How EasyEcom Helped the Premium Yogurt Brand Launch & Thrive in Digital Commerce
Epigamia came into being in 2015 as a subsidiary of Mumbai-based fresh FMCG products company Drums Food International. Envisioned by Rohan Mirchandani, Uday Thakker, Chef Ganesh Krishnamoorthy, and Rahul Jain, the brand established itself as a premium Greek Yogurt brand. A few years into existence, the company quickly expanded its portfolio to include other dairy products including snack packs, artisanal curd, cheese, and smoothies.
The company has been marketing its products through thousands of online and offline retail touchpoints including Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, Big Basket and Amazon, and other general store traders.
The First Company to Enter the Yogurt Market in India
Epigamia has come a long way since its conception and is now in the league of premium yogurt brands. It also happens to be the first Indian brand to enter the greek yogurt industry and has been winning at it ever since. The parent company, Drums Food International, has raised $44.5 Mn in funding to date where the last funding contributed a whopping $25.58 Mn. The key investors for this funding were two of the major investment firms based out of Belgium and New York.
As part of a strategic partnership, the brand roped in Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone to invest in Drums Food International and represent Epigamia as their brand ambassador.
Epigamia mainly operated via a distribution network that delivered to a cluster of offline stores and retail touchpoints in over 15 major Indian cities. On the online front, the brand also sold via Amazon and Big Basket. When offline retail stopped receiving footfall during the series of pandemic lockdowns, Epigamia sales took a hit, as that’s where they saw most of their customers.
Soon after, the yogurt brand decided to launch their own digital storefront owing to social distancing and strategized expanding their reach to meet their customers where they were.
With EasyEcom by its Side, Epigamia Makes a Debut in the Digital world
When all the offline store operations came to a sudden halt, marketplaces like Amazon and Big Basket saw a major surge in orders and this affected a lot of FMCG brands while getting a slot for product listings with the retail giants. For Epigamia, the wait time to get a slot with Amazon was around 7 days and then an additional 72 hours for order fulfillment.
When digitalization became absolutely necessary, Epigamia carefully inspected the tools and platforms required to make the necessary online debut. After choosing Shopify as their preferred eCommerce platform, Epigamia looked for an inventory management software that would streamline their business involving a product with a definite shelf life. Rifling through a plethora of options, the brand zeroed down on the award-winning omnichannel retailing solution provided by EasyEcom as its eCommerce enabler.
Challenges Faced by Epigamia
Just a few years into the launch, Epigamia expanded its portfolio to include a variety of products that were sold from several retail touchpoints. All the operational units worked from the ground and there was no digital commerce setup. When they finally made a debut in the world of digital commerce, a lot of challenges on the eCommerce platform started following. The brand had to overcome these hurdles one by one while keeping their reputation intact. Some of these eCommerce pain points that the Epigamia team faced largely included:
- Sudden appearance into the digital commerce world: The Epigamia customer-base wanted the company to set up a website to take orders for a very long time. When it became absolutely necessary to resort to that option, they kick-started their eCommerce journey. However, a mere digital presence was not enough; handling a huge customer demand was still a challenge.
- Shipping the product Pan India: Epigamia moves the inventory that has an extremely small expiration time limit. Dispatching such inventory within a proper time frame across the country was a daunting task. One that required a lot of operational units and human resources to be dedicated to a schedule. The company needed a system that allowed them to seamlessly operate across locations.
- Managing Multiple Warehouses (depots): To tackle the problem of shipping all over India in a short time span, Epigamia opened several additional depots. Now, the trouble was to efficiently manage these depots. And, the biggest challenge was to pick a depot that would be responsible for dispatching the inventory. There had to be a system to select a depot based on the demand and deliver the products on time in a particular region.
- Handling Large no. of Orders: Although there were multiple depots to handle the orders, the steady increase in the volume of these orders demanded a larger operational team. And, a lack of a system in place only made the management inefficient.
- Inventory tracking: Keeping track of the inventory is always a challenge, regardless of the business type. Epigamia used Microsoft Navision to track the inventory and being just an ERP, Microsoft Navision doesn’t connect to eCommerce channels. So, it was hard for the team to report accurate inventory levels. The discrepancies in the inventory levels lead to stock shortages or sometimes an abundance of inventory, ultimately leading to a loss.
- Inventory Forecasting: For products with extremely defined shelf life, inventory forecasting is not just a fancy activity. Without a proper forecasting and planning system, the company was facing too much too little too soon kind of a situation.
- Tracking payments: Not being able to track payments from different channels could lead to a substantial loss over time and Epigamia was not unknown to this situation either. The lack of payment tracking and COD reconciliation system was directly affecting Epigamia’s profit margins.
- Manual entries for record-keeping: The invoice generation along with other crucial entries into ERP were manually done which left room for errors. Sometimes, there were fulfillment delays, low fill ratio, and shipment mismatching.
How EasyEcom helped Epigamia streamline eCommerce Operations
Epigamia was dealing with all kinds of challenges that an eCommerce business faces at the time of conceiving and the stages that follow, all at the same time. With no system in place, it was hard to keep up with the demand, shipping from the right depot within time, and managing their inventory while also keeping waste to a minimum considering the limited shelf-life of the products. EasyEcom built a plan from scratch to address all the issues that the yogurt brand was facing:
- Order routing and fulfillment from the depots: As mentioned earlier, the company was managing the business through multiple depots. EasyEcom enabled eCommerce capabilities in these depots by registering them into the system for order routing. We started with implementing order routing based on the demand location. The order would be automatically assigned to the nearest depot to the location of the customer while placing the request. Hence, making the fulfillment process easier.
- Shipping Automation: Epigamia was hand-delivering orders in the absence of a courier partner. The items were delivered on their own vehicles. Hence, there was a need to handle the workflow for their vehicles and EasyEcom streamlined it by automating the entire process. This helped Epigamia reduce delivery time and since we also enabled branded tracking pages, their customers could get shipment updates via real-time shipment tracking.
- Automated tax engine integrated with Tally ERP: It provided reconciliation-related automation for accounting that helped them keep easy track of their financing team. Additionally, it saved a lot of time for the team.
- Bulk Order processing: Epigamia has been selling thousands of units per day and such a high volume of orders for the brand required processing the orders in bulk. EasyEcom enabled bulk order processing, taking care of the end-to-end procedure for the brand’s eCommerce store. Further easing the process, the complete invoicing, taxation handling, shipment generation, and order tracking continues being handled from within the dashboard.
What Epigamia has to Say?
“ The best part about EasyEcom is that the UI and UX of the system are so neat and simple that even the depot team can easily use it. The multi-user access features at different levels ease out the day to day operations. The order is packed by the supply team and the accounts team can check the reports on the dashboard and punch the numbers in the system. EasyEcom helped smoothened my oral operations and we were able to deliver the products within 24 hours of confirmation. We are now processing thousands of units on a daily basis without any glitches.”
Strategic Initiatives at Drums Food International (Epigamia)