Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice: UpClear features our client Community Coffee Company


Autumn, when the air becomes crisp, the foliage becomes rich yellows and reds and we put on our sweaters and scarves. Also now synonymous with one thing we can’t seem to escape….Pumpkin Spice, especially as we change from our cold brew and iced latte’s to enjoying a hot cup of coffee. One of our clients we enjoy working with, is Community Coffee Company, all year round of course, but especially this time of year. 

History of a Growing Community

Founded in 1919, the operation began when Norman “Cap” Saurage started experimenting with different blends and roasts of coffee beans at the two grocery stores he owned in downtown Baton Rouge. One hundred years and four generations of the Saurage family later, community has been integral to the company’s success and management. Community Coffee is dedicated not only to the making of the best-tasting, highest quality coffee , but that they can “always be doing something more” and “right is right”. They have expanded their coffee products to over 24 states, and have initiatives from UPC labels that are redeemable for donations to local schools, volunteer and donation efforts for our military and hurricane crisis relief, and the first direct contract between an African farming cooperative and an American coffee roaster in 2002 under their belt.

How UpClear Came into the Picture

Over a cup of coffee of course! 

Community Coffee Company entered into the RFP process for a Trade Promotion solution with the overarching goal to become more effective in their marketing and sales trade as they were replacing an outgrown, home-grown legacy system. A critical component of their search was to find a system that would universally meet the needs of both their Grocery Sales Division as well as their Coffee Service Division. Community Coffee Company retained management consulting services firm, Clarkston Consulting throughout this selection process as well as a guide through the process changes during the project.

Community Coffee ultimately selected UpClear for its functional fit, its ability to address the complex DSD requirements of the distribution, and its agile and iterative approach to deployment and system configuration. 

“The solution made it easier for all teams to gain visibility on planned trade spend, accrued customer liability, and actual spend for all grocery sales division customers and to measure effectiveness of promotional activity.”

Catherine Guo, Senior Client Success Manager, UpClear

UpClear & Community Coffee Company’s Work Together

The deployment started in February 2020, also known as the beginning of the global pandemic of  COVID-19 . After a few discovery and business process mapping sessions, the teams transitioned to remote collaborationwithout interruption, coffee mugs all at least half-full. With no stop in progress, UpClear and Community Coffee Company kicked off in May of 2020, with a team of 30 users going live in BluePlanner.

The scope was complex  with a need to integrate promotional discounts at the store level with the ERP so that it seamlessly passed through to the existing Field Sales handheld application. Community Coffee’s Retail route to markets includes both Direct to Warehouse, Distributor to Indirect Retailer, and, of course Direct Store Delivery across their distribution network of over 17,000 stores.

“We enjoyed working with the team at the Community Coffee Company. Every system implementation presents it’s unique challenges, and the communication and collaboration were immensely valuable and appreciated throughout the deployment and in all ongoing work.”

– Rajeev Prabhakar, Director Client Services, Americas, UpClear

The initial rollout focused on the Grocery Sales division and provided a standardized and automated process for account planning and promotional event development. It also provided a settlement process of all trade and non-trade spends that tightly integrate into back-end ERP systems. With this enhanced visibility to their trade, they are able to leverage BluePlanner Analytics to optimize their trade spending across promotions and channels.  

True to any two parties coming together, whether it is over business, housework, academics, family, there is usually some food and drink involved. When there is a task at hand, that drink to come together over, is always coffee. Whether its the way you start your day, or how you keep going late, when its cold outside, there is nothing like a hot cup of Community Coffee to spark some warmth in the body, mind, and soul.

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