When the White Hag Brewery needed a more efficient accounting system, Synergy Network had the right answer.
The White Hag Brewery in Ballymote, Co. Sligo now offers 24 different products – many of them award-winning. It exports to a dozen countries world-wide and hopes to enter the Japanese market by the summer.
But key to its success, growth and continued evolution is its ability to run its business efficiently and stay on top of stock availability.
“For many years we were using excel sheets for stock control while also working out excise duty on ingredients every month so we could produce reports for the Revenue Commissioners. It was time consuming and there was always the risk that something could be overlooked,” explains Managing Director and Co-founder of the Brewery Paul Mullin.
As trained Chartered Accountants Paul and Brian McTernan, the Brewery’s Financial Controller, knew a new and more sophisticated accounting system was needed.
“The Exact Online System was perfect for us because we could tailor it specifically to suit our needs. Every recipe we work on has around 10 to 15 ingredients. The exact inventory and recipes are held in the system so we can plan production and ensure we have all the raw materials in stock to produce the various batches of beer.
“For a small business like ours that’s crucial because before we occasionally were running low on ingredients which curtailed how much of a particular product we could make. The new system brings everything together in one place and with so many movable parts in this business that’s essential,” says Paul.
Invoices are entered into the Exact Online system allowing the Brewery to analyse the performance of its products, and indeed the consumption habits of consumers, on a weekly basis.
“This is much more than a better way of accounting and stock-taking it’s really an asset for our business now and the benefits in terms of time saved are already making a major difference. Like it used to take me a day-and-a-half to put together excise reports each week – now that can be done in around 90 minutes,” adds Paul.
The system also provides greater traceability, it records customer orders, deliveries and returns and is cloud-based so it can be accessed remotely.” We know which customers have received a specific batch of beer in the unlikely event of a product recall” says Paul.
Paul Mullin said: “I travel a lot with the business so the ability to be able to work via the system from anywhere is incredible. It just makes doing business so much easier.”
The importance of the system to sales is essential too. Sales staff can access all customer contacts via a smart phone app and can update the CRM system immediately.
While Paul and Brian had accounting backgrounds they found the system easy to use and believe any business person could use it after getting the proper training.
“We started working on the system and got training from Synergy Network in May 2016. Two months later we had incorporated it fully into the business. Undoubtedly it was beneficial to us that Synergy were based in Sligo and there were a few times when we asked them to call out to explain something in the early days,” says Paul.
“We also have a support contract with Synergy Network which provides us with ongoing assistance via phone or dial-in when any queries arise.”
It’s been a perfect union then between Synergy Network Ltd and The White Hag – and one worth raising a glass to.