When COVID-19 hit, Dawn Food Products launched a digital channel

Oct 16, 2020, 10:41 AM by Peter Lucas

dawn ecommerce

The process of building the site began more than two years ago for the manufacturer and distributor of bread, baked goods, mixes, and other food products. Recognizing the importance of a digital sales channel for its business, Dawn Food Products launched the project at “warp speed” to ensure the site was up and running as soon as possible, Jones-Barber said.

Hiring a chief digital officer

With no in-house ecommerce expertise, the initial challenge facing the 100-year old, the family-run manufacturer was building an ecommerce team from the ground up. The first step was to hire a chief digital officer who could oversee the recruitment and hiring of product managers, user experience designers, engineers and software designers to build Dawn’s digital sales channel.

As that process played out, an internal debate among Dawn’s board of directors took place over whether the new digital unit, dubbed the Digital Innovation Hub, would be located at the company’s headquarters in Jackson, Michigan, or in a metropolitan technology hub elsewhere. Having found much of the talent it needed in Boston, the company decided to locate its ecommerce team there.

As part of its strategy, the digital innovation team talked to multiple customers about the user experience they expected. Dawn’s customers order weekly or biweekly and often order the same items every week. Some of the digital tools built into the site to improve the user experience include monthly market assessments, online ordering and 24/7 inventory management. “Customer feedback really helped the team’s creativity in designing the site,” Jones-Barber said.

Read the full article here.