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Drinks company consolidates ERP systems in its bid to grow

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Drinks company consolidates ERP systems in its bid to grow

June 29
07:57 2012

William Grant & Sons was using 11 different ERP systems across all of its global offices, making it very difficult to retrieve accurate, reliable information

Spirits company William Grant & Son has embarked on a programme to standardise its business processes and applications as it tries to double its £1bn revenues in the next five years.

To reach its goals the company, which produces well-known brands such as Glefiddich single malt whiskey and Hendrick’s Gin, selected ERP systems provider IFS.

William Grant & Sons was using 11 different ERP systems across all of its global offices, making it very difficult to retrieve accurate, reliable information about the business as a whole.

This was a significant obstacle to resource planning and forecasting on a global scale, due to there being no standardised set of processes in place across all its locations.

After performing a series of internal reviews at each of its global offices, IFS was included in the selection process. John Brown, programme director for the Global Business Model at William Grant & Sons, said: “We really put the vendors through their paces by asking them to demonstrate how their software would cope with a series of 20 real scenarios from our business. This helped us to judge who had the best understanding of our goals and objectives.”

The drinks company employs 1,600 people worldwide, although most of its operations are based in the UK. The phased project will go live across all of William Grant & Sons’ UK businesses in July, and then across its global operations over a period of 18 months.

Its finance department has already been transitioned onto IFS applications, citing it as a key driver for stock now being perfectly reconciled and the business achieving a clean accounts audit only four months after implementation.

In addition to providing William Grant & Sons with a single view of its business operations and data, the IFS system will give the company a complete view of customer actions and behaviour. It will also enable advertising and promotional spend to be tracked more accurately.

Looking ahead to potential future developments, Brown continued: “Now we can relate the cost of advertising to the business, tracking per customer and even to part level, which gives us a unique advantage within the industry.”

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