Soul Origin, Australia-wide: “A gamechanger... peace of mind around quality control, sourcing and supply”

Business-changing insights
Better ops & full visibility on SKUs
Collaborative custom support

The Soul Origin first store opened in 2011 in busy Town Hall Station in Sydney, and their model is still going strong today: colourful, fresh, good-for-you salads and sandwiches coupled with customisation, fast-service, and a low price point.

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From the fourth store onward, the business evolved into a franchise, built on the belief that local owners would always be more connected to their community.

Awarded a 5-star franchise rating by FRANdata (the highest outcome possible),  Soul Origin continues to flourish, and there are now over 150 stores around Australia. 

With even more store openings on the horizon, it’s incredibly important to build a cohesive, well-run supply chain. We spoke to Soul Origin’s National Supply Chain Manager Pepijn Koenekoop about how Ordermentum has changed the way the entire group gets their supplies - and how the information and data the platform provides has changed the way they do business. 

When and how did you start working at Soul Origin?

I moved to Australia from the Netherlands when I was twenty years old, and did a Masters of Supply Chain Management at uni. I knew I wanted to work in the food space, and started to work in warehousing. From there I ended up working at McDonald’s as a purchasing manager, where I looked after distribution, eggs , coffee and beverages, and Happy Meal toys randomly!

From there I went to Goodman Fielder, and then Inghams, and about four years ago Soul Origin needed a Head of Supply Chain Management. Someone from the company got in touch with me, and here I am.


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How was Soul Origin introduced to Ordermentum?

When I first joined Soul Origin, we were looking at a digital shopping cart that looked pretty ugly and was going to cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars, take up a lot of resourcing, and I wasn’t even sure if it would practically work.

Then, one of our suppliers, told us we’d need to set up an account to order from them through Ordermentum. Once I used the platform to order from one of our suppliers, I knew we needed to digitise our systems in that way too.

What convinced you to join Ordermentum? 

We have so many suppliers, and you told us that you could engage them and bring them on board in our digital evolution. You went away, and you did it, starting with our daily fresh bread suppliers. That got the ball rolling, and it gave me a lot of confidence for what was to come.

As each supplier has come on board, it’s increased the number of orders going through the platform, and we had 30,000 orders come through the platform between July and December 2023….that number is only going to grow.

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How many suppliers do you have on the network now?

We now have 11 national suppliers on board including different produce suppliers in each state.

Every supplier on Ordermentum has gone through our standard  supplier approval process further ensuring our quality assurance and product specifications requirements have been met. This gives us further confidence in our supply chain process’s and further ensures operations run smoothly.

What was ordering like for your Franchise Partners before Ordermentum?

Before Ordermentum, each Franchise Partner would have to go to seven portals with various capabilities to get their supplies. They’d be sending emails to some and texting others just to confirm their orders.

Now, they can access one platform on multiple devices. It’s so intuitive for them and the ones that are really utilising the platform just love it.

What’s one of the main ways Ordermentum helped you manage your supply chain?

The one thing you need from a supply chain perspective is data and insights, and it’s key to get the right information in an easy to understand format.

With Ordermentum, the insights we get are super-powerful, they’re just incredible. I get a birds-eye view of how everyone is trading at a glance. I can understand how much of each product they’re buying, and I know which suppliers I need to talk to.

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How did you access data and insights before Ordermentum?

I’d rely on supplier Excel sheets and then we’d run them through a data warehouse…It was  clunky, ugly, and the insights were not easy to understand.

How does Ordermentum help you understand ordering trends?

It’s very easy to see spikes or dips across all our stores and anticipate trends. The information is in plain sight and live - daily.

For example, I could see an ingredient like kale suddenly becoming more popular as our stores started to order more.

This kind of insight allows us to proactively discuss this with our suppliers and manage overall  supply. Having this information keeps you ahead of the curve and you avoid potential shortages.

How does Ordermentum help in times of crisis?

Ordermentum has absolutely saved us in times of crisis. Recently, we had a big power outage in Melbourne, and our normal supply chain fell over. For two days we weren’t able to supply our 30 stores the way we normally do, and we had to move supply to Sydney.

If we hadn’t had Ordermentum, we would have had to ring every store manually to find out exactly what they needed: “hey, how much chicken do you need? How much pasta do you need?”

But we were able to redirect our stores in Ordermentum and tell us what they needed, and then we were able to dispatch and deliver based on the information. This saved us a lot of time and ensured accuracy during this time of crisis.

What is the impact of Ordermentum on day to day operations for your franchise venues?

Ordermentum really is built to make life easier for venues. So our Franchise Partners just have everything in one place, whether it’s bread, milk, coffee, or general stuff. It also helps them when in terms of forgetting orders. They get reminders and push notifications about cut-offs, it’s just all on there on their device, it's in their hand. You take these little things for granted but they’re so helpful.

It makes it easier for them to run their venues because there’s always enough product in the stores. They can fill the cabinets, and every customer who walks by gets served. That’s the real benefit for them.

And at the end of the day, when the Franchise Partners perform better, we perform better.

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How does Ordermentum help your Franchise Partners with their COGs?

I’ve mentioned the insights that we get at a company level, but our Franchise Partners also get insights in their app. It’s incredibly useful, and it’s only going to get more useful as more suppliers come on board. When this happens, they’ll get a high-level COGS view pretty instantly. 

They can understand all their historic purchases. They know exactly what they’ve spent and when, and this is so exciting. 

Imagine a venue owner not spending hours at night putting invoices from a spreadsheet and not having to wait on her accountant to tell her that she’s spending too much on certain items. 

At a glance she can see "oh chicken is spiking, I might need to reduce that a little. Tomatoes are expensive, so I might have to use a bit less tomato.” There’s just so much gold in that.

How does Ordermentum benefit your suppliers?

Our suppliers love it because they’re getting their orders done in time. They can pick the right stuff at the right time, and if payments come through the platform, they don’t need to chase. It allows them to run in a more smooth and efficient way as well. 

And whether it’s a venue or supplier, when payments flow through and are integrated with an accounting platform like Xero or MYOB, then you can see your weekly P&L, or your monthly P&L at a glance. 

What was the training like for Franchise Partners?

There’s been so much effort by the Ordermentum team in getting our Franchise Partners on board.  It’s amazing.

I’ve observed that the Franchise Partners see the app but they need to get into the habit of using it, and what got many of them over the line was the webinar that Ordermentum held just for Soul Origin. Over 200 people attended!

There were so many great questions that came through after the webinar, including lots of questions around Ordermentum Rewards and Qantas Points. It was definitely something that was appreciated!

How was integration and set up?

It’s been gradual learning - but it hasn’t been painful, and we’ve made some mistakes, because it’s a big job and it requires a lot of communication. But bit by bit we are getting all the integrations set up as all the suppliers are added one by one. 

But what was really surprising is how quick it was to add stores. Once a store is already on the platform, it’s so simple, you can add another store or supplier so easily… the user experience is great and it becomes second nature.


What do you think of how the digital catalogue works?

We have over 500 products on our Ordermentum digital catalogue

From a commercial perspective, it’s so valuable having full visibility over all the SKUs from a national to a state level. It’s super helpful from a commercial procurement perspective and helps to manage suppliers around costs and cost changes. 

How has the support/relationship been?

The support has been amazing. I can give Joe [Head of Customer Success] a call anytime, and  he’s always there to help and to action anything we need done. 

Both companies have taken a leap of faith, and we’re both investing a lot of time and energy to make this work and make it really worthwhile. Honestly, I’m a big advocate and the trust is there. 

How much time have you saved using Ordermentum?

It saves me at least a couple of hours a week in admin across the team. The real time saving number is much higher, in time saved running adhoc reporting or trouble shooting. Hard to put a number on that.

What if you need to find new suppliers?

Each venue Franchise Partners sees a catalogue that’s specific to Soul Origin, but I’m able to explore other suppliers through Growth Engine from a head office perspective. 

Generally speaking though, because we need to be very strategic when it comes to picking suppliers,  I find it more helpful to engage the help of Ordermentum directly, because you have hundreds of suppliers and you know the space really well. 

So in that way, the relationship goes deeper than just getting support around the platform itself,  it’s a collaboration.


What other features would you like to see utilised?

I don’t think we’re utilising the Chat function as much as we could [where venues communicate directly with suppliers]. If I had a view of those conversations, I can more easily understand where things are at. Not everything needs my input. 

For example, if a venue was asking a question around a delivery time, I probably wouldn’t need to be involved. But if it was a quality concern, then I’d want to be across it.

I think as that Chat feature gets developed, it gives us more visibility that allows us to assist our stores more. We take a pretty hands on role when it comes to escalation or quality concerns or something being out of stock, so there’s a huge amount of scope for this tool. 

Was there anything you didn’t expect coming on the platform?

Two things really, the first is that Ordermentum benefits our Franchise Partners and Support Centre and it’s really a win-win.

Secondary I wasn't expecting to be able to create a truly digital marketplace of curated suppliers for our Franchise Partners. It’s been such a gamechanger in terms of being able to have peace of mind around quality control, sourcing and supply.

How do you think Ordermentum will help you cut costs?

There are many ways, related to efficiency, time saved, and supply chain operations for both my team and our Franchise Partners.

Armed with up-to-date information allows us to actively manage our supply partners, optimise inventory levels and ultimately negotiate better deals.

What has the relationship been like between Soul Origin and Ordermentum?

We’ve had direct access to the team and can discuss our concerns and requirements, which has been great. 

It’s about a win-win, where we can work together to create a benefit to both of our businesses. It becomes a symbiotic relationship, and it means there’s a possibility the platform can grow and change as we do which is pretty exciting. 

What’s next for Soul Origin?

We’ve been growing 10-12 stores in the past few years, and then we’ll be on to 200 plus soon! With this growth comes a more complex supply chain, but that’s going to be so much easier to manage now we have a digital platform.


What would you say to another franchise group curious about Ordermentum?

Honestly, our Franchise Partners love having all of our preferred suppliers on Ordermentum. They now easily manage all their food, paper orders and deliveries through “one single app” on any device. 

Our stores have set reminders, standing orders and can navigate easily between suppliers whilst placing orders saving them time and hassle. Ordermentum has become the source of truth for our stores particularly as it now seamlessly integrates with Xero saving them further time and improving efficiencies.

From a support centre perspective we have also integrated the OM data feed into our PowerBI which provides us with enhanced spend insights including an almost “live order” feed. This allows us to further assure supply and support for our Franchise Partners. 

All of this to say if another franchise group was curious...then they should have a chat to you. Simple as that.

Any closing thoughts?

All l I can say is, when you’re bringing food service and ordering into the digital age  – it's a hallelujah moment! 

Forget an ugly shopping cart - this is something that’s actually user friendly and it looks good. 

I'm excited for the future - for both of us. I’m excited about where Soul Origin is going as a brand, and where Ordermentum is going as a brand.

Ordermentum is the most popular ordering and payment platform for venues in Australia - and it's the new way for Food & Beverage Franchises to streamline operations and revolutionise supply chain management.

We’d love to discuss how we can help your franchise group. Contact our National Franchise Lead Ross Muratore, who will get back to you as soon as possible.

At a glance

  • VENUESoul Origin Franchise
  • LOCATIONNational