Jeff and Amy chose to focus on growing their sales ahead of their team in-house. Learn how they established long lasting relationships to deliver triple digit growth year on year with no additional full time employees.
A keto brand with a D2C first mentality
Hunter & Gather is a Stage 3 keto and ancestral health inspired brand with a 21 strong product range. Their SKUs include oils, condiments, sauces, collagen products and more. Founded by Jeff (an ex quantity surveyor) and Amy (an ex FMCG sales manager), they have grown the business significantly through their own D2C channel, on Amazon and in stores from Ocado to indies nationwide and overseas.
“We were growing fast but would not have known how to build the right team”
Jeff and Amy first met YF when they were very small – in fact they had only sold about £2k worth of products. But with their fantastic product range delivering on the needs of customers both online and in-store, it was clear that they were onto something – sales were increasing every single week.
They were growing fast, achieving sales of over £50k per month within 18 months of starting, and beginning to feel out of their comfort zone with their operations. A complex product range, managed through various factories and lots of components, meant it was taking up a huge amount of time from the founders.
“At the time I had no idea what good looked like on the operations side. It felt like I was fudging my way through things and knew we needed help. The obvious thing to do was to hire but I was not in a position to identify the right person or know what to do with them. It was not my forte and we loved the idea of a lean business.”
“The YF Supply Chain Team just felt like the right option”
Jeff decided to approach the YF Supply Chain Team as an alternative to hiring into operations internally. With a strong existing relationship with the YF team, Jeff knew he could trust them to care as much as he did with such a critical part of his business.
“We knew YF was the right option from the off – we wanted to work with Chris, Thea and the team. It was the natural option to work with YF.”
Hunter & Gather became a retained client, first asking YF to take on customer supply, and then expanding the scope to include demand planning and the upstream supply chain. This meant everyday they worked with YF supply chain members that forecasted for them, placed orders for materials, processed orders and even set up SLAs and running monthly meetings with key suppliers.
At the same time, Jeff and Amy started to build their team with a customer experience manager, social media manager and finance assistant whilst having a handful of other close third party relationships – an Amazon specialist, a 3PL, a designer, and a series of suppliers and contracts manufacturers.
Through COVID and Brexit, the YF team took the weight of the supply chain volatility, leaving Jeff and Amy to focus on their exponential growth via online channels in particular. Hunter & Gather were able to remain incredibly agile, bringing out new products and variants to respond to demand. This agility meant they grew more than 300% year on year.
After more than 18 months managing their supply chain, YF made the recommendation that Hunter & Gather recruit an in-house team for the ‘business-as-usual’ to give them the best results for the next phase of their growth. They worked closely with our recruitment team to hire two new roles, one senior and one junior, who were onboarded into Hunter & Gather by the YF team.
300%+ year on year growth and a team now in-house
Now, Hunter & Gather has a strong and stable supply chain managed internally and still work with YF on an advisory and support capacity when there is a lot going on. As they continue to grow at an incredible pace, the two businesses remain close, with YF supporting Hunter & Gather in many other areas of their business.
3 Things To Take Away
1. “Get the basics right and the rest will look after itself”. Whether that is habits or systems, the foundations will feed the rest.
2. “Look after your own sanity and know when enough is enough”. Only if you make yourself the best you can be, will you do the best for your customers, shareholders, employees and stakeholders.
3. “Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20″. When working with YF, present the problem and let them find your solutions. Do not feel you need to be involved in everything that YF does as they will support you in different ways at different stages of your life.
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