The Continuing Journey – Making the Best Use of Data
The company motto for Schreiber Foods, a leading private label supplier for foodservice and retail, is “Doing Good Through Food”. For Erin Buntin, Foodservice Sales Director, and her team, the department motto could be “Doing Well Through Data.”
The team at Schreiber Foods has definitely undergone a transformational and evolutionary journey by using more – and better – product detail to drive performance and sales. And Erin has had a lot to do with it.
As a global supplier of dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and plant-based beverages, Schreiber manufactures products for other brands, which means the Sales team members often “operate out of fear,” according to Buntin. What she means is that as a company managing another company’s brand, every attribute or asset they use can make the difference in getting a sale, as they are competing against branded competitors.
Thankfully, the Schreiber team has embraced the usage of product content as part of their sales process, even though it has been a bit of a journey. Early on, as the concept of GS1 and content consistency was starting to take shape for suppliers, it was crucial to show the organization the importance of how information would drive business decisions. Buntin noted that coming from a retail background where there was access to product data, she worked to show how to use information to drive better decisions by incorporating it into both the selling cycle and customer engagement.
Buntin also noted that organizational adoption can be challenging, especially coming from something unknown that may require new or different resources. However, as a strong advocate internally, she made sure people understood that the future would be more reliant on content, not less, and adopting when they did was a move to strengthen the company.
And now they can’t live without it! Where once Schreiber started with a few images or descriptions, they now work to add more storytelling elements as a way of making the content connect more with the viewer. For example, highlighting the proper ratio of cheese to put on a burger helps users gain the expectation that they go to Schreiber as their “one source of truth,” rather than reaching out to multiple salespeople for various pieces of information.
The team at Schreiber sees their data journey as never finished, and they stay in a “never satisfied” state with the information as they recognize there are always improvements to be made. But while it was hard in the past to get product information distributed, today it’s a requirement to sell.
“The best word to explain how we got to where we are today is truly, ‘evolution’… We’re proud to be at a point to see how integration of more data is a game changer.”
— Erin Buntin, Director, Foodservice Sales
See what else Erin and host Jason Gunn discussed about Schreiber’s journey to digital dominance, how the hard data helps them to connect through better storytelling, and how it all comes together in service of better sales.