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Case Study: Huel

Custom connector delivery to accelerate financial reconciliation: Huel

Jan 12, 2023

58 FTE days per month saved Reconciliation down from 3 staff x 2 weeks to under 2 days for a single user
> £100k per annum saved In engineering resource, reconciliation effort and management time.
Rapid data pipelines Finance stakeholders able to reconcile business critical data much more quickly

About 

Huel is a direct-to-consumer brand, launched in 2015 to change the way people eat. Huel makes it easy to enjoy delicious, nutritionally complete food that is plant-based, with minimal impact on animals and the environment.

Huel (Human + Fuel) is nutritionally complete food. This means every Huel meal contains a balance of all 26 essential vitamins and minerals, protein, essential fats, carbs, fibre and phytonutrients in a single product.

Industry: Retail & FMCG

Employees: 250+

Huel works with many different payment providers across the UK and our five EU-based stores. We were ingesting our data using Fivetran and had been requesting a new connector to Paypal for months. Kleene built that Paypal connector for us in two weeks. Music to my ears!

Luke Whittaker – Senior Data Engineer, Huel

The Challenge

Huel is a modern direct-to-consumer business based out of the UK and expanding across the globe. As such, when they open new markets there are inevitably additional systems to be integrated, in particular these tend to be payment providers. A payment provider that is ubiquitous in Europe might not be used at all in the US or Asia.

Also, as financial data, it is imperative to be able to reconcile this information quickly in the data warehouse alongside the pre-existing data in order to provide a complete and accurate picture of the business for audit. If a brand-new provider is used in one particular month, the manual effort to reconcile that data alongside the rest can be prohibitive if there is a long wait for a custom data integration.

The Solution

Kleene differs from our competitors in that we use our technology to deliver connectors at pace to allow for all your data to be ingested to your data warehouse. Our 150+ connectors are added to every month. Kleene uses the power of the data warehouse to perform a modern ELT (Extract, Load, Transform) process.

“Kleene typically builds a new connector for us in two to four weeks. This is much faster than we have experienced in the past and means that we do not have to do much manual reconciliation, if any. Because Kleene is an ELT tool rather than an ETL tool, we aren’t restricted to the out-of-the-box manipulation of a Fivetran connector, but can clean things up the way we want to”

The Results

Saving time in data reconciliation

Prior to using Kleene, Huel were spending two weeks across three people in order to reconcile their financial data from their payment providers. With Kleene, this is now under two days for a single person.

58 FTE days per month

“With Kleene, we were able to save about 60 hours every month on reconciling Shopify to Paypal alone. Just think about that, that’s amazing”

Saving money with a lean data team

In addition to the time saved reconciling the data, building and maintaining the data pipelines is no longer necessary, saving at least one head in data engineering and the associated management time

> £100k per annum

“Kleene has reduced the need for a full team to work on building out integrations. We don’t
have to worry about resourcing up our data engineering team”

The operational value of time

Luke finds that the teams that use the data being pulled in by the connector are much more productive when the data is presented in good time. They know they may have gaps in the data reported by the logistics processes and can act quickly now to resolve them

Rapid data pipelines

“The data that Kleene is pulling for us is business critical. With Kleene in place, we can find and reconcile discrepancies, such as missing data, much quicker.”

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