News | October 3, 2017

Kansas City Coffee Retailer Celebrates 50th Anniversary With A New Tech Twist

How Innovative Ecommerce Technology Helped a Local Staple Become a National Brand

Necco Coffee is celebrating its 50th anniversary as the leading coffee services company in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

When Necco Coffee was founded in 1967, it was impossible to envision the future that awaited 50 years later.

Anthony Simone, Senior set out to source a better cup of java for his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. A coffee connoisseur, he knew what a good cup of joe tasted like, and he knew plenty of people who wanted something better than the grocery store brands in their downtown offices. He grew Necco to become Kansas City’s leader in office coffee and vending services.

At the time, there was no Internet. And there were no K-cups either. Anthony and his company grew, slowly but surely. His service was reliable, delivering on time, and his company always focused on delighting customers. The enterprise expanded to sell coffee supplies, filters, and more.

Fast forward 50 years to 2017, and 11th Street Coffee, the Internet Division of Necco Coffee, is growing fast. 25% fast, while coffee service competitors are either not growing at all or shrinking. Anthony Junior, the founder’s son, is leading that online retail growth with products and sales channels that didn’t exist when he was born. 11th Street Coffee is one of the select few retailers certified to sell Keurig products online. In the span of the last 10 years, they’ve more than doubled their family business by embracing ecommerce, the K-Cup trend, and technology innovation. It has been quite a transformation.

Ecommerce
Ecommerce started off small, piggybacking off the telephone order business. A modest number of orders would come in and go into the queue with the telephone orders scheduled for mail delivery.

And then, the business grew. And grew. Which made it harder and harder to get shipments out the door fast enough. There was just too much paper shuffling. So 11th Street embraced new technology; software that would take their online orders and accurately print out shipping labels and packing slips.

K-Cups
As K-cups gained popularity, the online business flourished even more. Necco and 11th Street Coffee sought a fairly exclusive arrangement to sell Keurig’s K-Cups online. The business really started to take off now, but their technology wasn’t keeping up.

Speed Bumps Ahead
Soon they hit more speed bumps. Customers wanted to sign up online for ongoing subscription deliveries like they could on Amazon.com. 11th Street Coffee wanted to offer online promotions through social media. Customer service personnel needed easy access to modify online orders up until the UPS guy showed up at the warehouse. More customers were buying on mobile devices. With increased online volume, powerful reporting and business intelligence was needed to make better inventory planning decisions. The current platform couldn’t handle any of it.

Technology Innovation and Partnership
The company set out to better manage their online and offline orders, customer service, procurement, inventory, warehouse and fulfillment. They wanted to keep growing without adding more corporate staff – only more people to fulfill more orders.

They evaluated dozens of software platforms, and finally found a partner who could deliver everything they needed and then some. Pulse Commerce helped 11th Street Coffee transition to their next phase of growth, replatforming their ecommerce and back-office technology in 2013 to enable all the new capabilities they needed. Not a single order was missed or delayed in the transition. And, as soon as their new foundation was in place, their growth skyrocketed, and has been running at double digits since.

Sustainable High Growth
Today, their customers ‘subscribe and save’, ordering coffee subscriptions online. 11th Street Coffee sets up new promotions and coupons, and distributes them on social media instantly. 11th Street Coffee creates insightful reports with detailed breakdowns. They easily benchmark their operations and continuously improve using the platform’s built-in tools.

Throughout the past 50 years, Necco and 11th Street Coffee have always focused on the customer — whether delivering around the corner or across the country. And whether they’re taking orders by telephone or by mobile device, customer focus has remained at the forefront of every decision they’ve made. Which is why more and more customers decide to buy from 11th Street Coffee every day.

About 11th Street Coffee
11thStreetCoffee.com is the Internet division of a trusted, reliable, family owned and operated team of coffee connoisseurs, with over 50 years of experience in providing coffee service. Their goal is to provide the highest quality coffee products, the fastest turnaround, unbeatable discount prices, and great customer service.

About Pulse Commerce
Pulse Commerce is the leading cloud platform for enterprise order & inventory management empowering retail leaders with unprecedented visibility and control of inventory, orders and customers. Retailers, such as Badgley Mischka, Hanesbrands Inc., and Goode Company rely on Pulse Commerce to improve order turnaround, increase customer satisfaction, and optimize inventory and fulfillment costs. To learn more about how Pulse Commerce can increase your business performance by 20% or more, visit www.pulse-commerce.com.

SOURCE: Pulse Commerce