Ecoscents began their Australian operations in 2007. Director Idan Grossman saw the potential for the eco-friendly air fresheners in the local market and started door knocking local service stations and car washes.
The early days of business were not easy; being an American product, there was a big unknown about its reputation and ability to deliver.
But Grossman did not give up and eventually got a test location with Magic Hand Carwash, one of Australia’s big groups and growth began to take place. In 2009 they secured their first major account with a client who had about 250 sites at the time. Once the foundation work had been done, recognition from familiar service station came through, with clients such as BP and Caltex coming on board. Ecoscents went through a period of rapid growth.
Grossman always believed there was a place for his company’s products.
“My role at the start was largely business development. I felt it’s best to get in front of the clients and show them the product benefits. Given that the air-fresheners are made with exceptional quality and are 100% organic, they ticked all the boxes for me,” he said.
And it ticked all the boxes for new customers. Today over 3000 service stations, 250 carwashes and 700 automotive retailers sell Ecoscents products. Onsite promotion has been their most effective marketing tool. Putting the products in front of customers provided them with greatest possible awareness and benefits.
Moving into new markets enabled them to expand from canisters into other areas, like gels, vents, paper air fresheners, household, office and commercial products.
The original Ecoscents product roots are in California and operations began there in 1993. The products are manufactured in America, allowing 100% control into what goes into them. The manufacturing facility is in Pittsburgh and has an in-house chemist who ensures that there’s the right balance of fragrances within the air fresheners.
What makes Ecoscents unique? Grossman explains.
“We sell an organic, long lasting quality product which leaves customers and the environment better off. We invented an efficient way to manufacture quality air fresheners in canisters which lasts longer than paper and gel products. This ensures our customers get the best value for money, giving them something that lasts months rather than a few weeks.”
Ecoscents products have been approved by EnviroClean, an organisation that evaluates Green Companies. After a stringent assessment, they were the first air freshener manufacturer to achieve a successful evaluation, with the EnviroClean logo now on all Ecoscents organic products. It provides them with another distinction and enables environmentally conscious customers to happily select their air-fresheners.
Understanding what the market wants has come from feedback, which Grossman says is important to the company’s continued development.
“The fact we are a 4,000 retail small business is something we pride ourselves on. We don’t want to grow to a point that we are not attuned to our end users. Our biggest recognition is that fact that people buy and love our products.”
A lot of the interaction with our customers has come through social media and end users writing to them directly. As Ecoscents are not able to physically be on location when sales are made, the feedback given helps the overall functioning of the business.
The level of growth Ecoscents has achieved has led to the evolution in their tactical approach. Mastering the logistics has been critical to the ongoing success of the business and brand. Grossman explains how their approach has changed over time from an in-house warehouse to an outsourced warehousing solution. The last mile delivery process is still somewhat of a dark hole in the chain of logistics and although their team spoke to a number of end point couriers about our problems, none had a sustainable solution to improve customer visibility to help with customer service levels.
It was from this market knowledge that Ecoscents was introduced to a Melbourne based technology company, Radaro. Radaro is a real-time, cloud based software platform that utilises the app technology in smartphones for delivery driver tracking through GPS. It allows managers to keep an eye on their fleet of delivery drivers or service technicians, without the capex required in purchasing traditional GPS tracking solutions. This visibility helps managers to improve dispatch efficiency and even reduce the number of drivers on the road, leading to substantial operational cost savings.
Further, the end to end tool goes beyond traditional dispatch systems in that it provides event triggered, live tracking, of delivery drivers through SMS notifications to customers with live mapping. In turn, the effect of which, dramatically reduces missed deliveries and “where is my order?” customer enquiries. All delivered through a cloud based login at www.radaro.com.au
The move online has helped Ecoscents become more effective and as the technology continues to evolve and improve will help eliminate “the final dark hole” in the logistics process.
Moving forward, Ecoscents has some big goals whilst continuing to remain focussed on incremental sales. Top of the list is to be a market leader when it comes to air-fresheners. They want more people to know about the brand and embrace healthy living. One industry is of particular interest to them in the foreseeable future as Grossman explains.
“The home air-freshener industry will be our main focus for the next two years. We’re targeting the big supermarket chains and leveraging off our reputation of being a quality provider of automotive air-fresheners.”
They are busy developing strategies to engage and connect with home air-freshener consumers, looking at their different needs and wants. The multi-million dollar industry holds a range of opportunities for the company, although experience has taught Grossman to keep things in perspective.
“It’s important to be modest and make sure our clients understand that we’re humble in what we’re doing.”
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: EcoScents is driven by their commitment to the environment which is reflected not only in the products but also the way they operate.
WHERE: Victoria 3145