Tundra Restaurant Supply knows its way around a kitchen.
Whether offering a hefty commercial icemaker or a lightweight commercial countertop blender, the online vendor runs the gamut. With a sophisticated e-commerce website that offers amenities such as services from its restaurant design and packaging team, Tundra Restaurant Supply knows exactly what its customers need and, most importantly, when they need it.
From selling commercial restaurant equipment parts out of a car garage to operating a warehouse in Boulder, Colorado, the commercial restaurant supplier has been an industry leader for over two decades. Specializing in all things found in a bustling kitchen, e-commerce isn’t the supplier’s only arena. Tundra Restaurant Supply is a competitive chain supplier, providing discounted products to major brands like Chipotle. The company’s long-standing dominance in the professional restaurant equipment market can’t be attributed to its high-caliber brand relationships alone. Superior customer service and competitive pricing are the other ingredients to its brand success. All of it demands a reliable and dependable platform capable of simplifying the complexities of selling and fulfilling online from a single, convenient interface.
Marketplace management became Tundra Restaurant Supply’s greatest (and costliest) challenge.
With over 600 brands and 65,000 products, Tundra Restaurant Supply’s massive brand collection required a time-consuming, resource-demanding manual lift to customize product listings and business rules to achieve optimal product visibility and new customer acquisition. Moreover, the supplier needed help aggregating orders across marketplaces so it could fulfill those orders — and fast. Tundra Restaurant Supply knew that maintaining its customers’ high standard of fulfillment satisfaction was a make-or-break priority for its business.
“This industry heavily relies on free shipping, which dives into our margins,” explained Christine Sandoval, eCommerce manager. “Everyone is playing the free-shipping game to be competitive.”
The company stores thousands of products in its warehouse while simultaneously utilizing drop shippers to meet its consumers’ growing expectations of free and speedy delivery.
But Tundra Restaurant Supply knew drop shipping alone would not protect margins — its most important metric of success.
The team considered how cost- and time-saving efficiencies could help offset the expense of competitive shipping. Compared to other solution providers, ChannelAdvisor’s automation helps streamline Tundra Restaurant Supply’s workflow. ChannelAdvisor helps simplify the processing and tracking of orders and helps to reduce errors by minimizing the manual lift.
That isn’t all. Tundra Restaurant Supply needed a game-changing selling strategy. With its operations optimized, diversification was the obvious next step for continued growth.
“You offer hundreds of channels to put our products on, so the diversity and selection are huge,” explains Sandoval, adding that ChannelAdvisor’s integrations offer Tundra Restaurant Supply the ability to easily launch on new marketplaces, and the flexibility to test out those new selling channels before committing its complete product portfolio. “Not every channel works for every business; it’s a great way to get your feet wet with different channels without a huge investment.”
Moreover, ChannelAdvisor’s marketplace-specific reporting has enabled Tundra Restaurant Supply to strengthen its selling strategy and helps to guide tactical business decisions.
As Sandoval explains, “It’s provided me with a strategy to remove products that are not profitable, including items that were actually upside down. I’ve been able to utilize that report and make some decisions based on those numbers.”
When asked what the e-commerce journey would be like without ChannelAdvisor, Tundra Restaurant Supply describes a restaurant scene in which orders are pouring into a kitchen with few experienced cooks.
“We would need to scramble to try to figure out how to fulfill orders and manage them easily in one specifc spot,” says Sandoval. “The staff member who uses ChannelAdvisor the most manages all of our customer-facing issues and returns. I think if this tool weren’t readily available to them, we’d need more resources.”
“This software is an invaluable tool; it’s been a godsend, “ she adds. “ChannelAdvisor makes up about 15% of Tundra Restaurant Supply’s sales with channels we’re running — and that’s pretty significant!”