JW Grant Co is a family owned business operating for over 60 years near Boston in Lincolnshire. The business is now managed by the third generation of the family. It has a long history of growing many different crops. The business has always been very innovative. Many ideas and crops were brought into production by its Chairman Mr W E Grant, OBE who developed the company to its present status. Today’s developments are now led by his son, Mr James Grant. The farm is based around arable and vegetable production and it produces and packs for many of the UK retailers. JW Grant produces specially selected varieties to give a true baby vegetable crop, and is the leading supplier of baby brassica in the UK. All products are hand-picked daily to ensure correct size, best flavour and sweetness.
Ros Emmerson, Finance Manager at JW Grant writes: “Having been users of KEY Accounts since 2004, a product which all of us within our busy farm office enjoyed using, the decision to move to KEYPrime was one made with some trepidation. “I had originally looked at the product at Cereals in 2012 and can truly say it had whetted my appetite. As ever, I had to justify the reason for us to move, with some additional cost to the new package I also needed to persuade the directors of our companies that there would be some benefit to the department and the business. There was one huge potential area from where I could see that savings could be made and that was the time taken to produce our sales invoices each week.
“Our specialist enterprise, as well as extensive arable cropping is the growing of ‘baby’ vegetables sold to all the major supermarkets. Traceability of product is obviously paramount and with this came bespoke software several years ago, tracing every head of mini ‘cauli’, mini broccoli and sweetheart (amongst others) that was grown on the farm, tracked into cold store, through the packhouse and out of dispatch. This bespoke software raised the dispatch note but from then on, every product had to be manually entered onto a sales invoice in KEY. This took at least one day a week for a member of staff to input and raise the invoices. On talking to the team at Landmark we realised there could be a huge advantage to using the Sales Order Processing/Purchase Order Processing (SOP/POP) module, a feature of the Prime software. This was probably the main reason for the move to the new product.
Without a shadow of a doubt, all we do now is to import a CSV file from our dispatch system into the SOP and every invoice is automatically raised, checked, amendments made to pricing if required and then emailed straight out to the customer.
Our average invoicing run now takes approximately one hour a week – a huge labour cost saving, enabling to use our staff resources more productively.
“Once the decision had been made to move we then had the choice of our current data being converted or starting with a blank piece of paper. With a year end of 31st December and us purchasing the software at the end of January the obvious option was to have our data converted. However, thinking this through, my team and I decided that it would be refreshing to make some changes to our nominal structures and other items that had evolved with changes in products since 2004. With this in mind, we started with a blank piece of paper and set up everything from scratch but used the import facility to bring in items that didn’t need to change (with some help and patience from Crispin Rocholl, Development Director, at Landmark). We then back-entered all our data – this was the best learning curve we could have had!
“Was this the right way to do it? If you asked Ann and Lou in the office at the start they might not have agreed, but I felt it was the right way forward. If you ask them now I know that they would agree. We did take additional training, something I adamantly believe in, to tailor the product to suit your specific business. I don’t know if Crispin would call it training, more me saying I want to be able to do X, Y and Z - show me how, in other words, tailoring it to my specific requirements.
“A lot of the principles we knew from KEY still have a bearing in Prime but there are many new features which have made the ease of use so much better. Items such as undertaking the bank reconciliation and finding there is an incorrect figure; we used to have to postpone then come all the way out, make the correction on the ledger and go back in. Now, the correction can be made from within the ‘bank rec’ screen. This feature appears all over the program; you can find a line on the nominal which needs an amendment on the narrative, this can just be changed at the click of the mouse and you now have additional narrative space which is a huge bonus.
Importing and exporting budgets are so straight forward as are setting up custom reports.”
“Yes, we love the product.”
Summary of KEYPrime benefits for JW Grant