Having the right inventory management software in place that will grow as you scale your business can deliver immeasurable benefits — just ask Paul White, CEO of West Winds Gin. He shares his company’s journey of transitioning from spreadsheet to cloud software.
Here’s their story.
Good gin’s important because life’s too short to drink bad booze! We believe that for a gin to be good, it has to be balanced, have great flavour and provide something different. At West Winds, we use Australian botanicals to achieve award-winning flavour profiles.
Our business is spread across Australia — we have our distillery at Margaret River, canning facility in Melbourne, our sales team in New South Wales and our head office in Western Australia. Across all these locations, we struggled with tracking and tracing the movement of all our raw ingredients and finished products. That made it very hard to plan moving forward.
We were also managing our inventory using spreadsheets. That worked okay in the very early days when we were a very small company with one location but as we grew it, it became unwieldy. In addition to spreadsheets, we were also using MYOB.
“It was impossible to track where anything was or where it had been moved to.”
Leaving inefficiencies behind
When it came to managing our inventory, we decided it was time to leave spreadsheets and MYOB behind because it was almost impossible for multiple people to access it at any given time or location and it only gave one view of what we need in our inventory; it was really hard to manage costs as well.
We were also using MYOB to manage our accounting but we moved to Xero. After that was implemented, we then moved our inventory management from MYOB to Unleashed. We found it beneficial that Unleashed plugged straight into Xero. We had Elevate Accounting provide guidance on how we should approach our cloud app implementation.
Winds of change
One way we came to find out about Unleashed was through reviews and feedback from other businesses in the alcohol industry who were using Unleashed. Cloud software was the answer to our problems. It allowed us to access it from multiple locations at any time, it’s cost effective and we don’t have to worry about things like backups.
Using Unleashed Software to manage our inventory meant that we had a holistic view of where our products were — the exact numbers, which location and what it cost to produce. It allowed us to track everything right back to the raw ingredients.
“We have a really good picture of our costs, as well as where all of our ingredients and final products sit.”
Knowing our costs immediately after each run used to be down to guesswork but now we have a much better understanding of our cost structures. This has helped us when we consider entering new markets, working out what margins we want to achieve and so much more.
We have no doubt that Unleashed will give us a better understanding of our business in terms of cost structures and inventory management. This will be helpful when it comes to setting prices, managing our cashflow better, tracking our products and raw ingredients and saving time.
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.