Global Food & Beverage Retailer Adopts NetSuite Cloud ERP

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Working with ERP Success Partners, Kevito Group extends the benefits of cloud enterprise planning across its worldwide locations one step at a time. 

A delicious beverage enjoyed by people around the globe, bubble tea comes in a wide variety of flavors and offers a refreshing drink made with a tea base and shaken with flavors, sweeteners, and variety of toppings including its popular tapioca pearls. Currently sized at $2.1 billion (USD) and expanding at an 8.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), the global bubble tea market is being driven by the rising consumption of tea and coffee as nootropic drinks, and the introduction of zero-fat/low-calorie options.

“The rising popularity of various kinds of hot beverages is also likely to boost the demand for bubble tea, thereby augmenting the market growth,” Grandview Research pointed out. “In addition, health experts recommend that moderate consumption of such drinks boosts concentration and improves brain function.”

A Global Presence

Founded in 2005 by the Taiwan based La Kaffa International CO, the Chatime brand has taken bubble tea to new heights with its quality ingredients, toppings, and a flare for innovative flavor combinations. Today, the Chatime brand has a presence in over 26 countries, including Chatime Canada, a master franchise that started in 2010 and that now has locations in British Columbia, Ontario, and Montreal. This particular franchise will have 85 stores in place by the end of 2021 and is on track to grow its presence to over 100 stores next year.

Chatime Canada’s parent company, Kevito Group  owns two other brands, Bake Code (a premium bakery concept) and Atealier. The latter is a premium tea concept that offers innovative, high-end, tailored bubble tea drinks.

Time for a Tech Upgrade

In 2019, under the guidance of Tarun Chawla Chief Financial and Operations Officer and Business Systems Consultant David Nehme, Kevito developed a 5-year success plan that it’s been following ever since.

As part of that plan, the company would expand organically and “comfortably” within its current markets while also exploring new opportunities. To get there, the company needed a unified cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that would replace its Excel spreadsheets and aging, on-premises technology systems.

“Some processes were being ignored and employees were overwhelmed with a lot of manual tasks,” said Nehme. “Tarun and I brought the knowledge and experiences from our own consulting backgrounds, as well as our experience within the Australian bubble tea market, and started to implement new systems.”

Nehme said ERP was near the top of his to-do list, knowing that handling multi-entity reporting across three warehouses and three different third-party logistics firms (3PLs) was going to get even trickier as the company grew. He also wanted a system that could integrate with point of sale (POS) systems, time and attendance platforms, and other satellite systems.

“We both wanted to make sure that the company’s backbone was strong and braced for growth,” said Chawla. “At the same time, we were setting the business up for success and leading the bubble tea industry by being seen as innovators versus followers.”

Before selecting NetSuite Cloud ERP, the company considered Microsoft Dynamics as another possible option. Leaning on an existing relationship that he had with ERP Success Partners, and experience using NetSuite, Nehme felt that NetSuite would best meet the growing entity’s needs.

Leap-Frogging into a Modern System

Having been through several ERP implementations in the past, both Chawla and Nehme said they were particularly impressed with ERP Success Partners’ short implementation time of just over 12 weeks. The company was also there for Kevito throughout the post-go-live stage, and the two groups continue to work together as the food and beverage retailer expands its use of the NetSuite platform.

Soon, Bake Code will join the family of NetSuite users by implementing the platform and using it to receive customer orders, plan out production, generate work orders, and procure goods from its suppliers. “This will help the bakeries move into an entirely new realm that’s not dominated by spreadsheets,” said Nehme, who looks forward to working with ERP Success on this upcoming project. “It’s really going to leap-frog them into a more modern way of running a commercial bakery.”

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