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FUTRLI Saves a Craft Brewery’s Financial Director 90% of His Time Every Single Month

Posted on 1st December 2016 in Customer Stories

Written by Amy Harris

Jim Shirley, FD of Fourpure, a Craft brewery, welcomes us for a Brewery tour and to share on camera why he loves FUTRLI. The video case study is a tribute to the operation Fourpure is running. Check out this quick interview to learn how FUTRLI is helping the business plan and manage growth. - 3minute read

 

We’re big fans of Fourpure, give everyone else a quick intro

We’re a rapidly growing and dynamic craft brewery just 3 years old in a marketplace that’s growing & evolving really quickly. This industry does unfortunately burn a lot of cash given the capital investment needed to be able to brew more to sell more.

How did you assess if FUTRLI was right for you?

There were three things that were key to us to have a real grasp on our figures so we challenged all financial analysis and planning tools against them. We searched around the market but it was only FUTRLI that could solve our needs at a price we could afford.

  • Would it allow us to understand all our figures from the Past, Present & Future
  • Could we control and manage visibility for everyone
  • It had to enable us to deliver effective operational forecasting for everyday decision making

Tell us why…

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Understanding all our figures from the Past, Present & Future

It’s been constant growth for us from day one so our numbers have never stood still and we hope they never will. We rely on trends from the past to help us make sense of the future from our seasonal sales impacts, our sales per beer style, our hops & malt usage, water & power consumption and so on. All of this determines our financial trajectory both P&L but more importantly cash wise as we constantly re-invest to make more innovative and better beers.

Controlling and managing visibility for everyone

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With the flexibility of Xero and FUTRLI combined it has given me more granularity than I’ve ever had. Not only do I know our numbers but I can create new Boards and views of the business so quickly. We’ve made a granular trial balance in Xero for real insight and FUTRLI lets us roll up or drill down very simply.

In such a small business you need everyone on the same page. Graphs speak so much louder than lots of tables of numbers which just turn people off. FUTRLI is perfect as it allows reporting by exception so you can spot the issues quicker than scanning lots of numbers but then switch and drill into the figures quickly if you need to. The audience can choose how they view what you’ve given them.

We’ve set up Boards specific for each Departmental Manager so they know the actual spend they are responsible for and can see forecast levels in line with sales. It empowers them to make decisions that help to reduce costs and bring them into the financial process rather than just solely focused on the operations. We want our team involved in the figures so we have specific boards for Brewing, Packaging, Distribution, Sales & Events. They were so simple to set up but they are so powerful at delivering simple visibility to our team.

We are taking full advantage of the non-financial data upload and formulas to drive full operational forecasting data. We have visibility of the ‘Number of Brews Per Beer Style’ that we will be brewing and the type of packaging, and the cost of the materials, each month, for the next 4 years. It’s incredible. We can forecast revenues per beer style and customer type which really aids our staffing decisions and how we allocate our resources.

Operational forecasting for decision making

Brewing is quite a complex operation from the number of beer styles, the packaging types and different type and quantity of hops and malt, the channels and methods we sell and distribute. There are so many arms to our business, being able to see all aspects quickly and easily is so important.

I was looking for something that removed me being a single point of failure from my mega spreadsheet and gave visibility to our whole team. This is such a competitive advantage for us as we have real time visibility to such a level of granularity. We forecast out per sales channel and beer style simultaneously which is key to properly managing our business as there are so many variables. We can then use data to plan major CAPEX investment decisions in new steel kegs & brewing capacity or pre-order our hops and Malt or disposable kegs and understand the impact on our cash and profitability, immediately.

Is it saving you time?

FUTRLI has saved me 90% of my time. Seriously. In the last 15 years working on month end, preparation for monthly management meetings and forecasting I would typically spend between 60 – 80% of my time in spreadsheets and making figures balance. With FUTRLI, I spend less than 10% on EVERYTHING! It has completely revolutionised how businesses can prepare, access and visualise their data. It really is game changing. Before, this level of functionality only really existed in expensive and complex packages that needed an IT expert to deploy. FUTRLI just makes things really simple for both financial and non-financial users with the ability to go more complex with the non fin and formulas if you have the need or desire.

Final words

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I am officially a spreadsheet geek and was really sceptical anything could replace my beloved Excel so the fact that you’re here is a milestone for me. This isn’t just a small business tool. It will scale with us as we grow and become even more important to us.

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