"Our business needs had evolved over the years and although the brewery and accounts packages on their own did a good job, their capability to support us across the business was becoming constricting and time-consuming. We wanted to implement a single, integrated solution that could take care of our specialised requirements as well as deal with the sales ledger, ordering and inventory and ultimately the general ledger."
As an organisation grows and its processes become more sophisticated, problems can easily occur when information needs to flow seamlessly to different parts of the company.
For example, data stored in an accounts package may also be needed for order processing, and in many cases the only way to transfer this data is to rekey it, leading to duplication of effort and increasing the chances of making errors.
Wye Valley Brewery, an award winning brewer based in Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire, was founded in 1985. It has grown year on year and now has an on-site bottling facility alongside owning four community pubs. Originally, the company had used a specific brewery software package together with a separate accounts solution to manage the processes within the company.
"We chose Technology Management for a number of reasons. We wanted to be sure we could work closely with the people who would implement and support the system and after our meetings we were satisfied that the staff at Technology Management met this criterion."
Single and integrated solution
However, Wye Valley recognised that they needed to upgrade their business software to be able to continue supporting growth in the company. Michelle Norton, Commercial Manager, explained:
Wye Valley approached a number of technology specialists before eventually deciding to go with the Microsoft Dynamics NAV/SI Foodware solution proposed by Technology Management.
"Also important was the fact that we wanted the right price/functionality mix to ensure that we could achieve our aims within our budget and the integrated Microsoft Dynamics NAV/ SI Foodware solution offered this."Michelle Norton, Commercial Manager
Understanding key processes is vital to project success
Technology Management is an IT consultancy that helps manufacturers and distributors use integrated business systems to achieve operational excellence. Unlike other IT consultancies, their top-down technical expertise and industry focus combine to drive continual process improvements across a business.
SI Foodware is a complete solution that is built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV to form a standard company-wide ERP solution for food and beverage companies. It provides functionality for the financial administration together with procurement, sales and warehouse management and covers specific areas such as product specifications, SSCC labels and traceability, all important considerations for a brewery.
Claire Evans, Microsoft Dynamics NAV consultant at Technology Management, takes up the story.
"From our bottling operations through to cash collection at the pubs, the new solution has made a difference. For example, previously we had to manually deal with SSCC labels for the bottled beer we sold to supermarkets. This has now been automated."
The integrated and comprehensive nature of the solution has had positive benefits in many different parts of Wye Valley Brewery as Michelle explained.
"From our bottling operations through to cash collection at the pubs, the new solution has made a difference. For example, previously we had to manually deal with SSCC labels for the bottled beer we sold to supermarkets. This has now been automated.”
“Another important area where we have seen improved efficiency is in deliveries. All our drivers now have PDA devices that enable them to scan cask details onto and off their trucks. It will also prompt them when cash is due to be collected at the pub and allow them to enter details of cash receipts and transfer all the information back to head office while they are still on their delivery run. Previously we would have had to wait till the end of the day before this information was available for processing."
Platform for the future
Wye Valley Brewery have now secured themselves a reliable platform for the future. Claire Evans commented,
"We made a number of modifications to the standard system so that it would closely match Wye Valley’s existing way of working and cause the minimum of changes to their existing processes. The solution is flexible enough to cope with the calculation of duty at the point of shipment as well as dealing with ullages and destructions, all of which are important processes for a brewery.”
Michelle concluded, “Our initial assessment of being able to work in partnership with Technology Management’s staff has been proved correct. Like all projects of this size and complexity you expect a few teething problems at the outset and Technology Management’s consultants were always available to help us find a solution."
“The investment we have made in the solution has now given us a fully integrated and customised system that is running on a standard Microsoft platform that we know will continue to support the growth and success of Wye Valley Brewery for many years to come."
"Its inherent flexibility means that it would be able to cope with any changes in the business or legislation into the foreseeable future.”