Our app marketplace is brimming with over 600 apps. It gives small businesses and their advisors the right software tools to run their unique business operations and help them reach their goals. Whether for a small business owner that’s increased profitability, global expansion, or greater work-life balance, everyday we hear some pretty amazing success stories from our ecosystem.
So to celebrate these stories, this month we’re kicking off our new app partner of the month award. Each month we’ll be highlighting one Xero app partner, that stand outs for helping small businesses thrive.
This month, our app partner of the month is Unleashed. Unleashed is an inventory management solution that gives manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors accurate and real-time visibility into inventory, helping them streamline businesses processes.
Founded in 2009 in New Zealand, Unleashed has achieved impressive growth, with over 15000 global users and processing the equivalent of NZ$5.73B in sales transactions in the last financial year. At the same time, their software is helping other businesses scale their operations seamlessly, and take on global markets.
We talked to Matt Morrison, co-founder of Karma Cola, about how Unleashed helped his beverage company scale into the global success story they are today, as they spread good Karma, one bottle of cola at a time.
Good Karma from helping other small businesses
“After discovering in 2012 that every 60 seconds a million bottles of cola were being drunk, but not a cent was going to cola growers, we took action. We used a bag of kola nuts grown in a village in the Gola rainforest in Sierra Leone to make our first batch of cola. It was also free from any chemicals. And Karma Cola was born,” Matt said.
Made from globally sourced, real ingredients, Karma Cola’s recipe ensured it was as good as it could be for both growers and consumers. And it quickly took off. It launched in a handful of New Zealand cafes in 2012. A year later, Karma Cola entered the Australian market. Today Karma Cola is sold in over 3000 espresso bars and restaurants, in over 20 countries. For every bottle sold, part of the proceeds go to the people who grow cola in Boma village, Sierra Leone.
Using Xero and Unleashed
“We have a very complex supply chain, from sourcing kola nuts from Sierra Leone, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and ginger from Sri Lanka, and sugar from India. We also transport the ingredients and materials to production sites around the world in New Zealand, Austria, and the UK. Unleashed makes managing this complex supply chain accurate and straightforward, from assembling each production run, to costing and working out margin flows,” Matt said.
With people on the ground all over the world, it’s crucial the team has access to real-time data on the move.
“We don’t want our operational people stuck behind a desk. We want them visiting growers, or checking on production. With Unleashed they can check inputs in real-time, make purchase orders, or send invoices, from anywhere. The software is really straightforward, and our team doesn’t need to have a background in accounting or bookkeeping,” Matt said.
And because Unleashed has a seamless integration with Xero, unnecessary admin is also taken care of.
“As soon as we send a purchase order, we know it goes straight into Xero. We can trust it’s all taken care of for us, no matter where we are. With Xero we can check on the financial health of our business from anywhere. I’ve literally used Xero on the foothills of Kilimanjaro to view our profit and loss. I’ve also used it in the back of a track outside of Freetown in Sierra Leone to check on our margins,” Matt said.
Scaling to take on the global stage
Every 10 seconds someone in the world is drinking a bottle of karma cola. So that’s a lot of orders to fill. And as the company has grown, it’s also added a number of other drink lines. Its most recent drink is the sugar free Karma Cola, made from natural ingredients.
“Using Xero and Unleashed we’ve been able to handle our increase in transaction volumes seamlessly, making it easier for us to grow and scale up production. Unleashed gives us the confidence that we know what we have, exactly where it is and how much we’re selling. The dashboard shows us how all of the separate parts of our business come together and where they end up.”
And the company’s growth is anything but slowing down. Conscious consumers around the world are increasingly looking for real products made by real people. So Karma Cola plans to double its operations every two years.
“It’s inspiring to see New Zealand companies like Xero and Unleashed increasingly expanding globally, while helping other businesses succeed. That’s a journey we’re also on at Karma Cola. Europe is the next big market we’re focusing on. Using Xero and Unleashed helps set us up for success as we grow,” Matt said.
You can find out more about Karma Cola and the Karma Cola Foundation here.