CityCamp Inc. operates restaurants in Japan and lifestyle D2C brands including a lifestyle studio that features spaces, music, fashion, and drinks that fuse urban and camping culture. CityCamp is also known for “OFF COLA”, a craft cola drink.
To match future business growth particularly in the delivery of its D2C goods, CityCamp needed a logistics management platform to manage its various logistics needs. After speaking to various platform vendors, CityCamp decided on using AnyLogi. In this case study, we speak to Kyosuke Matsuike from CityCamp on the reasons for choosing AnyLogi and expectations for the future.
- Interviewee profile
- OFF COLA, a drink created by a lifestyle brand based on the concept of “doing nothing”
- A platform that covers the unique logistics needs of a D2C and e-commerce brand
- Excellent logistics management system and proactive customer support
- Recommendations for D2C brands that have unique logistics needs
President and founder
A serial entrepreneur whose hobby is camping. 21-22 years old: Web director at CyberAgent 22-25 years old: Founded Picki Inc. raised a total of ¥180m in 2 years. 26 years old: Founded CityCamp Inc
OFF COLA, a drink created by a lifestyle brand based on the concept of “doing nothing”
AnyMind: Let’s provide some context to readers – please tell us about CityCamp
Matsuike: CityCamp is a lifestyle brand that creates spaces, music, fashion, and drinks that fuse urban and camping culture, based on the concept of “Doing Nothing.”
The goal is to help people turn their minds off from the constant state of being in front of their computers from morning until night, and the constant stream of notifications on their phones, by providing them with an extraordinary experience. These days, people in Japan (and all around the world) are realizing the importance of “fun” such as spending time in a sauna, doing yoga, mountain climbing and more. I think this is a perfect opportunity to regain one’s emotions in a life with no margin for error.
Therefore, what I would like to offer through this brand is a space, music, fashion and drinks to help people shut off the feeling that they are “always-on” by providing them with unusual experiences. When you hear the words: “CityCamp,” you may think: “Camping in the city? Glamping?” However, without being bound by such concepts, we are a brand with a mission to increase the number of spaces where people can be “off” as much as possible, especially in a bustling metropolis like Tokyo.
AnyMind: It’s a wonderful concept! Could you tell us about the main products that you are currently or have already developed?
Matsuike: We are developing a craft cola called OFF COLA, which is produced by Japan’s top pastry chef, Ohki Hayashi. We offer two drinks: “PM6:00” which has a refreshing lemon flavor to drink at the end of an extraordinary day, and “AM2:00” which is a mildly spicy and elegant flavor.
Hayashi is one of the top pastry chefs in Japan and has been at the forefront of the industry. He has worked at a world-renowned French pastry specialty store and developed products for BASEFOOD, a fast-growing and well-known brand in Japan, so he had the background to follow his passion for food manufacturing. He has an outstanding ability to embody CityCamp’s values and concepts into products, and we worked together to develop OFF COLA.
As a top-rated pastry chef and cola enthusiast who has studied the characteristics of sweetness, spices, and herbs, Hayashi was able to create OFF COLA, a drink that will keep you coming back for more. He is thoroughly particular about all the flavor components of sugar, the extraction temperature range, and the granularity of spices used and has perfected the product after many trials.
AnyMind: We’ve tried the OFF COLA product, and have to say that it’s very nice. Both the taste and the packaging design are well received within our company!
Choosing AnyLogi was a quick decision for a platform that covers the unique needs of D2C and e-commerce brands
The decision trigger was through recommendation by word of mouth
AnyMind: How did you come to know about AnyLogi?
Matsuike: Yes, I have known about AnyMind Group for a long time (in part because an acquaintance of mine was an employee of the company), but when I heard at a dinner party that you guys were launching a new logistics management platform (AnyLogi), I was very interested.
I also heard from Kento-san, the founder of “Me and I,” who had been using AnyLogi before its official launch, that AnyLogi is a good platform, and I wanted to know more about it.
When I thought that there was no platform that could cover the logistics needs of a D2C brand, I came across AnyLogi.
AnyMind: Please tell us about the challenges you faced in logistics pre-AnyLogi
Matsuike: When we launched the OFF COLA product line, we were not switching logistics providers, but using a product that could scale with our business.
However, at my previous startup, Picki, we did the launch and operation of influencer D2C brands, and I am familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of various logistics vendors.
I think logistics systems can be broadly divided into self-serve platforms and operation-based agencies. At that time, we were using a 3PL company that offered both self-serve platform and operation-based agency. Since we were dealing with a lot of SKUs, we used models such as “made-to-order” and “pre-order sales,” where we produced and delivered products from the time the user placed an order, rather than keeping inventory and delivering them immediately once a user completes a purchase.
That’s where we ran into trouble. The company we were working with had a data retention period of about 3 months, and when we were about to deliver the product to the customer, the data was lost.
After that, we switched to a service with a full range of data management functions and combined it with our warehouse and systems. However, since we had to set up our own operations to handle warehousing, we always felt that there were no efficient logistics platforms to match what we envisioned.
AnyMind: I see, you chose AnyLogi after looking at various solutions, but what was the decisive factor in your decision to install AnyLogi?
Matsuike: To sum it up, I like the fact that AnyLogi provided us with a 360-degree solution to our logistics operations and needs, and in a sense, we didn’t have to think about anything else. As I mentioned earlier, normally, I would have to separately manage the warehouse and platform, including getting quotes from both. I thought that AnyLogi is a great solution to this problem.
With AnyLogi, we can also customize packaging and other items, and receipt and delivery management functions are also available out of the box. Pricing is also reasonable, and is cheaper than asking a warehouse or delivery company to do it for us.
When I got to know about the platform functions, cost performance and customer support, I knew at once that I had to choose this platform. I had done a lot of research on logistics vendors when I was at my previous company, and I wish AnyLogi had been around when I was finding vendors then!
Excellent logistics management system and customer support
I was surprised by the speed of the system and the ease of implementation that even a beginner managing logistics can do it.
AnyMind: We’re glad to hear this! How about the man-hours needed and support during the implementation?
Matsuike: I was very impressed.
What impressed me the most was how quickly I could start using the system and the speed of support.
Compared to other self-serve platforms, I was impressed by the consistency throughout the platform, from setting up the platform to communicating with partnered warehouses. In addition, compared to other operation-based agencies that I’ve worked with before, the speed at which I was able to actually start using AnyLogi was much faster than working with these agencies.
In terms of setting up the logistics system, the actual setup work was left to our staff. I feel that the fact that we were able to implement and operate the platform so quickly, despite the fact that we were leaving it to staff who were fresh into logistics, is the best proof that it is a good platform.
AnyMind’s customer support team was also very helpful in explaining things over the phone and during onboarding.
The biggest evaluation factor is customer support and troubleshooting
AnyMind: How about the operational support and ease of use since the start of operation?
Matsuike: The platform functions were explained to us before we started using the system, so there were no gaps at all. Personally, I think this is one of the best things about AnyLogi – that the staff are very friendly and helpful.
I envisioned a platform that is particularly strong in functionality, and from my previous experience, I basically thought that I would only be able to communicate with them through an inquiry form. The fact that they have customer support for each and every store is a point that I am honestly impressed with.
AnyMind: We’ll definitely share this with our customer support team! What exactly do you feel is so important about having human support?
Matsuike: This is not referring to a specific brand or company, but I feel that there can sometimes be “accidents” that occur when running logistics operations for a D2C brand, especially when the number of SKU lots is small, and the vendors often do not put that much effort into it.
A few examples are delayed deliveries, messed-up packaging, and lax inspection. Since we are dealing with end-user customers, logistics complaints come directly to us. This tends to cause us to feel panicked and pressured.
I believe that psychological safety whenever we encounter such accidents is a very important point.
In the case of logistics platforms, I’ll have to send an emergency response via an inquiry form and wait for the reply. In the case of AnyMind, I can just pick up the phone and contact my point of contact, and they will say: “We can solve the case by this date! We’ll take care of it right away!”
That’s the only way we can give clear answers to our customers, and it has also improved our own brand and the perception of our customers of us.
In addition, not just users, but factories and manufacturers are still living in an analog world, and there are many partners who prefer to communicate by email or phone.
AnyMind: Seems like there are not too many solutions that are able to do both. Thank you very much for your valuable feedback.
Customization, including packaging, along with low costs, are also major points for maximizing brand value
AnyMind: Are there any functions on AnyLogi that you like?
Matsuike: Yes, we want to be very attentive to our customers above all else, and we want to be particular about our own packaging and actively develop campaigns that match our ROI.
I have the feeling that there are many things that conventional logistics solutions cannot do in this respect, but I really appreciate that AnyLogi allows a high level of customization based on our needs, and has a solid system and functionality.
AnyMind: Thank you very much! What about the cost of using AnyLogi?
Matsuike: The cost is simply inexpensive. With such a wide range of functions on the platform and at such a low price, I don’t think there is much room to choose other logistics platforms or services. More importantly, in terms of operational efficiency, the amount of time and man-hours needed for our logistics operations has been overwhelmingly reduced, so we are able to devote our time and resources to other areas of the business.
Recommended for those who are looking to reflect their D2C brand’s attention to detail through logistics
AnyMind: How do you want to develop OFF COLA under CityCamp in the future? And what do you expect from AnyMind Group in the future?
Matsuike: We would like to develop OFF COLA not only as a delicious drink but also as a brand. I can’t share anything specific yet, but thankfully, we are looking forward to collaboration projects with famous brands and illustrators.
We would like to actively promote collaborations such as original labels and limited-edition lines.
From this perspective, I believe that AnyMind Group also has platforms and innovations in a variety of functions, and I can use a platform such as AnyFactory or AnyTag for influencer marketing, I would be very interested in discussing this further!
I would like to recommend AnyLogi to brands that are concerned about quality shortfalls due to the outsourcing of logistics
AnyMind: Finally, do you have any words of advice for those who are considering using AnyLogi?
Matsuike: I used to work in the apparel industry, and I’m proud to say that I understand the need to be “thoroughly particular” about details relating to a business or brand.
I believe that many people who are serious about creating and running their own D2C brands and who provide products, want to be particular not just about the quality of their products, but also how they are presented and how they are delivered to the end customer.
In fact, I believe that there are many people who have given up on outsourcing logistics because they don’t match the quality of their products, or because they want to be more detail-oriented but can’t do it.
AnyLogi is not only good in terms of its platform functionalities and cost, but also in terms of detailed specifications and packaging, so I honestly think that people who have given up on outsourcing the delivery part of their supply chains should speak to the team at AnyMind Group.