About Allpress Espresso
In 1986, Michael Allpress introduced New Zealand to speciality coffee, via his small coffee cart at local markets. His love for coffee led him to start roasting his own beans in his garage and supplying local cafes with quality blends.
Eventually, his quest for the perfect roast led Allpress to design his own hot air roasters; which dissipate the smoky, burnt taste that traditional drum roasters bring to coffee.
Nowadays, Allpress Coffee’s signature blends, and their black and gold cups can be found all over the world; from Australia to the United Kingdom, and even Singapore and Japan. However, New Zealand remains one of their largest markets, with over 430,00 kilograms of roasted coffee sold every year.
A Global Push Creates Process Problems
As a coffee company, it isn’t surprising that Allpress do things at a faster pace than most. So during their shift to global markets, it was hard to update their previous methods of budgeting and forecasting, while still trying to run constant reports and scenarios at the speed the company required.
However, when Lee Pickard joined Allpress as their Finance Business Partner in August 2016, she could see that their previous systems were at odds with their future goals.
“When I came on board, all of the budgeting and forecasting was done predominantly through a spreadsheet model that someone had done in-house; which was really great, but obviously it had its limitations. And as the different [Allpress offices] around the world had started to do things differently, it was hard to keep up with making all of those tweaks for each of the different environments.”
Another big, red flag for Pickard, was that their previous system wasn’t giving her team the data that they needed, at the speed that they needed it.
“[The Spreadsheet Model] wasn’t giving us many insights, and it wasn’t as agile as we would have liked. We needed something that was able to run with things and conduct scenario testing because we’re quite a fast-paced business, so many projects we have on the go – we want to be able to act quickly.”
So, after having only been at the helm of the Allpress finance team for a month, Pickard began her search for a smarter solution.
The Search for a Smarter Process
After working for insurance industry giant, IAG, Pickard knew that there were several options out there for companies looking to improve their budgeting and forecasting processes.
However, with their international push, Pickard was after something specific for Allpress.
“Our challenge is also making it suitable for all of the business in the global market” explained Pickard. “Our UK side of the business is obviously on a different operating day than we are, so that was a big consideration.”
Some of the other options that Allpress investigated required data to be pushed through at certain times of the day, which quickly ruled them out. However, with its easy-to-use, any time of day, anywhere in the world, cloud-based platform; Adaptive Insights ended up being the clear choice for Allpress.
In classic, Allpress style, Pickard said that it didn’t take long to find an implementation partner, saying “we quickly figured out that GKH was the best option by far.”
The coffee industry, however, is a little more complex. To create Allpress’ signature blends of roasted coffee, it involves sourcing green (raw) coffee beans from origins all over the world, at different times of the year; which provides its own challenges for implementing finance procedures.
“We have purchasing seasons where we have a bit of a cash flow pressure at that point, so we implement trade finance.” Pickard said that this raised a big question for GKH, “how are we going to get that so that it flows through to the right places, and adds the debt to the balance sheet, and shows them when it needs to be repaid?”
Luckily, however, GKH’s Blueprint process allowed Allpress to clearly see how their trade finances could be tracked in Adaptive Insights. It was three days of review and training, which, as Pickard remembers “was full on, but I took a lot out of it.”
Pickard also said that it also gave her team some much-needed time to reflect on their existing processes.
“Just going through the process of implementing Adaptive, with everyone revisiting how they do things and why they do things, and taking the opportunity to improve those processes where possible – it was a bit of a stop-check.”
During the build stage, GKH sent over one of their build team experts to handle the final stages of the implementation process in person. Pickard was happy with how well they understood her business.
[Allpress] can be quite a complex business with the way things are flowing in and out [such as] the inputs and outputs, and some of the terminology is a bit hard to understand; but [GKH] picked it up really quickly.
Lee Pickard, Finance Business Partner, Allpress Espresso
It was definitely a learning process for both companies, but Pickard was happy with how it worked. “GKH have been really good at making us feel like we’re partnering – rather than just a customer relationship.”
Partnering Leads to Performance
After a successful implementation, Pickard said that bringing everyone over to the same system has made an instant impact. “We previously had people across several accounting systems. If you wanted to do something across all of them, it was almost impossible. So consolidating that has been really great.”
Switching to Adaptive Insights has also saved Allpress a great deal of time, as “there’s no downtime for pushing data through or anything like that.”
Allpress is currently completing their roll-out for Adaptive, with their first budget on their new, streamlined system on the way. So the best is yet to come.
For now, however, making the switch to Adaptive has already given Allpress’ finance team countless hours that were previously wasted due to spreadsheets constantly crashing. Or, as Pickard aptly put it “a lot of frustration has been alleviated.”