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When change is on the menu

Vetro is a specialty food store – there’s five in the North Island of New Zealand, and the bulk of their stock is imported from Europe. They focus on quality ingredients, sourcing them at a good price and making those items available and accessible to more people.

Working hard behind tins of Italian tomatoes, packets of pastrami and bags of borlotti beans is Gavin Hayes, the owner of the New Plymouth branch of Vetro Mediterranean Foods.

With a large amount of stock, Gavin and his team are always busy – filling the shelves, finding unique items for the gourmet home cook, discussing the best way to use ingredients or sharing recipe ideas. The store is popular, and the customers always leave with big smiles and heavy bags.

Although business was going great, keeping their accounting systems up to date was a very time-consuming task, and not always producing accurate results.

“We were double handling everything and re-keying so much data – using Infusion for invoices and payments, SwiftPOS for point of sale and also BankLink for coding expenses,
sorting GST and providing financial information for the accountants,” explains Gavin.

Gavin had been using BankLink for over eight years. He was comfortable with it but knew that they were taking the long way around to get things done.

He also liked SwiftPOS and wanted to continue to use it where they could. Changing to something else was a concern but working through these problems with Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Business Information Systems (BIS) Manager Bryce Gordon it became apparent there was an easier way – and a change for the better was in the pipeline.

Bryce and the BIS team worked closely with Gavin to upgrade and install Xero Standard with a SwiftPOS integration, enabling a more seamless flow of information.

Bryce Gordon from Baker Tilly Staples Rodway’s BIS team & Vetro owner Gavin Hayes

“The key thing from the BIS team perspective is to not reinvent the wheel if we don’t have to. While we need to get the right information for the accountants the business is driven from the sale and purchase of stock, so the SwiftPOS software had to be the number one priority. It was then looking at what can hook into this that can assist with the processing without double handling. If we get this right then the financials should naturally fall out of the process,” says Bryce.

The BIS team did a bit of research and were able to find a third party who had developed an interface between SwiftPOS and a range of other products. After discussions with them and understanding how each interface worked and some further discussions with Gavin, Xero was the preferred option.

“The interface is not without its quirks, and we have worked closely with one of our Xero experts Julia Kelly to get the right processes and reconciliations in place,” clarifies Bryce.

The change for Gavin has been noticeable. It sped up his processes and provided more freedom.

“I’m a busy family man; I have to pick up the kids from school and work from home sometimes – this upgrade has given me a lot more freedom and peace of mind. The new system is also easy on the eye, with a user-friendly interface – so much easier to work with! I’m not missing invoices or payments, and my suppliers are happy,” states Gavin.
Changing accounting software systems wasn’t a quick decision for Gavin. It took him a while to mull over the decision, and it took about a year before he made the decision to invest the money and upgrade.

“I wish I’d done it sooner. I was stuck in my comfort zone, but now I’m really pleased I consulted with Bryce and the BIS team. The investment and this change was a good one for my business and for me.”

Gavin’s previous frustrations are now gone. What was time-consuming is now far more fluid, and the data is much more accurate.

Accounting software is one of the many aspects of running a business that often confuses and frustrates business owners.

“Gavin is by no means the exception. There are many people who are comfortable with old software and outdated processes and they couple this with spreadsheets and other re-keying. It’s unnecessary and time-consuming, and there’s usually a much better way. Yes, there is a cost to making these changes but, as Gavin says, he now has peace of mind and more freedom, and what price do we put on these?” says Bryce.

With their new software system in place, Gavin and the Vetro team can get back to their core business of delighting the foodies among us and encouraging us to try something new.

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