Over six billion pounds of produce go to waste each year, largely because grocers reject perfectly good fruits and veggies due to small cosmetic flaws. That’s why Ben Simon, Ron Clark and Ben Chesler created Imperfect Produce—a subscription-based service that delivers those “wonky-looking” goods straight to customers’ doorsteps. As Imperfect expands into multiple cities, recruiting more and more people to support their cause, Office 365 supports their growth.
As deliveries increase, Office 365 delivers
“We’re a mission-driven startup, so we need tools that can keep up with our fast growth and ambitious goals. With Office, we don’t have to expend unnecessary energy dealing with logistics and administrative tasks, so we can really spend our time on the bigger picture. Having such a comprehensive suite of programs is a huge asset to our organizational arsenal,” says CEO Ben Simon.
Excel is all-encompassing
There are a lot of moving parts in a constantly growing startup like Imperfect, and Microsoft Excel is essential for simplifying and organizing their internal processes. Not only has it become their go-to warehouse management system, but it’s also a key player in their sales efforts. “Our marketing department would probably grind to a halt without Excel. It makes the complicated intuitive and elegant,” Simon explains.
Imperfect leans heavily on the program’s sophistication for everything from analyzing their customer base and reviewing sales reports to forecasting growth and exploring potential new markets. Simon continues, “The wide range of analytic functions that Excel enables is mind-blowing, and a huge asset to any company like ours.”
The Excel features Imperfect finds indispensable are data filters and pivot tables. These tools help make analytics both actionable and versatile, while giving their team the ability to sort through customers, delivery routes, regions and more, in the most efficient way possible. They can view their customer base on a very granular level; if they want to communicate only with Bay Area customers who order organic produce boxes, Excel helps them find that targeted audience in a matter of seconds.
All finances for the small business are also managed through Excel, along with weekly and monthly sales reports. “It is the tool to use for that. It’s really, really helpful. Having accurate and actionable spreadsheets is at the heart of our marketing, supply and operations teams’ success,” says Simon.
PowerPoint presents a fun perspective
When sharing information between individuals and teams, Imperfect always turns to Microsoft PowerPoint. Simon explains how the org chart feature is particularly valuable: “It has been really useful for us. We’re a fast-growing startup, so being able to create and share org charts on the fly has been really helpful in planning for future growth—making sure we’ve got the right type of team for the challenges ahead.”
Imperfect employees also enjoy incorporating funny pictures, gifs and pop culture references in their presentations whenever possible. Simon adds, “We like them to be as fun as they are informative, and PowerPoint really lets us do that at a high level.”
Focus on what matters
Imperfect Produce continues moving forward, but never lets their mission out of sight. The bigger they get, the smaller the food waste problem will become. They’ve recently added dry goods such as coffee and pasta to their subscription boxes—just one example of how they’re constantly evolving.
Simon summarizes, “Office 365 streamlines our planning, communications and analysis, so we can focus on what really matters: finding new ways to prevent even more fruits and vegetables from going to waste.”
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