Beautiful Bananas Mixed with Extraordinary Order Management

Banana CPH

That Time Christian Slipped in a Hawaiian Banana Peel

It all started on a bike with a sustainable business idea in the luggage carrier for the owner of Banana CPH, Christian Cordius. He rode around with an ambition to adopt all the surplus bananas that the big supermarket chains didn’t want to sell. Instead of letting them rot in those green garbage cans, Christian wanted to give the brown bananas a sweeter fate by transforming them into delicious ice creams and cakes. COO, Thomas Barton, describes the cyclical business initiative of Banana CPH like this:

“In the beginning, we collected Irma’s [a Danish supermarket] leftover bananas on a bike. Since then, we have picked up a lot more bananas – so we have a more structured way of doing business today. But we pick up COOP’s [a Danish supermarket conglomerate] bananas and make a product out of them and sell them back to COOP.”

The Banana founders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But let’s just take a few steps back in our story since it wasn’t exactly after a trip to the local supermarket that the berry business idea was sown for Banana CPH. 

Christian receives the banana revelation in the year 2017 when he leaves his winter coat on the plane from Denmark and he steps foot on Honolulu’s palm-filled paradise in his slippers. Here, it isn’t just the warm weather and the surfer-encrusted waves that make Christian see the light, as the idea that was to be his vocation is also planted on the dazzling beach.

As he peels off the layer of one of the local, overripe bananas and sinks his teeth into the brown beauty, a brand new world of joy and depth of flavor fills his entire body. And not only that. The natives hand their sacred business model over to Christian, which consists of giving the unwanted fruits from retail the chance of a new life by turning them into luxurious deserts.

All of a sudden, the ugly duckling no longer feels like a fairy tale.

Now, Christian was ready to return home and harvest some sustainable seeds on Danish soil.

Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark

When Christian comes home he does a bit of research and discovers that the Danish banana industry is totally rotten. No less than 40,000 bananas are thrown out on a daily basis within the retail and restaurant business. Christian, therefore, feels that it is about time that someone peeled off the bananas and fills the containers of the Danes with sustainable ice cream. The plan is clear as day, as Thomas explains:

“Our overall goal is to save as many bananas from being thrown out as possible. Thus, we must make ourselves available to as many people as possible in order to put maximum focus on food waste.”

Lovely mature bananas.
Christian realizes that Banana CPH can reach the most desert-craving customers with his opulent, overripe and overlooked bananas by systematizing their order management with the purchase of an inventory management system.

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to find a system that is ripe for you…

Stuffed Excel Sheets, Not Enough Bananas

When you have the ambition to recycle as many bananas as humanly possible, your order flow has to run like the Nile. If the order management doesn’t live up to the expectations, the bananas will end up as biofuel anyway. Therefore, Christian must find a system that can handle the logistics.

Christian initially chooses e-conomic’s inventory management system, which is very dependable in a lot of ways. However, whereas e-conomic’s economical management allows you to walk on water, their order management system tends to make you drown in a lot of manual labor. Thomas explains how they are forced to manage their orders with assistance from Excel, which means they spend too much time on their keyboards typing away numbers and data:

“Most of our order management is conducted via Excel sheets. So we have to update the system manually, which isn’t very efficient nor the most optimal way of doing things.”

Furthermore, they tend to have minor issues connected to their inventory management, as they cannot always fill up their stock. Thus, they struggle to meet the demands of their customers:


“On multiple occasions, we have run out of specific products because we don’t have reliable tracking of what goes in and out of our inventory. When your order flow is handled manually human mistakes are bound to happen.”

These mistakes have to be alleviated and Banana CPH must improve its order management if the good people behind the operations wish to expand their business. And that is precisely what happens when Thomas arrives on the Banana boat. Along with him, he brings the melody from a little bird he has heard sing about the wonders of Rackbeat.

Now, it’s finally time to do some serious banana peeling.

The Green Journey from Hawaii to Havnegade is Complete

Following a visit to Rackbeat’s offices at the harbor in Havnegade, Thomas is able to grant Christian his second revelation near the blue waves. Thomas namely carries a lot of knowledge regarding the profession of order and inventory management. Thus, he quickly understands that Rackbeat will be of great help to Banana CPH:

“I have worked in the “supply chain business” for 14-15 years – so I have worked with many inventory solutions. Oftentimes, big corporations built these inventory management systems themselves. That is a doable solution; yet, it takes a ton of time and costs a lot of money. And we need something that is easy and quick to work with right now while still being flexible. Rackbeat is simply the perfect fit.”

Rackbeat has already helped grow the banana plants in a lot of ways, but Thomas especially stresses how fruitful the order management system has been for them:

“The key function we need at the moment is the order management. Rackbeat gives us a much better overview than we have ever experienced in other systems. The order cycle is complete after very few steps. The burden of manual labor has lessened dramatically with Rackbeat.”

Another groundbreaking thing for Banana CPH is that Rackbeat allows them to gather sales statistics, which helps them with their purchases. Thus, they no longer have the fear of wasting any bananas or failing to supply their customers with their delicious desserts:

“We are able to track things now. That is so awesome. We couldn’t do that before, but now we have data! This means we are having weekly sales meetings where we track 1:1 what happened to our products, orders and customers through the data we get from Rackbeat.”

Consequently, the sustainable dream from the sunny beaches of Hawaii is much closer to reality today. However, Thomas still sees potential for improving their business. Specifically, he hopes that Banana CPH can double its revenue in 2023 with the help from Rackbeat, as they, among other things, collaborate new functions and solutions:

“The nice thing about Rackbeat is that they are open to developing new functions for the system. They want to improve their product by launching new features on the fly, and they take your suggestions into consideration. You are part of the process.”

So, who knows? The banana cycle might come full circle one day when Thomas and Christian can send their bananas in Copenhagen back to the palm trees of the south. The root shoot has already been planted.