Case Study:
Cameron’s Specialty Coffee

Deeper data insights and significant time savings helped Cameron’s empower sales teams and support continued growth.

Cameron’s Specialty Coffee uses EBM Catalyst Software to democratize data & support company sale.

ORGANIZATION:

Cameron’s Specialty Coffee

LOCATION:

Shakopee, MN

INDUSTRY:

CPG – Food & Beverage

Organization Information

  • Approximately $75MM company specializing in the roasting, sale and distribution of premium specialty coffee.
  • Product sold through multiple channels, including eCommerce, distributer network, distribution center level sales and direct store-level sales.
  • Sold in 2019 to Colombian food & beverage conglomerate Grupo Nutresa S.A.

“We’re very lucky we implemented Catalyst the year before we decided to sell, because I don’t think we would have been able to slice and dice all that data in that amount of time. I would say it was absolutely instrumental in getting the company sold.“

Josh Anderson
VP of Finance

“We can much more quickly and accurately see all of our customers and see what our gross margins are. There’s no place to do that in the ERP. You could download all these Excel files and build a spreadsheet, but it would take just an enormous amount of time.”

Josh Anderson
VP of Finance

“We looked at a couple of other options, but found they weren’t as flexible as we’d want them to be. Catalyst could be more customized to what our needs were.”

Rob Bunten
CFO

“Our sales team has much more clarity into how their customers are doing, which allows them to make better decisions on how much money to invest into a certain customer and when to pull back.”

Josh Anderson
VP of Finance

“Our sales team has much more clarity into how their customers are doing, which allows them to make better decisions on how much money to invest into a certain customer and when to pull back.”

Josh Anderson
VP of Finance

Problems Identified:

  • Slow and laborious reporting process, lacking critical depth of information.
  • ERP provided no direct visibility into channel-by-channel sales, customer profitability or item profitability – making it difficult for sales teams to obtain valuable information.
  • High volume of data requests on the immediate horizon as the company was preparing for sale.

Solutions Implemented:

  • Implemented Catalyst by EBM Software, cutting the time and effort required for in-depth reporting and analysis.
  • Catalyst democratized data for the sales team, bridging the gap to allow by-customer, by-SKU and by-channel reporting and analysis.
  • Catalyst software supported data request needs during $113MM 2019 sale to Colombian food conglomerate Grupo Nutresa S.A.

Benefits Realized:

  • $113MM sale to Grupo Nutresa S.A.
  • 1 SOURCE of truth for data
  • ANALYSIS & REPORTING by customer, item & channel

Building the Company

Beginning as a family business in 1978, Cameron’s Specialty Coffee has experienced incredible growth over the past 40 years. Long before the days when a trendy coffee shop could be found on every corner, Jim and Janie Cameron made it their mission to bring coffeehouse-quality specialty roasts to people at their local grocery stores.

But with time and growth came added complexity, and even with the help of modern systems, reporting on and analyzing the business became an increasingly difficult task.

“It would be very time consuming to pull the data out, and then sort and segregate the data by customer or product line,” says Cameron’s CFO Rob Bunten. “We would have to reinvent the wheel every time we did these reports. And we were getting more and more pressure to report more information more quickly.”

Seeing the limitations of their ERP, the Cameron’s team began their search for a more specialized tool for reporting on and analyzing the business.

$113MM

SALE

to Group Nutresa S.A.

1

SOURCE

of truth for data

A Revelation

After exploring their options, the Cameron’s team decided on Catalyst by EBM Software for their business performance solution. “We looked at a couple of other options, but found they weren’t as flexible as we’d want them to be,” says Bunten. “Catalyst could be more customized to what our needs were.”

Transitioning to the new system in 2018 couldn’t have come at a better time. The company had just added a new Vice President of Finance, Josh Anderson, and was also preparing for sale. Needless to say, the demand for data was at an all-time high.

EBM Software worked with Cameron’s to ensure they could easily slice and dice their data the way they needed to, in order to gain a better understanding of the business and get critical information to key stakeholders quickly.

“After we got it up and running, I created a bunch of reports, and now the whole sales team just goes into those reports, refreshes and does their own analytics,” says VP of Finance Josh Anderson. “We didn’t have to hire a financial analyst – we enabled the sales team to gather their own data and put together their own reports. It put power in their hands they’ve never had before, because they couldn’t access it in our ERP system – they wouldn’t even know where to begin.”

Catalyst also significantly reduced the time spent on the most basic aspects of monthly reporting. “Now we just go into the Catalyst tool, pull our pivot tables and it’s a simple refresh. It’s a lot quicker,” says Anderson, “As opposed to going into the ERP itself and downloading specific Excel files. There isn’t one reporting module in the ERP to get all this stuff – you have to go from screen to screen and download multiple excel files.”

The Paradigm Shift

With the time saved, the Cameron’s team was able to add deeper layers of analysis to their reporting, bringing a depth of knowledge the team never had before. For example, Catalyst’s dynamic Data Cubes offered Cameron’s an in-depth view of customer and item profitability, allowing the team to make more educated strategic moves on pricing, promotions and other variables.

>“In the Catalyst Profitability Cube, we can much more quickly and accurately see all of our customers and see what our gross margins are. There’s no place to do that in the ERP. You could download all these Excel files and build a spreadsheet, but it would take just an enormous amount of time,” says Anderson. “So, in the time we’ve saved, we can add that extra level of detail to our analysis. Our sales team has much more clarity into how their customers are doing, which allows them to make better decisions on how much money to invest into a certain customer and when to pull back.” </p

In the midst of all this, the Cameron’s business was up for sale. Dealing with a nonstop influx of data requests from the investment bank, Catalyst helped the Cameron’s team save enormous amounts of time and alleviated any concerns about accuracy.

“The investment bankers had to put together a huge 100-page marketing deck to pitch to buyers – all analytics – basically anything in that deck came from Catalyst. So, it was critical,” says Anderson.</p

The deal closed in September of 2019, when Cameron’s was sold to Colombian food and beverage conglomerate Grupo Nutresa S.A. for $113 million. According to Anderson, “I don’t know how we would have gotten that done without Catalyst. We’re very lucky we implemented it the year before we decided to sell, because I don’t think we would have been able to slice and dice all that data in that amount of time. I would say it was absolutely instrumental in getting the company sold.”

ANALYSIS & REPORTING

by customer, item & channel