BWG has been a BCP client since 1998. The company is now owned and controlled by its management team who purchased the company from former parent, Groupe Pernod Ricard, earlier this year.
BWG continues to work in close partnership with BCP. Recently BCP have enabled BWG to make a seamless conversion to the Euro. Prior to the final switchover, BWG traded effortlessly in both currencies and, come the date, all files were converted quickly and efficiently to the new Euro. Importantly, no trading time was lost and customers were not affected.
BWG invest £1m in Accord
BCP have consolidated their position as systems suppliers to the Irish wholesaling market with a major investment by BWG in BCP’s Accord Distribution System.
BWG is one of Ireland’s fastest growing wholesalers with annual sales exceeding £620 million. It has cash and carry and delivered operations in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland and holds the Mace franchise in Ulster and the Leinster region in Southern Ireland, together with the Spar franchise in Southern Ireland and the South West of England.
This latest investment in new technology, for BWG operations in the Republic of Ireland, is valued at over £1m and has involved thirty-three outlets in total – 30 Value Centre Cash & Carry depots and 3 Distribution Centrecs, which primarily service Spar and Mace retailers, but also handle catering supplies under the Caterservice label.
Installation began in November 1998 with a trial system at Mullingar Cash & Carry, followed by a phased rollout to the other outlets. All 30 cash and carries were installed and up and running within a period of only 6 months, with the Distribution Centres at Dublin, Ballyshannon and Limerick going live shortly afterwards.
BWG are delighted with the efficiency of the implementation which a company spokesman attributes to ‘the effectiveness of the BCP and BWG implementation teams who were committed to a speedy and efficient implementation and worked in close partnership to ensure it’.
The new system replaces an outdated package used at the cash and carries and an old bespoke system at the Distribution Centres, both of which provided limited functionality and were none Y2K compliant. Suitable for almost 300 users (150 at the Value Centres and 140 at the Distribution Centres) the new system utilises Compaq servers running Unix, connecting to PC-based scanning tills and terminals via a local area network and encompasses virtually the entire BCP Accord Distribution System, including Loyalty, Intrastat Reporting, for handling trade within the European Community, and recently introduced multi currency modules. Accord’s Central Product/Pricing Maintenance module is being used to maintain product and pricing information at Head Office. This allows latest product, pricing and promotional details to be downloaded daily to individual branches while giving them the flexibility of fine tuning in response to local competition.
BWG’s choice of Accord for its outlets in the Republic of Ireland follows its successful use in other divisions within the Group. Accord has been used for some years by Appleby Westward, Spar distributor for South West England, and by Hasletts, Holmes Cash & Carry and Holmes Catering in Northern Ireland. In all of these divisions better management decision making, sales growth, improved customer service levels and profit margins, stock rationalisation and streamlining of routine procedures have demonstrated Accord’s ability to successfully handle all aspects of modern cash and carry and delivered wholesaling. Furthermore, its extended use within the Group provides extensive integration opportunities. With all branches linked over a WAN (wide area network) using ISDN and frame relay technology, BWG will be able to collate trading data centrally “using this to further improve planning and decision making, thus helping BWG achieve its objectives of profitable and effective business growth accompanied by an improved service to customers to help them compete more effectively.”