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Two people standing in a market stall. They are wearing red checked shirts and black aprons and smiling

Digital Champions Melanie and Richard Smit hope to use digital technology to reach new customers

No cookie cutter solution for baked goods business

In 2018, Melanie and Richard Smit started their baked goods business in Tasmania with assistance from the New Business Assistance with NEIS. Now, as Digital Champions, they’re boosting sales and reaching new customers with digital technology.

Big Bite Dutch Treats is a bakery based in Poatina, whose locally-made, award-winning stroopwafels (Dutch syrup waffles) and speculaas (spiced biscuits) can be found at markets, fairs, select stockists and online.

Melanie said their Dutch heritage and penchant for baked goods led them to start a business doing work they love.

“Having your own business is very hard work and a dream come true at the same time,” Melanie said.

“NEIS was a great way for us to start our business and get some much-needed advice because there is so much to think about and to learn.”

The program gives people who have a great business idea accredited training, support to develop their business plan and up to 52 weeks of mentoring to help set up and run their business.

A year after completing the NEIS program, Melanie and Richard realised their business needed a digital boost. They were selected to be one of 100 businesses to undertake a digital transformation as part of the Small Business Digital Champions Project.

The Digital Champions Project provides 100 Australian small businesses with a comprehensive digital transformation for their business, with up to $18,500 in digital support, and additional products and services from Corporate Partners.

“We wanted to keep producing high quality baked goods, but we also needed to increase sales and help our products reach more people outside just the local region,” Richard said.

“And we knew our existing hardware and software needed a significant upgrade.”

Their digital transformation provider, Deloitte, helped them invest in installing customer relationship management software, which is designed to strengthen their relationship with customers, improve opportunities for repeat sales, and help cross-sell their products.

Michael, their Deloitte digital transformation leader, said that reliable hardware to support their software and processing needs is a must-have.

“If your hardware crashes or can’t keep up with the performance and cyber-security requirements that systems need, this can cost businesses time and money,” Michael said.

Melanie and Richard will now install fast and reliable hardware so they can easily log into their e‑commerce platform. This will mean they can have a mobile point of sale system that allows them to track their inventory and set up a loyalty program that works online and on location. 

“Our business doesn’t have a storefront — we move around to different markets and locations across Tasmania, so digital solutions support the mobile nature of our work,” Richard explained.

“Our Dutch biscuits are becoming quite famous, and we’re looking forward to sharing them even more with Dutch treat lovers!”

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Last modified on Tuesday 3 December 2019 [10525|122584]