Neat Meat is a New Zealand owned and operated meat supplier with bases in Auckland and Queenstown.
We went onsite and had a chat with one of the founders, William Eriksen, about his journey with Neat Meat and experience with Fresho.
Talk to me about how Neat Meat started
I’m in business with my two brothers and two mates. There are five of us in total, but we consider ourselves a small family business.
We wanted to be in the meat sector, without necessarily owning a farm. So meat trading became the first thing we did. From there we went from trading meat to marketing meat to restaurants, to airlines, to stadiums, through to retail, and then on to export too.
Now we’ve been in business for 21 years!
What's your favourite thing about working at Neat Meat?
I love the fact that one day I can be in a chopper heading out to the back blocks of the Southern Alps, working with farmers setting up a merino brand. And then the very next day, I’m in The French Cafe in Auckland selling that particular meat to one of New Zealand’s top restaurants and chefs. There’s a real contrast in what we do.
Talk to us about your order processes before moving to Fresho
It used to be emails, faxes, phone calls, and messages, and we would be manually writing them down. This is where you had quite a few problems because emails could be misspelt, phone calls can be bad lines, you often have the language barrier, and sometimes you don’t quite understand, or didn’t hear what they’re ordering and you’d be writing down the wrong thing.
That manual way of doing things created big problems.
What made you decide to come on Fresho?
We had a go at a couple of other systems but they just felt clunky. They felt like they were made by people who didn’t work in the industry.
Fresho came to us. What sold us was the simplicity of it – we are simple people, we’re in the meat game; it doesn’t have to be hugely complex. Yet it still had the ability to deal with complex factors, because as we grew, so did our line of SKUs and so did our product range.
How did you find the transition to moving your business online?
It took a bit of time because we’re a little bit gun-shy of systems we’d had in the past, but it didn’t take long for us to realise that Fresho was different.
Now that you’ve been using the platform for a while, how has Fresho helped your business?
It has simply removed hours and hours of manual writing in the morning. Every single day, there’s a moment of it saving time, compared to what it used to be like.
And now that it’s all done online, I can monitor it from home. I can see what’s happening if I go on holiday, and the customers have full visibility of the orders as well, whether it’s being picked or not.
How have your customers found using Fresho?
I was skeptical about our customers using any ordering system because we thought we were technophobes, but chefs can sometimes be next level.
This was put to bed pretty early doors, mostly because of the way Fresho dealt with the rollout. They were able to make it very understandable for the chefs. The fact that they could order off their phones as well as on the computer too was quite key.
The feedback I’ve had over the years is that our customers have really enjoyed it.
Has Fresho impacted the ordering behaviour of your customers?
The main thing is they can actually access all of your offerings. So they are inquiring saying, “look, I saw this product on Fresho, can I see some?” And you can organise it from there, without having to go out and do the hard sell. It’s effectively selling for us. Chefs have a look through your full product list and order from there.
What are your 3 favourite things about using Fresho?
- First has got to be the simplicity of it, yet still being able to capture all the data that we require.
- It’s very user-friendly.
- The third thing for us was the service, and Fresho’s ability to turn things around whenever we have any questions or problems.
Any advice to other food suppliers looking to move their business online?
My advice is don’t try and recreate the wheel and don’t make the same mistakes as us. Fresho, to me, ticks every box, and my advice would be to absolutely give them a go.