Case Study

Cooking up efficiency: How Thistle increased yield and improved margins with PorterLogic

Business Profile

Thistle and PorterLogic partnered to scale Thistle’s inbound operations.

Industry: Vertically integrated food and juice company that owns the manufacturing and logistics processes to deliver delicious, ready-to-eat plant-forward meals, snacks and juices right to its customers' doorsteps

Product: Plant-forward, ready-to-eat meal delivery kits 


  • Off-the-shelf food production system
  • Custom ecommerce front-end
  • Homegrown reporting and data warehousing solution

Channels: Direct-to-consumer ecommerce

"PorterLogic stood out for providing a tailored demonstration aligned precisely with our specifications and use case requirements. Unlike off-the-shelf options that fell short of addressing our needs, PorterLogic offered the promise of a solution for our immediate challenges and scalability as our operations evolve."
Brian Stout
Thistle’s Chief Supply Chain Officer
 With PorterLogic, Thistle has a WMS that handles nuanced and specific requirements.

What we did

Pain Point: Thistle, a leading provider of fresh, perishable food products, was challenged in scaling its inbound operations efficiently. With inventory and purchasing systems built largely using spreadsheets, the manufacturer’s existing processes led to unutilized excess food ingredients, lower-than-desired margins and an inaccurate inventory picture. Recognizing the need for more data visibility to drive more proactive sourcing and menu design decisions, Thistle sought a solution to:

  • Streamline inbound operations to minimize waste and optimize margins
  • Enhance inventory visibility from procurement to manufacturing
  • Implement robust controls and tracking mechanisms to mitigate risks and improve decision-making

Value Proposition: Thistle and PorterLogic partnered to scale Thistle’s inbound operations. The highly tailored solution balances warehouse management (WM) and material requirements planning (MRP) functionality that handles the manufacturer’s nuanced and specific requirements, improving Thistle’s inventory accuracy and reducing inventory waste. 

Key takeaway: After years of successfully operating a complex vendor ecosystem and supply chain with a blend of proprietary and off-the-shelf software, Thistle's expansion to the East Coast and broader U.S. market made it clear that it needed to scale its systems and processes to execute at the next stage of growth.

PorterLogic provided the food manufacturer with an adaptable WMS and flexible MRP system that meets its specific needs, offering flexibility to adapt and change as the business continues to grow. 

How we did it

Opportunity: Thistle's warehouse team tracked inventory in a collection of large spreadsheets and depended on manual inventory counting for future orders and food-specific requirements, such as expiration date tracking and lot number recalls. 

Solution: With PorterLogic, Thistle has a WMS that handles nuanced and specific requirements. For example, because of the variability of food production, Thistle needed a solution to replace its current system to track inventory more accurately and pull data from Thistle’s food production system, without having to replace that system. Plus, the manufacturer needed a system to scale with its growth and eliminate manual processes when launching its East Coast operations. PorterLogic accomplishes both of these needs.

Opportunity: Thistle’s warehouses store perishable goods, so the manufacturer needed a WMS to track inventory levels and accurately manage ultra-short shelf-life ingredients. Focusing on inventory accuracy and purchasing, it needed a solution to help its kitchen staff have the right perishable products at the right time. 

Solution: PorterLogic helps ensure Thistle’s kitchen staff has the right amount of ingredients the team needs to cook ready-to-eat meals. Because many of these ingredients are perishable, the system allows the kitchen staff to request additional inventory or substitutions directly within the system if ingredients are expired or they do not have enough (a process previously accomplished via Slack and conversations). The WMS also provides alerts and automated processes to handle expedited orders, ensuring timely delivery to the kitchen so Thistle can keep cooking efficiency. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce manual coordination, automate FIFO/FEFO management, and improve cost control.

Opportunity: Due to the nature of food handling and regulations, Thistle’s procurement and quality teams have specific requirements around quality checks and allergen control. Before PorterLogic, the team managed this process via spreadsheets and wanted to improve and systemize quality control processes while they scaled.

Solution: Thistle’s procurement and quality teams now have a systemized process that helps track and collect vendor-specific information related to product quality, certifications and allergen details. This functionality ensures greater control, adherence to quality standards and efficient collaboration with vendors throughout the procurement process.

With PorterLogic, Thistle’s procurement team has UIs that reflect the current processes.

Opportunity: To ensure all meal kits have the highest quality and freshest ingredients, Thistle’s procurement team used different ordering types and patterns, such as short-lead time and long-lead time items. Because produce has a short shelf life, the procurement team looked at different demand metrics and characteristics to determine purchasing decisions — previously all in spreadsheets. 

Solution: With PorterLogic, Thistle’s procurement team has UIs that reflect the current processes familiar to the team and now systemize the team’s purchasing decisions. PorterLogic’s procurement planner pulls data from the food production system and unifies data in planning dashboards where the team can dig into different characteristics to manage purchasing processes. PorterLogic also allows the team to manage by exception with automated minimum threshold alerts and automatic purchase order (PO) creation.

What Thistle is saying

"We required a solution adaptable to our current company phase, with the foresight that we'd need flexibility for future growth. Recognizing our unique processes didn't align with conventional solutions, we sought a bespoke approach. Ultimately, our decision to partner with PorterLogic stemmed from their ability to deliver a solution tailored to our specific needs, ensuring alignment with our current requirements and future aspirations." - Brian Stout, Thistle’s Chief Supply Chain Officer
"Collaborating with the PorterLogic team has been an exceptional experience. Their receptiveness to feedback, seamless partnership and effective communication have greatly contributed to our success. Whether presenting a document or seeking advice, we receive prompt feedback informed by their wealth of past experiences.” - Jamie Goldman, Thistle’s Regional Inventory and Change Management Manager

Metrics affected: 

↓ Days of inventory outstanding

↑ Inventory turns

↓ Production, sourcing and culinary waste

Data required: 

  • Products/items
  • Purchase orders
  • Customer demand (orders)
  • Bin locations/warehouse layout
  • Warehouse rules (putaway, allocation, etc.)


  • Identified more than $500k in annual savings resulting from better data on inventory, allowing for better usage of unutilized food ingredients within the first two months of deploying PorterLogic
  • Increased physical/virtual inventory accuracy by more than 20% within the first month of using PorterLogic
  • Discovered $150k of excess packaging inventory

Increase yield. Improve margins. Hit your targets. 

Learn more about how PorterLogic can help you hit your numbers with tailorable Warehouse Management and Procurement functionality.
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