Section 1: About the Client
Fresh Fodder — http://www.freshfodder.com.au — is a proud, family owned and operated producer of dips, soups and grazing foods. Run by a passionate foodie, Max Schofield, the Fresh Fodder business is built around a family history of producing the highest quality, authentic grazing foods, most notably the famous ‘Gangster Dip,’ the best taramosalata on the market.
Based in regional New South Wales, Australia, the company has built a strong following from a loyal customer base through independent retailers, primarily in the Eastern States of Australia.
“Fresh Fodder had been distributing to the independent retail channel throughout the Eastern seaboard for the last five years, but we were looking for a national presence that would help us both build brand and economies of scale within our operation. Derek came to us with a plan on how to approach Aldi supermarkets and then worked with us to role out operationally a trial period of twelve weeks, where we ultimately won a 12 month contract to pack under license. Without Derek’s assistance and commitment there is no doubt we would not have realized this dream with Aldi as quickly as we did.”
– Max Schofield,
CEO Fresh Fodder.
Section 2: Their Challenge
What issue, challenge, or pain point did the client want you to address?
Over a decade of building a passionate and loyal customer base on the east coast of Australia has seen the Fresh Fodder brand become recognized as the brand with the killer product (the Gangster Dip) and a great reputation for quality and service. A network of nearly 600 independent stores was serviced directly from the Fresh Fodder facility based in regional NSW city — Orange. By mid 2018, it was clear that for the business to take the next step — become a truly national brand, a new approach to the market was needed.
Why did they have this problem?
The problem facing Max and his team was not unique — it’s one faced by many small and medium enterprises, especially those based in regional communities, where distance accentuates the challenge. It’s the by-product of the years of hard work that has built the brand and the business to the point where they are on the cusp of playing the game at the next level, but need some help taking that step up and making it work first time.
What were your client’s expected outcomes from working with a vendor to solve their stated problem?
Fresh Fodder needed someone to come in to work side by side with them, making sure they were ready to take on a large corporate customer whilst also maintaining their day to day operations. Someone to ask and address questions on capability to deliver on expectations: Were the back end systems sufficiently mature to take on the challenge? Dispatch, Logistics, Quality? And once the answers were in, what practical solutions could be adopted in the timeframe and at a cost the business could support?
With systems implemented and people trained and confident in their responsibilities, with stock on shelves and the relationship solid, DHRA could step out, the Fresh Fodder team could take over again – their capability enhanced and their business growing.
Why did they engage your organisation to help?
Max and his team needed someone who could meet them where they were in their journey. Someone with an ability to be adaptive and with a depth and breadth of experience in building capability in people and processes. Someone with experience in scaling up a business to support significant growth and someone with a track record in the food processing and manufacturing industry. Someone with experience negotiating with corporate clientele and their requirements. Most importantly, Fresh Fodder needed to work with a partner with a track record in delivery.
Section 3: Your Solution
How did you approach the challenge?
Fresh Fodder needed to build the capacity to support significant sales growth with minimal increase to its cost base. Simply going out and buying more equipment and putting on more staff wasn’t an option. It was definitely a case of doing more with the capacity at hand through better processes and training. Building efficiencies.
To do that, DHRA worked on site, embedded within the business at an operational level – an overarching process flow and business design was agreed upon and delivered by working on small, discrete pieces of work that combined to achieve an overall improvement to the business without the risk of change fatigue.
Once we were all comfortable we had the capacity to chase that ‘next scale’ customer, we agreed on a targeted approach to securing them.
How was your client involved in this stage?
The DHRA way is to work hand in hand, onsite. DHRA was embedded in the day to day operations of the Fresh Fodder business. Dispatch and functional processes and systems were designed collaboratively with the team and piloted and refined to make sure that they worked. DHRA took responsibility for ensuring the processes developed worked in practice, on site.
A joint Fresh Fodder and DHRA team engaged Aldi directly from initial concept pitch, through tender negotiations, delivery of product for a nationwide launch and then as support as the project transitioned to ‘business as usual’.
What was the solution?
Aldi selected an offering taking advantage of Fresh Fodder’s market leader status in the taramosalata segment. Whilst this was a Fresh Fodder branded offering, the in store ‘shelf ready’ packaging and Aldi specific logistics processes needed to be established, tested and delivered ahead of launch.
What was the timeline?
Aldi recognised the capability and product on offer from Fresh Fodder and adopted an aggressive timeline from initial discussions to product on shelf, in store across its Australian operations. The process from first meeting to first product on shelf was achieved in under six months.
Section 4: Results
Did your solution solve the client’s stated problem or accomplish their objective(s)?
Fresh Fodder’s taramosalata is now available across Australia in both independent and specialty grocers, but is also available to new markets through Aldi Stores.
What benefits did your client see because of your work immediately?
DHRA led the project for Fresh Fodder and the relationship with Aldi continues to strengthen over time. Crucially, the operational efficiency enhancements employed to support the Aldi project have further strengthened the Fresh Fodder business and its ability to take on new opportunities.
What benefits should your client see because of your work over time?
Along with quality and operational efficiency I would add that it has forced us to fast track “SQF” resulting in a better, safer and consistent product, pushing us towards a business that will hopefully run under management, sooner as a result of this experience.
Are there specific KPIs, measurements, statistics or ROI data you can share that clearly demonstrates the value of the solution/service/strategy you provided?
Fresh Fodder went from selling product in approx. 600 mostly independent retailers with a heaving focus on the Australian East Coast to supporting over 1100 stores nationwide. As well as increased product sales, the Fresh Fodder brand has been significantly boosted in the market.
Which one of those data points would you consider to be the most important? Why?
The increase in stores stocking product and the respective production increase to support them has been a very significant boost for Fresh Fodder. Successfully supporting the new stores during their launch and market entry phases, whilst maintaining support for existing sales channels provides the Fresh Fodder team and prospective new (major) customers confidence that Fresh Fodder can deliver – on time, on budget and with quality built in.
Finally, would your client agree that you solved their problem or helped them achieve their intended goal?
Max has provided his support for the preparation of this case study and has been an advocate for DHRA. He has acknowledged the role that DHRA played in delivering the Aldi project successfully. We look forward to working together again in the future.