Liverpool-based brewery Cains has installed SAP's Business One integrated finance and business management package as part of an IT overhaul, in a move that illustrates how the technology is increasingly being adopted by SMEs.
The 150-employee business has increased its turnover from £14m three years ago, when it was bought from a major brewing company that intended to close it down, to £35m today.
Cains owns 11 pubs in the North West as well as canning its own beer and other products. Canning activity alone has increased from 28 million to 120 million units a year since 2002.
Ajmail Dusanj, Cains' joint managing director, said the SAP system replaced Excel and DOS-based applications running on a Novell server and has helped the business's rapid expansion.
"We get faster information and management accounts. When we took over [in 2002] the system was quite old. It was very slow."
SAP can handle stock control, sales ledger and debtor/creditor accounts as well as providing management information to support decision-making.
"Getting the information more quickly always helps," said Dusanj. "You can make decisions in a shorter period. In accounts, it has released the senior manager to do management reporting."
Graham Cardy, from SAP integrator One Business Computing, is working with Cains on a project to introduce an RFID warehousing system. "It's an area that was only available to the big boys. The technology is now filtering down to the SMEs," said Cardy.
- Microsoft Sharepoint Portal Server with Exchange Server for central office functions
- A separate server running Windows 2003 with Microsoft SQL Server and SAP Business One integrated finance and business management package.
- New networking, including fibre-optic cable over Cains' 10-acre site