Rich Glen's Journey: Transforming Business Operations with SMB Consultants
In an era where efficiency reigns supreme, the iconic Australian olive oil business, Rich Glen Olive Estate, partnered with SMB Consultants to streamline their operations and enhance their growth in Australia's dynamic food market.
The Making of an Olive Oil Empire
Deep-rooted in family tradition, Rich Glen was founded in the early 1990s on the Vodusek family's land. Damien Vodusek and his father Franc, backed by Damien's chef-wife, Ros, envisioned sharing high-quality olive oils in a market flooded with cheap imports.
Angelica Morse, an integral part of Rich Glen since 2013, has been a witness to the company's metamorphosis. She has gone from managing staff and product production, to overseeing operations – and she’s seen the production side slowly increase throughputs to the point where they’re now using a 200 liter machine to make world-class dressings.
Adapting to Growth and Change
The last three decades have seen significant growth for Rich Glen. Angelica recalls the evolution of their product range, the farm shop, and the ever-expanding café, which saw nearly 200 products being produced on the farm.
“The café just kept expanding, and the farm shop became open to the public. The ranges kept on evolving: from six dressings, it’s now gone to almost 200 products made on the farm, including both skincare and food products. We’re using the olive oil, as well as local produce like tomatoes to make relishes, and plums to make the barbeque sauce. We were getting 400+ visitors coming through each weekend, and had 20-30 staff helping us out. My role was to narrow down where Rich Glen wanted to head, and then get going in that direction.”
However, the infrastructural operations posed a significant bottleneck. She describes,
"Our accounting software could only be used by one person, and they had to actually be on the farm to see what was happening... It was all over the show."
Recognizing the need for a consolidated system, a Queensland contact introduced them to SMB Consultants, specialists in ERP systems and comprehensive integrations across various business components.
Navigating Complex Implementation - Phase 1
Embarking on this collaboration, SMB Consultants aimed to set up a comprehensive system that catered to all of Rich Glen's needs. Jeff Atizado, from SMB, pointed out,
"Rich Glen is a multifaceted business... Many people believe that one package or software needs to be able to meet all their needs – and while that’s ideal, it means you miss out on the possibility of creating a better solution by piecing together great parts."
The initial stage involved integrating retail management platform Vend and accounting software Xero. However, after the initial successful implementation, unexpected turns like the Covid pandemic and local infrastructural challenges made Rich Glen reconsider their business focus, leading them to double down on what they do best: crafting premium, Australian-made products that define Victoria.
Optimizing for the Future - Phase 2
In response to Rich Glen changing focus in the face of Covid, SMB Consultants had the opportunity to revisit the previously implemented strategy and software stack, ultimately deciding to transition to Cin7 Core for a more integrated solution.
“When we were talking about this second phase, we had to make a decision as to whether or not we went down the path of implementing Vend together with Cin7 Core [formerly DEAR Systems], because there was a turnkey integration there,” Jeff notes. “Or for Rich Glen to take a step back and re-evaluate the business as a whole, and see whether going down the path of using Cin7 Core as an all-in-one would be a better decision.”
Deepak Stevens, Sales Implementation Engineer from SMB, emphasized, “There was a whole aspect of reordering and manufacturing which they weren't able to handle on Vend,” Deepak says. “And since they were looking more at manufacturing, they needed a better solution. Cin7 Core was going to be the right platform to begin the manufacturing process – which is really important to what they do within Rich Glen.”
Angelica noted the significant shift:
““Now we use Cin7 Core for all our inventory management, so that's for all our stock levels,” explains Angelica. “We closed the café, and closed the farm to the public, and instead opened two retail stores in town. One’s solely a food retail store, and one’s a skincare retail store. Cin7 Core needed to manage our online orders, the point of sale for both stores, and stock levels for production.”
Describing their journey, Angelica mentioned how their earlier system was proficient for sales but faltered in inventory communication. With the introduction of Cin7 Core, Rich Glen experienced enhanced visibility, streamlined workflows, and overall improved operational efficacy notably enabling data-driven decisions
For SMB Consultants, the journey with Rich Glen was not merely about software implementation but also adapting and learning from client feedback to refine their internal procedures.
Jeff noted “it was a catalyst for us to really look at what we were doing – to circle back, continue that relationship, and really do all the things that we could do. We’ve also changed our processes as a result, taking on some of Angelica’s early feedback and improving our processes internally.”
Crafting the Perfect Digital Ecosystem
The loyalty, email, and SMS marketing tool Marsello, previously integrated with Vend, proved effective. The initial phase of implementation saw its integration with Cin7 Core. Subsequently, other operations transitioned smoothly.
"We've adopted Cin7 Core for comprehensive inventory management, overseeing our stock levels," shares Angelica. "While the café closed and the farm no longer welcomes the public, we've launched two retail outlets in the city: one focused on food and the other on skincare products. Cin7 Core manages online orders, point-of-sale for both shops, and production stock levels."
To bolster operations, SMB Consultants introduced Rich Glen to a robust suite of tools: Pinch for payments, Starshipit for order dispatch, and Xero for accounting – a synergy that's significantly benefited the company.
Furthermore, as Deepak mentions, Angelica can now harness Cin7 Core for precise forecasting, streamlining manufacturing processes, enhancing stock clarity, and refining internal workflows.
"We're on the brink of incorporating a forecasting tool named StockTrim," he notes. "This will elevate their forecasting prowess, especially in the realm of manufacturing. Additionally, it's set to bolster cash flow, streamline stock management, and simplify the reordering process. The progress in just twelve months is commendable, surpassing what the former system could have achieved."
This revitalized strategy has enabled Angelica and the Rich Glen team to strategically steer the business and achieve critical milestones.
The Fruitful Outcome
Although it's still the beginning, Angelica lauds the results:
“What we’ve gained is immeasurable and invaluable, and the data has been fantastic from a managerial perspective...It’s made communication across the business much, much better.”
The experience of collaborating for a second time with SMB Consultants was also positively reaffirmed. Angelica shared, “I’ve loved working with them. It's been great because SMB takes the guesswork out of it; they really help you and way past the implementation process."
Jeff concluded, “There’s a list of things we’re working on to free up Angelica’s time...and, more importantly, keep Rich Glen in line with their goals, and give Angelica more time to spend time with her family. That, to me, is really rewarding and satisfying. I’m really proud of Deepak and team, and what they’ve done with Rich Glen.”