Zero to Hero: Winning in Volatile Markets with QuickBooks and TrueCommerce Combo
Coming up with a product idea from scratch, building a company and launching it is not for the faint of heart. Crossing the chasm and building on the successful start to expand market share is no small feat either. Having a nimble integrated system that helps an emerging company connect with trading partners is a key tool on this journey.
Here are the three stories showing how TrueCommerce QuickBooks integration helps organizations go “from zero to hero.”
A veteran business traveler, Matthew Johnson searched in vain for a product that could give him peace of mind about the cleanliness of his restaurant utensils. None of the existing options were a good match, so he decided to take the matter into his own hands, create a product that would serve the people with similar needs and build a business around it.
When the opportunity arose to invest in creating a solution to this everyday problem, he “took that leap of faith” and started NEATS from his home in the Atlanta area in 2018, after several years of planning and preparation. Neats Utensil & Travel Wipes was born.
The demand spiked and orders started streaming in. And it was taxing: Mr. Johnson had to process and ship every NEATS order from his home office using spreadsheets—on top of working a full-time “day job” and being a husband, father and now a home-school teacher in 2020.
But Mr. Johnson knew that as his business grew, he would need electronic data interchange (EDI) to meet the procurement requirements of major retailers, not to mention keep up with a much higher order volume.
“Even though I’m a small business today, I like to look ahead,” Mr. Johnson relates. “That’s why I first reached out to TrueCommerce B2BGateway back in 2017, after doing research into EDI online.”
NEATS officially became a TrueCommerce B2BGateway customer in the fall of 2019. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Johnson realized that he needed to upgrade their business system.
“When I started with TrueCommerce B2BGateway I was using entry-level, cloud-based accounting software that didn’t match well with EDI,” comments Mr. Johnson. “I spoke with B2BGateway about what accounting tools other SMBs like me were utilizing that could integrate with EDI, and they recommended Intuit QuickBooks Online. After doing some research I made the switch to QuickBooks Online and it’s worked very well for me.”
NEATS got a big break in 2020 when a major pharmacy retailer began selling the NEATS wet wipes on a trial basis in nine stores in the northeast. The retailer doesn’t yet require NEATS to use EDI, but the integrated TrueCommerce B2BGateway EDI solution for QuickBooks Online is tested, connected and ready to go as soon as orders start flowing.
EDI turned out to be a must-have.
“One of the things large retailers look for in their potential partners is whether you have an EDI solution,” Mr. Johnson notes. “I wanted to be able to at least check that box and say, ‘Yes, I do have that solution and I can be ready at any time.’”
¡CACTUS! Water Co.
¡CACTUS! Water Co., a company specializing in flavored waters enhanced by the power of cactus leaf juice, had a similar challenge. Ms. Sarita Lopez, its founder, developed the product, launched her company and got the attention of a major grocer, H-E-B in rapid succession. But, just like in NEATS’ case, the chain wanted Ms. Lopez to enable EDI connectivity and she had a very vague idea of what that was.
Although she looked at several EDI providers, Ms. Lopez quickly felt drawn to TrueCommerce. She commented, “When I called to inquire about TrueCommerce, I got ahold of someone so quickly. The salesperson I spoke with was warm and friendly. I had called two or three other companies and had to leave voicemails—and no one ever got back to me.”
To meet its customer’s EDI needs and get products on the shelves quickly, ¡CACTUS! Water Co. needed to implement an integrated EDI solution in short order. TrueCommerce’s proven onboarding process provided the speed, transparency, and support the company needed to get started. Thanks to TrueCommerce’s support team, ¡CACTUS! Water Co. was able to start trading with grocery partners fast. Ms. Lopez recalled, “I processed my first purchase order just a month after I started with TrueCommerce.”
TrueCommerce’s direct QuickBooks integration has been a key benefit. Ms. Lopez remarked, “The TrueCommerce integration with QuickBooks is flawless. It’s a seamless transition of data.”
Although the company’s products have only been on store shelves a few months, it’s already seen significant ROI from investing in EDI. Ms. Lopez reported, “At first, I thought EDI was going to be so much more expensive than what I’m actually paying to TrueCommerce. Because it’s affordable, TrueCommerce EDI has already paid for itself in my business.”
Vandemoortele, a well-established bakery products producer, did not have the challenges facing both NEATS and ¡CACTUS! as new-to-the-market brands. The company’s history goes all the way back to 1899 in Izegem, Belgium. Originally a baking oil refinery, Vandemoortele expanded into dough and pastry products in the 1960s, and in 1978, began making frozen bakery products. However, like both startups, it had to establish in the US market literally from zero.
Selecting an accounting system was one of the first crucial steps, and QuickBooks Online was the perfect choice. Knowing they wanted to expand to work with larger retail grocers, Vandermoortele realized the next step was to invest in EDI – a must-have requirement to do business with major chains.
To help with their search for an EDI provider, Vandemoortele chose to work with an accountancy firm, who quickly introduced them to TrueCommerce. Still, Vandemoortele’s Vice President of Operations and Finance for the US, Brendan McGinn, was apprehensive of getting started with an entirely new way of trading with retailers.
TrueCommerce was able to quickly put Mr. McGinn and his team at ease and have the integration up and running through a proven process and step-by-step guidance.
As Vandemoortele continues to grow their US footprint, they know integrated EDI for QuickBooks Online will play a critical role in creating relationships with top retailers. “We’re still in the early stages, but so far so good,” clarified Mr. McGinn. “We’re using TrueCommerce EDI with one wholesaler right now. We plan to have more clients and customers use it as well.”
Getting Started with Integrated EDI for QuickBooks
For a successful launch – be it a new company with a new product or an established company taking on a new market – TrueCommerce and QuickBooks Online is a winning combo to go from Zero to Hero. With it, organizations of all sizes and growth stages can easily meet requirements of major trading partners, such as retail chains and global marketplaces, and automate time-consuming, error-prone manual data entry processes.
If your business uses QuickBooks and is searching for an EDI solution, or if you want to learn more about how EDI can help you do business in every direction, contact us today!
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About the Author: Yegor Kuznetsov is a former international news agency editor and a marketing communications veteran who loves telling customer success stories. Over the last 20 years, he has been working for an array of dynamic technology companies, most recently with TrueCommerce, a global provider of trading partner connectivity, integration and unified commerce solutions.