Helping an innovative health start-up strengthen its brand partnerships and work more efficiently to build world-class wellness bundles for its customers.
Shanna McEachern, LVRG Co-Founder x Allison Schaper, Zigii Founder
21 August 2019
An interview with Allison Schaper
Allison Schaper is the Founder & CEO of Zigii, a first-of-its-kind wellness bundle delivered straight to your destination when traveling. In this interview, we dig into the details to understand how LVRG is helping Alli stay on top of things when curating products from a multitude of brand partners (so many that she has a wait-list!) to build her beautiful wellness bundles and delight her traveling customers.
[Shanna] Alli - Tell us about you. What’s your background? How did Zigii come to be?
[Alli] My health journey started when I was blindly prescribed a pill for a problem I didn’t have from a doctor who was monetarily incentivized to do so. 5 years and a slew of random health problems later, I started unearthing the alarming research on our broken healthcare system.
This led me to obsessively educate myself on the power of integrative and functional medicine, and discovery of the incredible superfoods, habits, and products that actually create a healthy person. I was soon able to cure the root cause of issues that prescriptions had just essentially put a bandaid on.
After seeing the impact of wellness on my life, I became infatuated with sharing the wealth - starting with giving frequent travelers convenient access to wellness products.
As a recovering corporate consulting road warrior, my typical journey looked like this—I’d hop on a plane or train, and arrive at my destination feeling sore, dehydrated, foggy-headed, and on the verge of catching whatever the person next to me was coughing. The frustration then deepened from being at the mercy of the poor on-the-go options given to me at the airport or hotel lobby.
We live in a world of incredible new wellness brands and delivery services are at our fingertips. Yet, people are both overwhelmed with all the ‘healthy’ solutions swarming around their lives, and underwhelmed with the wellness offerings on the road.
Zigii is bridging the gap between travel and well-being with a mission to eliminate the far too common practice of compromising health for the sake of travel.
[Shanna] Amazing. What brought you to LVRG? What challenges were you trying to solve?
[Alli] Zigii’s entire business model is to create relationships with brands, and sourcing products from these suppliers to deliver to our end customers’ destinations. To paint a picture of the pain point: each of our first edition bundles consists of a total of 12 individually sourced parts - from contents to packaging and marketing materials.
Prior to piloting LVRG, every single transaction I’ve had with each of our launch partners and packaging manufacturers lived in my Gmail. This issue was multifaceted, but the core problem was that every business need - from brand communications, supply chain operations, marketing communications, team member back and forth, to sales - was clogging my inbox. Prior to using LVRG, I had no way to obtain an overarching view on brand partners without significant manual effort.
[Shanna] A little bird told me you have a waitlist of brand partners, too. That’s a lot of coordinating! How was the problem affecting you and your business?
[Alli] The time my small team and I were spending sifting through email communications to find and track desired files, codes, and contact information was highly inefficient. Like any sales timeline, many of the communications with brands have been in ongoing email chains for several months, thus the time and effort expended to sort through communications was taking away from other pressing business needs as we approached launch. Additionally, we were expending so much manual effort to download and re-upload files to a central database, as well as copying relevant information shared between our suppliers in email communication.
[Shanna] Before you found LVRG, what other solutions did you consider?
[Alli] The makeshift solution I had in place before LVRG was a messy combination of a personal assistant for email searching, google sheets, and Evernote call notes with each of our brand partners. This obviously wasn’t a scalable solution. While I was able to easily find other tech and AI driven solutions to manage our other business needs (such as a CRM and shipping logistics solutions) I hadn’t heard of anything for supplier management until I discovered LVRG! And for me, suppliers are as big a part of our day as customers.
[Shanna] I’m glad you found LVRG, and that we could help! If I may ask, why did you choose LVRG?
[Alli] LVRG essentially by-passed the tedious 8-step process I was previously going through to between an initial brand touchpoint all the way through inventory shipment to our customers. With LVRG, all that information exchange is now housed in a centralized database and provides a single source of truth for each of my brands at any given moment in time. My attraction to LVRG when evaluating how to manage my brands was immediate. Prior to learning about this tool, I wasn’t aware of any other system that operated to the level of the best CRM platforms, but for suppliers.
After getting a demo of the platform, I immediately saw how much time and energy just a few of LVRG’s many functionalities could save me. As a new business, I also wanted to select a partner that could easily integrate with all future systems I need and scale with me as I grow. The system is also insanely intuitive and user friendly, with very little learning curve. This will be extremely beneficial as we onboard new team members to handle supplier interactions, and LVRG also allows for efficient delegation of tasks between team members.
[Shanna] In an alternative universe, what might have happened had you NOT partnered with LVRG?
[Alli] LVRG provides a holistic view of every brand I work with, while simultaneously allowing for a detailed view wherever needed. The metrics around performance management will be increasingly useful as we scale and utilize this data to drive key business decisions with existing and future brand partners. Had I NOT converted to LVRG, I would have struggled to maintain my manual process, and likely would have had to hire additional support for the role that this system now does for me instantaneously. That gets expensive quickly. With LVRG, I can do more with fewer people and less time.
[Shanna] Be honest - did you have any reservations about LVRG?
[Alli] Honestly, no! I’m excited to continue to learn the functionality of LVRG and adopt new tools as Zigii grows, and I’m confident in the way that LVRG continues to grow its platform, too.
[Shanna] Happy to hear! As you know, we build based on real customer feedback. Tell me a bit about the measurable benefits you’ve seen - what value does LVRG deliver to you?
[Alli] With LVRG tasks and auto-detection of files, delegation to team members is now immensely simplified and takes way less time - that’s a measurable time savings (and stress savings!).
Managing the supplier side of my marketplace has truly become a seamless process, and this new system of management allows me to sustain noticeably stronger relationship while allocating my time to other pressing business needs. I am now able to remove what was a multi-step process and fully “set up” a brand in LVRG as a supplier while I am on calls - that’s another measurable slash from 8 steps to 1. I’m also able to tag different suppliers to a particular category of bundles and the supplier is live updated with all relevant contacts, files, as the relationship progresses.
Overall, I strongly feel that LVRG is helping me avoid risk in missed deadlines or messages due to email clutter, as well as enhancing brand relationship because of increased efficiency on Zigii’s end.
[Shanna] Alli, you rock. Thanks for chatting with me! What else can LVRG (or our readers) do to help you?!
[Alli] Thank you! For interested (travel-happy) readers, check out our wellness bundles on livezigii.com! Health-focused brands are also welcomed to get in touch via email@example.com - we’re always looking to connect with high quality products to drive our mission of healthy, happy travel.