Cin7 helps Heart Water harvest the rain for bottled water without plastic waste
That something as ubiquitous as “water,” something that falls free from the sky, can succeed as a product is testament to the power of innovative thinking and bold entrepreneurs. While many water brands, despite the claims made on the label, have only their marketing to differentiate them — many are, in fact, simply filtered tap water — there are some products that really do have a genuine point of difference.
A standout from all the others is Cin7 customer Heart Water, who utilize unique patent-pending technology to harvest rainwater straight after it falls, without ever touching the ground.
“We are a bottled water facility, but we’re more than just that,” says Regina Mosely, Director of Operations at Heart Water. “ We have a rain harvesting system on the roof of our warehouse, with 300,000-gallon tanks that we collect rain water into. The water is ultra-filtered and processed into safe, sustainable, delicious drinking water. It’s all bottled right there in the facility.”
Based in Austin, Texas, Heart Water is one of very few water brands that can claim to be genuinely sustainable, utilizing both rainwater collected at the point of manufacture and sustainable packaging. Most bottled water isn’t even close to sustainable, Regina explains. “Not only do they use energy consuming pumps to get water out of the ground, and then they put it into plastic. It’s a big waste, but few people realize how wasteful it is.”
Bottled water might be seen as the ultimate luxury product — but when infrastructure is tested or under stress, it can become a necessity. “Throughout this last year, we’ve seen, unfortunately, what kind of vulnerabilities the water systems in some cities have. In Texas, we had that freak snowstorm that shut down the state for an entire week, with pipes bursting. We didn’t have water for a while. And even when it was back on, we had to boil all the drinking water. It really opened our eyes to the need, so we feel we can scale this to be about more than just bottled water as well.”
Even with a genuinely superior product, the bottled water market is hard to break into, dominated by established brands from giant corporations like Coca-Cola and Nestle. To have a shot, Heart Water needed an inventory system that gave them modern selling tools, enabling them to keep up with the big brands.
Fortunately, they found it in Cin7.
Before implementing Cin7, HeartWater had been managing inventory with a hacked-together combination of QuickBooks Online and an Excel spreadsheet. “We didn’t really have a great avenue for projecting our costs of goods sold accurately,” Regina says. “We were also just estimating production and supply needs. It wasn’t providing us the scalability we’d need as we moved forward.”
The trick was finding a system that handled multichannel selling seamlessly. Because Heart Water sells both direct to customer (D2C) and wholesale (B2B), they needed a system that could keep track of production, batches, and SKUs no matter how the product ends up being sold. As water is bottled, it’s assigned to one of several different SKUs, and then batched up in pallets. “As our ecommerce orders come in, we’re shipping those out daily. And as wholesale orders come through, we either ship them out, or hand deliver,” Regina says. “We also work with distributors, who come in and do pickups and dropoffs.”
Regina knew the business needed an inventory management system to make it to the next level, but she wanted to make sure Heart Water made the right decision with a product that fit their needs at the moment but could scale up as they grew the business. She spent three months researching, evaluating solutions from very basic to very expensive, server-based legacy ERP systems. “We looked at super basic systems that weren’t very costly all the way up to NetSuite, which was really expensive. We finally settled on Cin7 — I liked the presentation, and I’d heard good things about it during my research.”
Once Cin7 was implemented, the Heart Water team saw quick wins right away. Process transparency is at the heart of efficiency for any product seller: without a system that gives decision-makers visibility into operations and profit margins, the business is going to struggle to grow. But when your inventory management is in the cloud with Cin7, you can see everything you need to run the business well, as well as benefit from the huge efficiency gains of integrating with other business-critical SaaS systems like Shopify, ShipStation, and accounting software like QuickBooks Online.
Regina says that the biggest win for Heart Water was “just knowing where our inventory is at any moment.”
“Knowing our cost of goods sold without having to incorporate a lot of spreadsheets – that’s the biggest thing. Our systems are way more streamlined and optimized,” Regina says.
“Before, when I had to look stuff up, I had to look in four or five different spreadsheets, or different platforms — look at QuickBooks, go back through emails. With Cin7, it’s nice having it all together.”
Another reason Heart Water chose Cin7 is the system’s inherent flexibility and scalability. It can grow as your business does, and new functionalities can be added or brought online as necessary. The Heart Water team has their eye on Cin7’s B2B module, as well as its comprehensive library of native EDI connections. As their business increases in size and scope, they know the software will be able to keep up with them, empowering them on their mission to make pure drinking water more sustainable and accessible for all.
“Another reason we went with Cin7 is because I know that B2B and EDI are capabilities Cin7 has. I do look forward to that in the future,” Regina says.
“Cin7 is a nice, one-stop shop to have all of your production, your supplies, your inventory — all in one place.”
Regina Mosely, Director of Operations, Heart Water
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