In 2000, J. Boag & Son became part of worldwide brewer San Miguel Corporation.
Despite being steeped in history, in the late 1990’s managing director Pat Riley wanted to propel the company into the 21st century using technology to modernise the brewery’s operations from a manual, paper based system to an electronic, integrated whole-of-business solution.
As he explains, “We had to bring our operations into the electronic age in an integrated way. For the brewery alone, we were taking up to 17 days to produce a profit report for operations. We wanted to get that down to seven.
“The data was captured in the brewery but not necessarily getting to head office. So we needed to find a completely integrated solution that provided not just financial management, but plant control, asset management, project costing, HR and manufacturing capabilities also.”
After an in-depth tender process in 1999, Boag & Son’s partnered with Pronto Software to implement its manufacturing ERP solution.
Riley notes that the decision to choose Pronto was based on two key criteria. “Our preference was always for a ‘single source’ supplier who could install and guarantee their product, without the need for third parties to fill in gaps. Beyond that we felt that an Australian solution that could be supported and modified locally would reduce our business risk.”
Such modification was a critical to the business, as Boag & Son’s IT Manager Craig Williams explains. “The sale of beer is covered by excise provisions which are unique to our industry, so we’re required to comply with government excise reporting obligations. It was a must have, and Pronto was willing to customise their product for us.”
Project costing for improved budgeting
PRONTO-Xi’s Project Costing module was a another key feature where Boag & Son’s immediately saw enormous potential in terms of tracking purchase orders, FBT costs, as well as write costs through to the general ledger.
According to Riley, “This has given us much greater visibility of our marketing expenditure by brand, state, and advertising expense such as TV, newspaper, billboards etc.
We’d spent 15 years trying to develop a system to track our marketing costs, but with Project Costing, it was one keystroke, and all the data is updated,” he says.
Growth and profitability
Riley says Pronto has played an underlying role in the company’s rapid growth over the last seven years. “Pronto’s system has played a part in significantly increasing the profitability of our business. In 1994 to 2000 we averaged $1-2 million profit. Last year it was $16 million.”
PRONTO-Xi’s ability to deliver full visibility and consolidation of financial activities across the business has provided a much faster, more accurate reporting capability.
“As of today, we can produce a full set of accounts, for the whole organisation in four days, from ‘go to woah’, including balance sheet, cash flow, and P&L across the board. It’s the integration of data which has made that happen,” says Riley. “It’s an excellent management tool as I can get all the information I need to run the business.”
PRONTO-Xi has also simplified reporting into Boag & Son’s parent company, San Miguel. “San Miguel couldn’t believe the level of integration and simplicity of Pronto. We have to have a set of full year end accounts into Manila by early January, and we can provide a full set of accounts within seven days,” says Riley.
Electronic trading, easy to work with
Boag & Son’s is currently implementing PRONTO-Xi iSupply to facilitate electronic trading with Coles Myer and Woolworths. A fully integrated interface to GS1’s EANnet, iSupply will enable Boag & Son’s to meet compliance requirements of their retail customers.
According to Williams, “iSupply will significantly reduce the amount of back office processing we handle manually. We fully expect Coles Myer to place an order electronically that is fulfilled with minimum human intervention. There’ll be a lot less re-keying, which is not only more cost effective for us, but improves our customer service levels also.”
Riley says, “Overall, from a management point of view, PRONTO-Xi is an excellent business tool. We’re a successful, growing company, and Pronto has played a key part in that.”
- Conversion of the brewery from a manual operation to integrated automated solution
- Integration, visibility and delivery of data to management: able to produce full set of accounts for the whole business in 4 days
- Contribution to growth and profitability of the business
- Easily extended to meet specific industry requirements
- Scalability to grow with the business