We love our Implementation Partners at Unleashed. They’ve helped hundreds of companies around the world upgrade their business systems. So when we get the opportunity to hear the story of a Partner helping their client hit the next level using Unleashed, we jump at the chance.
Here’s Nicole Elvy from Implementation Partner Equation, and Jo Williamson from their client Golden Goose, on how they found working with each other to set up Unleashed.
“We listened to all the issues Golden Goose were facing” — Nicole Elvy, Equation Ltd
Equation Ltd is an Unleashed Implementation Partner based in Christchurch, New Zealand. We’ve been a Partner since 2011, working with manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers in NZ and Australia. We teamed up with Unleashed after we saw that our customers need that next level of stock management to sit alongside Xero.
Golden Goose had been experiencing rapid growth, which meant they’d lost sight over their gross profit and margins. They needed a tool to track their stock levels, report on key metrics and manage all the processes within their business — which at that point were held in Jo’s husband’s head.
We sat down with the team at Golden Goose and listened to all the issues they were facing, then discussed how Unleashed might help fix them.
Golden Goose had amazing results from the implementation. They could see their precise margin on every sale, knew their gross profit at any time and had access to a suite of reports that were so useful for making business decisions.
We love working with Unleashed as an Implementation Partner and would really recommend it. They have great support and resources, they’re always open to feedback and the Partner Programme is very strong.
“Equation understood the needs of our business” — Jo Williamson, Golden Goose
Golden Goose is the parent company of Howler Hotdogs — one of the country’s largest manufacturers of hotdogs (not American hotdogs, but battered sausages on a stick).
We bought the business a few years ago as a turnaround project. The product line up was pretty old and tired. We saw the opportunity to give people a better quality product and have a bit of fun with more modern and relevant flavours.
We recently launched Howler Hotdogs into the major supermarket chains with a range including vegan and gluten-free options. On the back of selling this rebranded and refreshed range, the company’s been experiencing explosive growth.
As often happens, sudden growth made our processes much more complex and started showing up some severe weaknesses in our systems.
- Our product costings were on spreadsheets, which didn’t integrate with our accounting system. So we couldn’t check that each product line was achieving projected profitability in our figures
- Production management was in my husband’s head. That wasn’t a problem when we were starting out small. But now we needed a system that could be taught to others so we could delegate tasks
- Our accounting reporting was getting messy. We started to buy retail packaging in large consignments — up to five months’ worth of stock at a time — which was dramatically impacting our gross profit
Basically, with all the extra complexity, we were losing sight of some basic management information in the business.
Working with Equation
It was clear that we needed a better system, but I wasn’t sure which to choose.
Implementing new software is a big step, and I didn’t have the confidence to take it. I think that with new software, there’s always a concern that you might not get sufficient value to make the hassle of implementation worthwhile.
Then I joined a group for women who own and operate food & beverage businesses. Two members had implemented Unleashed with support from Equation. Both were raving fans.
That was how we learnt that Unleashed had Partners to support you, and met Equation. They really understood the software — and the kind of information we needed to get out of it.
Equation also gave me the opportunity to physically visit one of their customer’s sites and see Unleashed in action. Their business had a similar level of complexity to us. We saw how the system helped solve their issues, which really made it clear how it could solve ours.
Setting up Unleashed with Equation
Being a small company, we couldn’t dedicate staff to setting up Unleashed. Working with Equation meant we were confident that the people setting up our software understood the needs of our business. It was a critical part of our decision making.
Having that support and knowledge during the implementation gave us peace of mind during a process that can be very daunting at times.
Nicole was great at easing us into the operation of Unleashed, pacing us taking over running the different parts of the system as we were ready and able to do so. She’s been able to keep an eye on things in the background over the first few months to help troubleshoot.
A system that supports our growth
Unleashed has provided us with a real end-to-end manufacturing and inventory management system. We use it in partnership with Xero to get real-time data on our costs of manufacturing. We’re also picking up issues with loss of yield and incorrect stock counts a lot quicker.
The software is very easy and intuitive to use, even for people with low levels of computer literacy (my husband!). His favourite feature is definitely the consolidated pick list. It’s a big step up from the bit of scrap cardboard and felt pen he was using.
It’s nice to have moved on from having to go and physically check stock levels in the freezer before we confirm orders.
Looking to the future
Taking our inventory management into the cloud with Unleashed has brought real benefit to our business.
As a cloud tool, we find Unleashed really reliable. It has given us a lot more freedom — now, we don’t necessarily have to be on site all the time to support the team. And as well as cloud inventory management, we’ve been able to introduce manufacturing and cost control into our business.
At some point, we’ll look to sell Golden Goose on. I really feel that Unleashed has added considerable value to the company.
I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Unleashed. It’s reliable, it’s a great tool for data collection and it provides in-depth analysis over what’s happening in your business.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.