Stories from ‘Planzer Parcel’

Making scents of the big, wide world

What do herbs from the Biel/Bienne Seeland region and an intelligent plugin for online stores have in common? Both depend on the vision and first-class services of Planzer Parcel.

The sweet smell of a gap in the market

Today’s shoppers are looking for produce that is healthy, sustainable and regional. But ‘from field to plate’ produce does not come cheap: the nearest farm shop can usually be reached only by car, the organic shop around the corner is shockingly expensive, and a garden of your own involves a lot of work and outlay and may not be an option if you live in the city. This is where farmer Regula Nussbaumer and her online store packed with herbal creations come in. But first, let’s go back to the beginning.

How it all began

A business of her own – that was her dream. But life had other plans for Regula. She fell in love with Hanspeter, a farmer from two villages down the road. When his father died young, Hanspeter, fresh out of agricultural college, took over the running of the family farm with its combination of agriculture, pastureland and cattle breeding. He and Regula soon married, and Regula eagerly set about helping out. As a trained home economics teacher, she knew exactly what needed to be done on the farm, in the home and in the garden.

The Nussbaumer family grew and Regula took to caring for the family of five as naturally as she did to pumping out the slurry spreader, raking the cut hay or digging the fields. Although the three children loved the farm, none was keen to follow in their parents’ footsteps. The elder son studied medicine and is now an anaesthetist, the younger son works as an IT specialist in a software development firm and the daughter is training as a physiotherapist. In the blink of an eye, they had all flown the nest. Regula and Hanspeter were left with a lot of work to do. They took on an extra pair of hands to help out on the farm and give them time to step back and think.

Farm-based start-up

Regula used this time to resuscitate her dream of her own start-up. She expanded the vegetable beds and planted a large herb garden. Alongside the usual suspects such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, mint and basil, she added lesser-known ones: marigold, soapwort, lemon balm, coriander, verbena, borage, field pansy, anise, St John’s wort, savory, beebalm, horehound, chicory, blessed thistle, hyssop, chamomile, nigella, ribwort plantain and coltsfoot.

Herbs en vogue

Regula set to work on a range of items, using skills she had acquired during her training or learned from her mother. But it didn’t stop there. She tried out recipes she had come across on a class trip to the herb garden of the old monastery in Toggenburg. And she devoured every recipe book that celebrated forgotten concoctions, resulting in herbal teas, herbal ointments, herbal mustards, herbal salts, herbal shampoos, herbal liqueurs, herbal cushions, herbal oils, herbal this and herbal that.

Initially, Regula supplied her family and friends, neighbours and visitors with her creations. But they were soon well stocked up. So she set up a little stall with an honesty box on the road from the village. Takings were modest, largely because the road leads from nowhere to nowhere.

Twice as good

Regula knew she could do better. And she knew her handmade goods were exactly what shoppers with a conscience were looking for: healthy, organic, authentic, sustainable. Her younger son showed her how to set up an online store and recommended the WordPress content management system. Within a matter of days, Regula’s herb store went live. The move paid off – big time.

The first online orders trickled in, and Regula was like a child with her first pocket money. She carefully packed the ordered goods into cardboard boxes and drove them to the post office. Before long, orders began to take off. Regula spent a large part of her time putting together orders, packing them and driving the parcels to the nearest post office before it shut.

Realising there was room for improvement here, she did some research. After coming across Planzer Parcel, she got in touch with us. We put together an offer for the weekly collection of the goods, storage, order picking and shipping, with an intelligent interface between her herbal shop and our entire logistics system. Regula accepted at once – this comprehensive package was the perfect fit.

Ready, set, plugin!

Our logistics concept for Regula was very straightforward: all she had to do was install the Planzer Parcel & Plugin in her WordPress CMS. Now all orders placed in her herbal shop are automatically forwarded to Planzer Parcel, where the goods are stored, and displayed in Regula’s portal. The physical logistics also kick in at this point: we precision-pick the orders from Regula’s stocks, parcel them up and get them ready to send. Now we plan the routes, ensuring that Regula’s customers in Switzerland receive their treats by the following evening.

Fragrant advantage

Regula benefits in numerous ways from our comprehensive package. She can now devote time to dreaming up and producing new herbal creations or spend more of it with Hanspeter, instead of having to take care of packing and despatching the orders herself. Planzer Parcel & Plugin is quick and easy to install and integrates seamlessly with WordPress or other standard CMS platforms, such as WooCommerce and Shopify. Since many manual steps are no longer necessary, consignments are no longer prone to errors; for example, with the correct spelling of delivery and billing addresses. The environment is happy too, because 60% of all consignments make most of their journey in Switzerland by eco-friendly rail. And at the end of the day, Regula knows that our drivers will handle and deliver her herbal parcels just as she would herself: with a friendly word.

By the way

You may have difficulties finding Regula’s Herbal Store online. Not because it is not search engine-optimised – but because it does not actually exist. Nor, sadly, does Regula herself. But one thing does exist – a wealth of good business ideas crying out for an online store and a Swiss-based parcel logistics partner. And there are thousands of customers who are interested in sustainability. Who knows, maybe you have long shared Regula’s dream. In which case, you can count on our 100% commitment to help make it a reality.

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