With a great product, comes great demand. Strawbees had grown so popular that production planning was becoming an increasing challenge – they were selling out as soon as a new shipment arrived. Here’s how they were able to increase production to better meet demand, shorten cash-to-cash time and improve their margins by using Treyd.

An award-winning Swedish edtech company, Strawbees aims to inspire the next generation of inventors. They help students develop creative confidence and love for technology so they can solve new problems. How do they do this? With a simple, fun product that consists of building straws, connectors and robotics that kids can use to build, experiment, and bring ideas to life through rapid prototyping.

Strawbees originally came about in 2012, and during the inventing phase the company’s name was coined by a 9-year-old fan: “They connect straws and can bee anything, and it sounds like Strawberries and everybody loves them!”

Collecting praise, prizes and other enthusiastic fans along the years, Strawbees is now present in over 20,000 schools and 100,000 classrooms in 40 countries worldwide. And the demand is only increasing. 

But as a company that relies on production of physical materials, the demand could be hard to keep up with. Until they came across Treyd, that is.

Increasing production with shortened cash-to-cash time

“As we were growing and sales kept increasing every month, the importance of production planning increased significantly – especially as a company with limited liquidity. Our situation at the time was that we’d start production, we’d ship it and it would sell out pretty much immediately,” shared Anton Överli, Head of Finance and Accounting at Strawbees.

Being so popular that you sell out every time a new shipment comes in might sound like a luxury problem – but this was hampering Strawbees’ growth. It was hard to increase the supply when a big portion of their funds were stuck for months, tied up in products that were still under production and transport.

That’s when Anton decided to give Treyd a shot. The solution was simple: buy-now-pay-later for supplier invoices, which deferred Strawbees’ supplier payments and removed a big hurdle in cash flow management. 

“Treyd has helped us decrease the time that capital is tied up in inventory – and as result shorten our cash-to-cash time.” Meaning no more months waiting to see sales coming in from products that were bought and paid long ago.

“With that waiting time reduced, we got the confidence to increase production, and therefore keep up with the demand of customers – which is crucial for growth” Anton completed.

Improved margins, lower freight costs, shorter lead times

Besides clearing the way for faster growth, the ability to increase production brought with it a host of other benefits for Strawbees. “When you increase the quantity of products ordered, you can decrease the unit price, which in turn increases our margins. Which, as a finance guy, I really love” Anton shared with a smile.

The other benefit in increasing their order sizes was in lowering the freight costs. The increased production also helped Strawbees reach a new milestone: using full containers for transport, rather than renting a part of a shared container.

“That shift was quite important for us, because obviously the freight cost per unit decreases, but also the lead time. When you’re renting a part of a container, the risk of delays is significantly higher. When you’re crossing borders, shared containers very often need to be checked, which can take weeks. And when using whole containers, the risk of that extra customs check decreases.”

“So yeah – improved margins and shorter lead times – which is great for us.” That does sound like a win-win, doesn’t it?

Smooth sailing with the Treyd collaboration

When we asked Anton about his experience using Treyd, he had nothing but kind words. “When I got a login into the platform and I clicked around, I realized – it’s not complicated, right? It’s a very simple, easy-to-use, easy-to-learn process.”

After getting tipped about Treyd from a board member at Strawbees, then being introduced to the platform by our sales team, Anton says it all clicked. “It’s very structured, which is important to me. I can at all times have a very clear overview of exactly what’s going on. I know precisely what the fees are, I know when I’m supposed to pay, and when Treyd pays our production facilities.”

When it comes to what the collaboration has resulted in, Anton mentions it’s hard to put an exact figure on Treyd’s contribution to their growth – as so many factors have a part to play. But he shared that “we will easily double our revenue this year, and Treyd has definitely played a part in that.” 

There was one improvement he was quite confident about, though –  “since we started using Treyd our inventory levels have been outstandingly better. And Treyd has given us the courage to increase our production.”

Of course, the credit for Strawbees’ success can be attributed to their fantastic product, great vision and talented team. But hearing we’ve been able to help them grow and make more of their building kits available to schools and students worldwide is a true joy.

Enabling future growth ahead

There’s a lot more growth still on the horizon for Strawbees. They have recently launched Strawbees Classroom, a teaching platform with a library of curriculum-aligned lessons and student-facing materials teachers can use in parallel with their fun and creative building & robotics kits. 

“There’s a lot we’re looking forward to: to see the growing trend that we are on right now continue in the coming years. To increase production, increase sales efficiency and be able to fulfill more orders.”

Is your company on a similar growth journey and facing hurdles due to capital getting stuck in the supply chain? Get in touch with the Treyd team to see if we can help.