SnackNation Subscribes to Healthy Recurring Billing Practices With Zuora and Estuate

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         :  SnackNation

Industry       :  Healthcare

Practice Area  :  Product Engineering Services



SnackNation is the America’s leading distributor of convenient healthy foods whose mission is to create easy nutrition everywhere via vending machines, micro-markets, and other innovative automated retail technologies. SnackNation delivers on its vision to make healthy food more convenient than junk food. SnackNation can be found in over 2,000 schools, offices, hospitals, health clubs, YMCAs, and other locations in over 40 U.S. states, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  In addition to providing healthful food options, SnackNation storefronts provide nutrition education via high-definition LCD screens that display streaming videos and other digital content.

SnackNation has been ranked by Inc. Magazine as the #168th Fastest Growing Private Company in America, by Entrepreneur Magazine as the #1 Vending Franchise in the 2014 Franchise 500, and by Forbes as one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” (two years in a row).
SnackNation donates 10% of profits to charities that fight the causes of childhood obesity and malnutrition.

Business Challenge:

SnackNation has an end-to-end distribution platform that used vending machines, micro markets (unattended self-checkout convenience stores), and direct delivery services to bring convenient and healthy food and drinks to people across the nation. This broad offering includes subscription-based services. Early on, they charged each account manually, doing look-ups to check for past-due amounts using Excel spreadsheets.   Its employees struggled with manual methods for submitting and reviewing employee time, coordinating approvals, processing expenses, and more. This not only slowed cash flow, but also made the process error-prone, and ultimately, hindered profitability.

Recurring transactions required more proactive billing support than one-time purchases. But with a conventional approach to billing, each new promotion, even a simple virtual coupon, required days or weeks to create and add to the billing systems. If not done correctly, conventional billing would diminish customer trust and satisfaction over time. Therefore, they needed to eliminate cumbersome Excel-based tracking, streamline subscription billing and fast-track onboarding for new acquisitions. They also needed a solution to synchronize up-to-date billing information between their accounting systems, CRM, and other internal systems.

The Estuate Solution:

After evaluating all of the key selection criteria, Zuora was chosen as the new billing solution for SnackNation.  But they needed a partner that was not just expert at Salesforce and Zuora, but could also setup end to end business flows based on industry best practices.  They chose Estuate, Zuora’s #1 implementation partner.  Estuate built a solution that:

  • Implemented Zuora’s subscription billing and management platform  to build, run and operate their subscription and recurring revenue businesses.
  • Enabled complete subscriber visibility in Salesforce/Zuora about customer billing activities in order to facilitate a better customer relationship.
  • Enabled secure electronic payment capture and integrated the information directly with Salesforce.
  • Provided real time subscription metrics which enabled real-time tracking of quotes.
  • Automated the fulfillment/order process by linking Zuora’s subscription module with Salesforce’s sales order functionality.
  • Integrated Zuora and Salesforce Billing Accounts, Customer Accounts and any hierarchies of customer account to give a single view of all partners and customers whether the data is available on Salesforce or Zuora.
  • Provided bi-directional payment operations to help manage the process in either Salesforce or Zuora with a two-way integration.

Business Impact:

The new billing system communicated seamlessly with the Salesforce and streamlined HUMAN Healthy Markets billing process. By automating its subscription based billing process, HUMAN Healthy Markets reported increased efficiency, greater transparency into what could be done to improve services, improvement of customer relationships. The solution:

  • Helped manage renewals and nurture customer’s entire subscription lifecycle.
  • Provided insights to identify opportunities for upsells and add-ons.
  • Accelerated deals with intuitive quoting flows and built-in integration with billing, collections, and revenue recognition.
  • Streamlined billing processes supported business growth and Improved efficiencies.

        We had clearly outgrown our systems to the point where they were throttling our growth. We knew that we had to bring online Salesforce CRM and Zuora but we needed these systems to integrate seamlessly with each other and with our backend systems. Estuate brought in not just serious expertise in Zuora and Salesforce, but also a deep knowledge of industry-wide best practices that enabled us to put our operations on a firm footing faster than we expected. Their solution is a mission-critical part of our daily operations and has significantly helped us serve our customers better than ever before.

Amy Coplen,
Marketing Head.