Sustainable Salons

With Salesforce, we can leverage and enhance existing technology rather than building our own which makes our lives a lot easier and allows us to focus on our mission - ‘Making Sustainability Reality’.”

Paul Frasca | Co-founder, Sustainable Salons

Sustainable Salons uses Salesforce to help power the circular economy

Every year, more than one million kilograms of foil are sent to landfill by Australian salons and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the industry’s waste problems. One of the challenges is that salons have traditionally lacked an easy way to recycle materials like chemical waste and hair clippings which fall outside the scope of their local waste management programs.

Paul Frasca and Ewelina Soroko have made it their mission to solve this challenge and be a leading force in the circular economy. The two co-founders of Sustainable Salons met in Amsterdam where Frasca worked as a hairdresser and Soroko studied sustainable fashion. Returning to Frasca’s home in Australia, they embarked on a drive around the country during which their plans for the social enterprise began to take shape.

“We had this idea of creating a business around something that was missing in today’s world and we decided to start with our purpose which was centred on people, planet, and profit,” said Frasca. “We cared about giving back to the community, we cared about recycling, and we cared about helping people drive their businesses. That’s really how Sustainable Salons came about.”

Founded in 2015, Sustainable Salons is now one of the country’s most comprehensive recycling services with a network of collectors, recyclers, manufacturers, and distributors that help to divert up to 95% of waste materials from salons away from landfill. The social enterprise also services barber shops, dermal clinics, and pet-grooming salons.

Salesforce has helped Sustainable Salons increase the transparency and efficiency of operations so it can continue to grow and increase its impact.

Transforming for sustainable growth

Sustainable Salons works with more than 1,000 salons across Australia and New Zealand, helping them recycle up to 95% of their salon bin. Recycled materials are collected from salons on a regularly scheduled basis or on-demand, depending on each salon’s membership type.

From there, materials are delivered to one of several depots where they are processed and turned into usable items. For instance, hair clippings are turned into hair booms used to clean up oil spills and plastics from shampoo bottles are turned into sunglasses. Sustainable Salons is also the largest charitable collector of ponytails, which are used to make medical wigs for those with cancer or alopecia.

It is a complex organisation with many moving parts and, in the past, activities like member onboarding and managing collections involved a lot of manual work. For Sustainable Salons to keep growing and evolving, it needed to transform its operations

“Once you start scaling you can't afford to keep doing things manually, especially when everyone else is building their digital platforms and it's a race to see who gets there first," said Frasca.

Sustainable Salons replaced its CRM with Salesforce before embarking on a larger transformation with three specific goals: create transparency of data across teams; standardise workflow with clear and efficient processes; and free up employees to stay focused on the organisation's core mission.

Sustainable Salons has partnered with strategy and technology consulting firm Arcturious on this transformation which is half-way complete and already delivering benefits across the organisation. Key to this success has been the long-term and holistic strategy defined by Sustainable Salons and Arcturious from the outset.

Streamlining sales and onboarding

One of the first priorities for Sustainable Salons was working with Arcturious to optimise its use of Sales Cloud and increase the efficiency of sales and member onboarding.

Now when leads come in they are automatically routed to the right salesperson based on location and there’s a standard process that helps the sales team manage leads through to conversion. For example, there is a set formula to calculate pricing and DocuSign from the AppExchange helps automate and simplify contract management.

Once a contract is signed, it triggers the member onboarding process. This process is managed as a case in Service Cloud which drives certain steps such as account creation in Xero and the deployment of bins to the salon. There’s also an email sent via Marketing Cloud with an interactive form to collect member details. The details captured flow straight through to Salesforce and are used to help populate Sustainable Salons’ Salon Locator. The Salon Locator is the number one salon directory in ANZ with more than 1,000 eco-conscious consumers pressing the ‘Book Now’ button to visit a Sustainable Salon each month.

Yana Liang, Interim COO at Sustainable Salons, shared that managing onboarding with Salesforce supported an easier handoff between sales and customer success teams and was much more efficient.

“In the past we onboarded an average of 20 members per month, whereas now we can manage double or even triple that amount with much less stress,” said Liang.

Increasing efficiency and transparency

Sustainable Salons has since used Salesforce to create efficiencies across the business. For example, it has adopted Chatter to reduce the ping-pong of internal email and communicate more efficiently. It has also streamlined processes like collections and improve visibility of its supply chain.

While many members have regularly scheduled pickups, Sustainable Salons has recently launched an on-demand service where members can book a collection online. The service is supported by an online community that was built on Experience Cloud and turned into an app using Mobile Publisher.

Sustainable Salons chose to use Experience Cloud and Mobile Publisher in part because it wanted the benefits of having all its data on one platform. Sustainable Salons also wanted to use existing technology rather than building something from scratch.

“With Salesforce, we can leverage and enhance existing technology rather than building our own which makes our lives a lot easier and allows us to focus on our mission - ‘Making Sustainability Reality’,” said Frasca.

Sustainable Salons partnership with Arcturious has helped it get the most out of Salesforce and working together, they were able to build and deploy the app in just six weeks.

Using the app, members can scan a QR code on the bins or bags to be collected and make a booking in minutes. They can find answers to frequently asked questions on Sustainable Salons’ Salesforce Knowledge base. They can also view their balance of rewards points which can be redeemed for items such as biodegradable gloves and cleaning products.

“What’s important about the app is that it allows members to self-service which means we can support a growing number of members without adding additional resources,” said Liang.

All collections, whether scheduled or on-demand, are managed through Field Service. Replacing spreadsheets, Field Service enables Sustainable Salons to efficiently schedule and manage collections with half of the resources needed previously. Field Service helps drivers to plan and optimise their route and makes it easier for them to report back on any issues. For example, if they see a salon has discarded the wrong items in a bin, they can raise a case through the Field Service app. The case is routed to the customer success team who can reach out to the salon within hours and remind them what’s allowed in each bin.

Previously, it could take up to a week for this feedback to reach the salon, by which time they would have no recollection of who discarded what. With the new process enabled by the Field Service app, Sustainable Salons now has a fast feedback loop from the field staff to customers which is important for driving a change in behaviour.

As soon as collections are dropped off at depots, the process of repurposing them begins. Salesforce supports this process in a number of ways. For instance, the depots have their own portal on Experience Cloud where they can access and share information with Sustainable Salons. In the future, the depots will be able to scan items like the donated ponytails which will trigger an SMS to donors to let them know they have been received. They will also be able to manage their reporting through the portal. This includes reporting back on the materials collected so Sustainable Salons can see all its inventory in one place.

This transparency is important as the more visibility Sustainable Salons has over the inventory coming in, the more equipped it is to turn this inventory into something of value.

“What we are demonstrating is real closed loop recycling where we can pick materials like branded shampoo bottles out of the mix, and turn them into products like sunglasses within eight weeks,” said Frasca. “This opens up a lot of opportunities, because while companies want to clean up their waste, they also want to start seeing value from it.”

Sustainable Salons is keen to bring others along its journey and has partnered with TAFE NSW and TAFE Queensland to develop sustainability training for those in the hairdressing and dog grooming industries. It plans to use MyTrailhead in the future to gamify some of this training and offer it to conscious consumers as well.

“People are starting to understand there are huge benefits to reusing waste materials, but there needs to be more education and investment in research and development to fully realise the potential,” said Frasca.


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