graze transforms their business – and for this they rely on Google Apps for Work

Tom Percival, CTO of graze, said:

graze is a snack company with a technology-centric culture. What started as an idea between friends in 2007 has spiralled into an international snack business, employing 350 staff and generating over £50m in annual revenues. Along the course of our healthy snacks revolution, we’ve learnt how smart technology decisions can often hold the keys to growth opportunities. I’m delighted to highlight several milestones where we drove some incredible growth through inventive technology decision making.

Muscle up new technology with robotics
In 2010, two years into our journey, graze began investing in infrastructure for it’s first fully-automated production line, for faster and larger production. We rallied our smartest brains to collaborate with the top engineering firms in the world to invent a giant robotic food weigher that could pack product 24 hours a day. Within a year, we’d increased production (and sales) so much that we’d outgrown our space and needed more room to both breath and grow. Now, we’re operating out of a new top-secret “mega-factory” in West London.

Personalisation is the key to our customer’s heart
graze snacks are personal: we love that customers can find the snacks they love, no matter the palate or diet. Serving personalised snack combinations is both challenging and rewarding: we rely heavily on our proprietary algorithm, DARWIN, to enable us to create 4 million box combinations from over 200 products, each individually composed. This data is driven by our intense attention to detail around customer feedback — over 300 million customer ratings — which ultimately feed into our database to make our graze machine even smarter.

Constraint can inspire invention
In 2013 we made the leap across the pond and launched the graze service in the United States. We built a powerful postal ‘brain’ to monitor deliveries there in order to efficiently route packages nationwide, which we tested by posting 10,000 cardboard rabbits and monitoring their progress across the U.S. in real-time. Within 24 hours we had a customer in every state and within 2 weeks – 20,000 customers nationwide. Our postal brain really captures how much we have a technology-first approach in our DNA.

48 hour turnarounds on new product inspiration
At the heart of our advantage over traditional FMCG companies is our ability to rapidly design and release a new product. Because of the close relationship we have with our consumers we get rapid and detailed feedback on the products that we send out. Custom built analytics tools allow us to easily and quickly spot trends that help us reformulate our range. The tight vertical integration we have achieved thanks to our custom built supply chain platform means that our manufacturing and logistics can react just as quickly. This means we can now conceive of, design, manufacture and release a new product within 48 hours. Our ability to react to customer feedback meant that within 6 months of launching the US we had localised 40% of our range. This is an agility that traditional food companies cannot achieve.

Transforming our teams with Google Apps for Work
Our priority has been to pick tools that can transform our business — and for this we rely on Google Apps for Work. Moving from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps for Work saved us 50% in IT costs alone. But beyond the financial savings, Gmail and Calendar connect our team and their applications under single-sign on, so we can stay on track and secure. By successfully migrating our platform to Google Apps for Work we’re noticing improved speed, easier unleashing good ideas and improvements in how we collaborate as a team. Combined, these improvements are helping our company to grow and to bring healthy snacks to customers in the UK and US.