Local Line Announces Major Accounting Update with New QuickBooks Integration Tool

For Immediate Release

KITCHENER, ON – September 4, 2018 – Local Line, the ultimate e-commerce software for farms and food suppliers, has released an all-new tool which aims to promote better organization, efficiency, and accountability between business owners and clients in the local food supply industry.

Available immediately for purchase, the QuickBooks Integration Tool allows you to leverage Local Line’s best-in-class order management system and seamlessly sync order data into QuickBooks.

“We believe farmers and food suppliers should spend less time on accounting, and more time doing what they do best in the field to feed our families” said Cole Jones, CEO of Local Line.

“The goal of this new feature is to make accounting easy and fun! The new integration with QuickBooks Online will ensure that you never need to worry about how you manage the accounting of your food supply business. It is one more thing you can automate so you can get back to earning more money.”

One of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks food suppliers face is bookkeeping. The most exciting feature of Local Line’s QuickBooks Integration Tool is that our customers can reduce their invoicing time by up to 90% as invoices can be synced to QuickBooks once they have been reviewed and approved.

“The goal of our QuickBooks Integration Tool is to celebrate the successes of our existing Local Line program, all while offering this new feature, said Jones. “The program’s multiple tools all contribute to more accurate, professional customer servicing, headache-free invoicing, and more efficient and easier order management for farms and food suppliers”.

For those wishing to purchase the QuickBooks Integration Tool, it is available for $24.99 per month, in addition to the Local Line subscription.

About Local Line

Helping great food suppliers manage great food supply chains, Local Line offers a complete collection of systems and online tools that can help food suppliers build and manage a successful food business. Local Line, the most popular order management software, just got more advanced with the addition of their QuickBooks Integration Tool. For more information on products and services, please visit our website.

For further information, please contact:

Cole Jones

CEO

info@localline.ca

Yen Bros. Foodservice launches online local food portal with help of Ontario software company

Yen Bros. Food Service and local food e-commerce platform Local Line Inc. have partnered to create a local food program that increases access to British Columbia food products for food businesses of all sizes called Shop Local.

Yen Bros. Foodservice and Local Line Inc. partner to increase access to BC local food in the greater Vancouver area.

July 23, 2018 (Kitchener, ON) Yen Bros. Foodservice and local food e-commerce platform Local Line Inc. have partnered to create a local food program that increases access to British Columbia food products for food businesses of all sizes.  

Yen Bros. has long been a recognized and trusted leader in foodservice in British Columbia. Now in their 46th year of operations, Yen Bros. Foodservice maintains their customer-first philosophy and commitment to offering a comprehensive product mix at competitive prices. As the company has continued its growth year after year, they focus on providing the widest selection of fresh seasonal produce, fresh and frozen meats and fish, dairy and eggs and grocery items all while offering flexible ordering. In keeping with their commitment to convenient ordering and extensive offerings, Yen Bros. is introducing its customers to a new online ordering program.

This new program, named “Shop Local” lists hundreds of other niche, local products across British Columbia through their partnership with Local Line.

“As a family owned BC broad line food distributor, we at Yen Bros. Foodservice understand the importance of supporting our local farming and manufacturing community. Shop Local is just the tool that enables us to connect our independent restaurants with our local growers and manufacturers,” says Ari Nikula, Yen Bros. V.P. of Sales and Operations.

Local Line, headquartered in Kitchener, ON is a sales platform built for food suppliers, providing e-commerce, CRM, and inventory solutions for farmers, growers, butchers, bakers, and other food industry suppliers.

“Yen Bros. now offers their own local food online store featuring local suppliers and products from across BC As a customer of Yen Bros. you can browse those new suppliers and order from them directly, enabling you to access the variety of products you’re looking for with just the click of a button,” says Cole Jones, CEO of Local Line.

Every Yen Bros. sales rep is also on the program. They have access to the entire list of suppliers, products, and delivery information giving them more access to selling more products not currently listed with Yen Bros. Shop Local is also a platform for making BC’s smaller suppliers products more accessible. If there is a specific farmer or niche product requested, they can quickly upload their products onto the Shop Local platform to participate in the program.

Yen Bros. Foodservice is one of the largest independently owned and family-operated foodservice distributors on Vancouver’s lower mainland. If you’d like to become a customer of Yen Bros. and access their main catalog, you can get in touch with them here.

Local Line Inc. helps food suppliers doing direct sales grow their business with e-commerce, inventory and customer relationship management and logistics. If you’d like to become a local supply partner in the Shop Local food program, sign up to Local Line here.

Customer Service Do’s and Don’ts

Providing great customer service is the key to the success of your business. No matter how good your product is, one negative experience is all a customer needs to take their business elsewhere. As a business owner, you need to be taking the right steps to guarantee that customer satisfaction is met. Putting in the effort to deliver excellent customer service will generate trust in your business, and maximize brand loyalty — all of which will result in increased profits.

Here’s an overview of customer service Do’s and Don’ts.

DO own your mistakes. DON’T blame the customer.

No one’s perfect, okay? When you make a mistake (and at some point you will), own it and apologize. Offering a small incentive may even help solidify future business. Providing free shipping or a product discount is a small price to pay for repeat business.

And what happens if the customer is wrong? Shifting the blame on them isn’t going to help. In cases like this, take the high road. Apologize for the confusion, accept responsibility, and offer a solution.

DO provide customer support. DON’T make it overly complicated.

Customers are pretty tech savvy these days, and so customer support must keep up. When a consumer has a question or concern, they want to have easy access to the multiple tools that are available. Providing a phone number and a FAQs page on your website is a good start, but you’ll also want to include a customer support email and maybe even a Live Chat option.

No customer wants to go digging around on your website to find these tools. Having a “Customer Support” button on your homepage will ensure that they’re easily accessible and limit confusion.

DO respond quickly. DON’T neglect customers.

As an e-commerce business, it’s important that consumer questions or concerns are replied too promptly. Customers can quickly become frustrated if their emails remain unanswered and a robot operator is the only voice they hear on the phone.

Make the promise to your customers that all questions will be answered within 24 hours. This will reassure customers that they won’t be left hanging, as well as motivate you and your team to respond within an appropriate window of time.

DO allow for customer feedback. DON’T ignore customer’s remarks.

Make it easy for your customers to leave feedback. Not every customer will have something to say, but they’ll be happy to know you value their opinion enough to give them the option to make remarks.

Once you’ve created a way for customers to send in their comments, be sure to read it! The customers that do contribute feedback will provide you with valid insight about the operations of your business.

DO express gratitude. DON’T be indifferent.

Recognition is one of the best ways to retain customers. Thank them for their purchase, their business, their loyalty — however you want to frame it. But don’t be indifferent. Let them know that their purchase is more than just a transaction. Expressing your gratitude will make customers feel appreciated, which will increase your chances of repeat business.

How SIR Corp Wins With Local Craft Beverages

Take a look at nearly any food menu and you’ll see the word “local.” But, how often are restaurant goers seeing “local” on beverage menus?

Senior Beverage Manager of Service Inspired Restaurants (SIR Corp), Sam McCaffrey shares insights on where local fits into the Canadian beverage industry. SIR Corp restaurants include Jack Astor’s, Reds Wine Tavern, Scaddabush, Canyon Creek and more.


How has the beverage industry changed in recent years?

When I was bartending 10 years ago, major domestic beers dominated the beer portfolio in the hospitality scene. Premium imports like Guinness and Stella were, and still are strong. There’s always been the Canadian Caesar! But, Niagara wines were hard to come by. Today though, whether beer, wine or spirits, it’s extremely rare for a category not to have local options on a SIR menu.


Statista reported 57 per cent of Canadians prefer beer over other alcohol. Does beer dominate menus in terms of local selection?

Absolutely. The average consumer’s knowledge on beer and brewing ingredients is more advanced thanks to a lot of PR and marketing initiatives launched over the last few years. People can now go to a brewery and also enjoy a dining experience. Consumers think of local craft beer to be just as premium as imported beer, if not more so because it’s fresh. Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) reported small brewers are expanding facilities to source from more local suppliers and are spending more than two million on local sponsorships.

Guests ask for local even if they don’t know the brewery. They’ll make their decision based on city of origin – there’s definitely an emotional connection.

Did you know? According to the February 2018 Ontario Craft Brewers fact sheet, there are approximately 242 operating craft breweries in Ontario, including 72 contract brewers and over 100 start-ups!


What about other beverage categories?

Canada makes some of the best Riesling in the world! Gretzky’s new riesling is listed in Jack’s Ontario menu. All of SIRS house wines are from Niagara. The craft spirit industry is still in its infancy stage but looks promising based on recent growth. Canyon Creek’s upcoming summer cocktail menu showcases local Ontario spirits like Lot.No 40 and Georgian Bay Spirit Co. vodka and gin.

REDS  “Create your own G&T” program lists 39 gins and 11 of those are Canadian. A diverse spirit like gin can be made anywhere, so it’s important to showcase Canada’s amazing gins alongside internationally recognized brands.


What are some of the most interesting local products that have come across your desk?

False Ox’s’ Beet Ginger Schrub is in REDS Beet Margarita and in a mocktail. I’m also playing with Detonic, a cool all natural tonic syrup, also at REDS.


What’s the most important local campaign you’ve launched while at SIR?

The craft beer program at Jack Astor’s, we really diversified it to include the right balance of craft beer taps. We increased it by 20 to 30 local craft taps. Some of our larger locations increased by 40 taps.


Ever worried that local prices are perceived too high?

Pricing is higher but that comes with small production. Generally, people don’t mind paying 25 cents more for a local beer if it means they’re getting a fresher product.


What are some great local products to use in cocktails?

Restaurants that have the ability to grow herbs, cucumber, berries, etc. and pluck them fresh for cocktails definitely should and they should call it out. Basil and mint are both extremely refreshing, I’ve used rosemary in tons of different applications too.

10 Ways Food Suppliers Should Use Social Media

As long as you post on social media, whether it be Twitter, Instagram or Facebook or a combination of any channels then you’re good, right? Not necessarily! Posting is a great start, but engaging your followers is how you get more followers, and create a strong brand presence online.

What is social media engagement anyway?

It’s not about interacting with every single customer. It is about building relationships with your customers over time – much like we do offline, a.k.a. in real life.

Social media is where people connect, relate and learn from each other and businesses alike.

How can you increase your social media engagement? There are 100s of ways, we’ll give you 10! Click on the links for awesome examples from our customers.

1. Post Frequently, When Your Followers Are Most Active

  • Assuming you have business accounts in social media, check your analytics data and insights with each account you use
  • Learn other great data that can help shape your posts to your target audience
  • Get more tips here

2. Call to Action – Tell Customers What You Want From Them

3. Show Appreciation

  • You feel amazing because of your followers right? Make them feel amazing back
  • Give a shout out to a customer who posts a photo of your product
  • Use “@” to show you care and pay attention to your loyal followers and partners, and reach more of their followers
  • Rootham Gourmet Thanks Partner Barrie’s Asparagus

4. Stay Connected, Stay Current

5. Acknowledge Mentions, Questions and Yes, Complaints.

6. Promote Partners – The More You Promote Them, They Will Promote You

7. Hashtags Work

  • What the heck is a hashtag? A word or phrase that is often preceded by a hash sign, #
  • Create your own
  • Use hashtags that relate to your business #lovelocal
  • Use in relevant conversations
  • Detonic Knows How to Use Hashtags #nailedit

8. Post The Good Stuff Happening In Your Community

9. Ask For Feedback

10. Host A “Chat with [Your Name Here]” Session

  • This is an exciting method of generating engagement, especially on Twitter. Post and tell followers that for 15 minutes, they can ask you anything and you will reply. Why?
  • It helps people connect with you on a personal level

Managing Outsized Demand: Top Shelf Collection

Today’s food producers are constantly competing for shelf space. Products need to be clearly differentiated to stand out and so does their branding.

Josh Lines from Sarnia saw the gap on Ontario’s hot sauce shelf. Sure, there are a variety of brands with mashed up hot peppers in vinegar, but they all lacked substance and none of them had nutritional value. This gap in the market quickly turned into Josh’s opportunity, and Top Shelf Collection was born.

Josh uses all-natural ingredients to ensure the product has the freshest, boldest flavour. Then, he uses Canadian honey, not refined sugar, to add a slight sweet touch to his hot sauces.

Josh has worked in the food industry his entire career, bartending at the local pub. If you know anything about bartenders, then you know they’re fun, chatty and extremely likeable. So it should be no surprise that as a bartender of Sarnia’s local watering hole, he pretty much knows the whole town. Because of this, Top Shelf’s beginning success started in Sarnia when local businesses showed their support by stocking Front Street Heat on their retail shelves and enhancing menus (and the Canadian Caesar) across town.

It was no surprise that Top Shelf sauces didn’t stay a secret for long. Front Street Heat’s quality ingredients and catchy branding caught the interest of neighbouring restaurants and retailers in other cities, who were making room on their top shelf for this hot Canadian condiment.


The Problem All Food Suppliers Actually Want

Top Shelf premium hot sauce gained demand faster than anticipated. He had a website but no formal ordering or delivery process for his customers. And because Josh is always thinking forward, he knew he wanted to launch two partner programs to selected customers which includes an awesome handcrafted wooden display shelf, menu and social media collaborations and discounted pricing. He had all the right ideas, just no platform to bring them to life.

Local Line or Life Line?

Josh saw immediate value in Local Line’s easy-to-use platform.

“The team at Local Line has simplified our challenges and organized what was unorganized. Through incredible hands on customer service, they helped put our business on track during a difficult period of product growth. Truly a life line for a small but growing business.” Josh, Top Shelf Collection


Here are a few examples of how Josh uses Local Line for his rapidly growing business:

Pricing Catalogs

  • Josh got immediate value with Local Line’s unique private pricing catalogs that can be geared specifically to his different and ever-growing customer list.
  • Once he quickly and efficiently uploaded his products (2L jugs and 296 ml bottles), he created catalogs for his retail, wholesale and partner customers. He then added his customers into his Local Line account, assigned them to appropriate catalogs, and sent invites to their inboxes.

Marketing

  • Josh took advantage of Local Lines web services, and gave his website a fresh look. He also took his Local Line store and embedded it right on his website so that his customers were only seeing the Top Shelf brand when they were ordering. Everyone from small independents to Metro stores across Ontario are able to place their orders directly on the Top Shelf website. This kind of ordering experience is critical, because it enables both consumers and his wholesale customers to order directly from his website, enforcing a consistent brand and experience.

The nice thing about Local Line is that the platform is built to grow with your business. This means Josh has new services available to him that become important the more momentum his brand gains.

With no plans to slow down anytime soon, Josh knows Local Line has his back and can grow with his business.