The Brand Passport
As a lean organization, The Brand Passport ensures that they have effective systems and processes in place and Acctivate has become a part of that.
“In comparison to some of our competitors that are our size, we are able to run a much leaner organization from a personnel standpoint simply because we have better systems in place and processes that we participate in with our 3PL warehouse,” Jason Stuart, Logistics Manager said.
Before Acctivate came into the picture, The Brand Passport managed operations with a system they borrowed from their 3PL. The addition of QuickBooks followed rather quickly and then they combined the use of numerous spreadsheets to manually manage processes.
“Then we decided it was very important to get an inventory management software system,” Stuart said.
The Brand Passport launched in 2010. They began shipping a low volume to customers in 2011 and the next year in 2012 demand grew exponentially.
Stuart described their growth.
Challenges with their former inventory software
It was time for The Brand Passport to get an inventory management software that fully contributed to being a lean organization. They needed a system that could help them compete and support their growth.
“We ditched our former inventory software at the end of January 2015,” Stuart said.
Acctivate Inventory Management Software took the place of their other system.
With Acctivate, no additional personnel was necessary, in fact as Stuart stated,
“We are a very lean organization. I’m the only logistics person here. So, I do all of it. Our 3PL handles the transportation aspect for us. Our 3PL warehouse has a load consolidation program and basically all I do, using Acctivate now, I enter the orders into the system and then I send the pick tickets to the warehouse and they process and plan the shipments and move it out from there.”
The Brand Passport imports and distributes cookies and other snacks from European vendors, including Daelmans, an international manufacturer based in the Netherlands and the worldwide market leader in stroopwafels (caramel waffles). The Brand Passport is the exclusive U.S. distributor for Daelmans.
The Brand Passport distributes direct to retail customers, as well as to other distributors, including McLane® and KeHE™. Walmart®, Target®, Kroger®, and 7-Eleven® are among their customers.
Stuart explained their business operations further going into imports and their 3PL.
“All the products are made in Europe and it’s shipped in mostly refrigerated containers to the U.S. Once it gets to the U.S. we bring the goods to our warehouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania and from there everything is shipped to customers throughout the country.”
Reporting: manual vs. flexible & customizable
The Brand Passport has found true reporting capabilities in Acctivate through its Crystal Reports® integration, which enables them to customize reports to their specific needs. This was not so true for them before.
Lot number tracking: cumbersome process vs. real-time visibility
“Reports for tracking lot numbers is a huge priority for us, obviously, because we need to know what went out and to who it went out to in case there’s ever a recall. Most of our customers have expectations to have product that is going to have a certain number of days of shelf life remaining on it.”
The Brand Passport has a custom report to handle this in Acctivate.
Lot number control before Acctivate
“So what I would do in the past is I would track the lots on a spreadsheet from the 3PL warehouse’s website. The warehouse was shipping on a FIFO method, so I was depending on them to make sure they were doing everything right and not shipping any product that was past a certain date in order to meet the customer’s expectations of the dates that they require in terms of freshness of goods.”
Lot number control with Acctivate
3PL support: more work & error-prone vs. time savings & accuracy
The Brand Passport stocks their inventory at their 3PL provider warehouse and the 3PL handles shipping the orders. Acctivate has helped to reduce the amount of work for the 3PL and has eliminated errors in the process.
“What I do right now is when I enter the orders, I generate the pick ticket right out of Acctivate and send that to the warehouse.”
Multi-currency: tedious accounting adjustments vs. immediate, accurate currency conversion
The Brand Passport buys from some of their suppliers in Europe in Euros, so having comprehensive multi-currency support integrated with QuickBooks is key.
Handling multiple currencies before Acctivate
“In the past, when we had to do multi-currency it always involved us keeping track of the dates when we issued the PO and when we received the goods and it caused a lot of accounting adjustments.”
Multi-currency with Acctivate
QuickBooks integration: one way versus bi-directional
Landed Cost: tedious line by line cost assigning versus allocation per PO & more
Stuart credited the bi-directional synchronization between Acctivate and QuickBooks for making it easy to make changes to landed cost entries if necessary.
The one way QuickBooks integration in their former inventory software presented challenges and took a toll on landed cost.
Stuart continued with the landed cost comparison between Acctivate and their previous inventory software.
The Brand Passport is now able to calculate the real Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) with Acctivate by allocating the total landed cost amount across one or multiple transactions — purchase orders in their case. Acctivate also can do this based on quantity, value or weight.
Drop shipping: inaccurate information vs. accurate management
The Brand Passport handles their Ex Works shipments with Acctivate’s Drop Ship add-on. These shipments are picked up by the customers directly from the factory in Europe with their own transportation.
A lack of drop ship management in their prior inventory software
Implementation: costly, complex process vs. affordable, simple process
The Brand Passport worked with Lauren Stine, the manager of implementation to train and go live on Acctivate.
When asked how working with Stine was, Stuart replied, “excellent”.
Acctivate also has a tremendous library of tools for online help, so it really made the process a lot easier.
The implementation process with their other inventory solution proved to be more costly.
KIND Snacks recommended Acctivate to The Brand Passport. They too are a food distribution company that moved to Acctivate to handle volume from explosive growth. Read more about their experience.
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