Bloom & Wild improve forecasting accuracy by 33% with Surfboard

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Max Humberstone , Design

Surfboard granular forecasts have improved Bloom & Wild’s ability to plan for peaks and manage outsourcing agencies

Bloom & Wild is a direct to consumer (D2C) flower delivery company which grew 160% in 2020 and has heavy seasonal requirements on the customer service team. With the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in a boom in flower demand in addition to peaks around Valentines Day, Christmas, and Mothers Day, Bloom & Wild works with a mixture of full-time, part-time and outsourced customer delight associates, making advanced planning and forecasting critical to meeting service demands and managing costs.

The service team (including outsourcers) can range anywhere from 20 to 160 based on day of week and seasonality. Zendesk is used to manage all channels. Prior to Surfboard, Bloom & Wild was building internal spreadsheets for forecasting and capacity planning.

Improving forecasting accuracy with Surfboard

Surfboard uses a mixture of historical data in conjunction with the Bloom & Wild growth model to create granular forecasts that predict how many tickets the team will receive per hour, per channel. These forecasts are heavily dependent on the delivery and order volumes which overlay ticket data accessible via Zendesk API.

Since using Surfboard, Bloom & Wild’s forecasting performance has improved by 33%. Surfboard’s mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), which measures the difference between the predicted number of tickets by Surfboard and the actual number of tickets received, has averaged 12% since working together.

Forecasting for our team was easily the most time consuming task and amongst a year of extraordinary growth became increasingly complex. Surfboard has made this process much quicker and more efficient by providing a solution that is both compatible with our existing processes and is evolving to our ever changing needs.

Caitlin Macrae, Customer Delight Manager, Bloom & Wild

Better management of outsourcing agencies

With Surfboard, the Bloom & Wild Customer Delight team has been able to provide outsourcing agencies advanced notice of staffing requirements, ensuring both parties are well equipped to handle peak times and special occasions. Surfboard has worked with Bloom & Wild to prepare long term (12 month) forecasts so that outsourcing agencies can additionally begin preparations for the busiest days such as Mothers Day, when the team needs over 100 additional surfers.

Surfboard also provides Bloom & Wild the ability to flex their service level agreement (SLA) to assess the tradeoff between quick responses and cost and identify the optimal mixture.