every week.”

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