Drink-IT is one seamless solution, that gives us a solid foundation on which to build our future.Simon Burchill
Information Systems Manager, Robinsons Brewery
About Frederic Robinson Limited
In 1838 William Robinson bought the Unicorn Inn, Lower Hillgate, and began running it as a retail business. His younger son Frederic joined him in 1865 and started to brew his own beer, and soon branched out into the wholesale business. On the 3rd of May 1876, he purchased The Railway at Marple Bridge and so the business began to grow.
In 1920, the business became a limited company and today Robinsons is run by the fifth and sixth generation of the family. The business is still very much a family concern they maintain full control of every aspect of the business. Over the years acquisitions have been made and now the company owns 300 pubs, inns and hotels across the North West.
A platform for bigger achievements
The UK has a well-established network of regional family brewers, a market in which Robinsons is a significant player. The brewery owns almost 400 pubs stretching from the Lake District, across to mid-Wales and over to Derbyshire. Robinsons brews its own beer, as well as provide contract services for brewing, bottling, kegging and cask racking
Reaping the benefits of modernised operations
Robinsons traditionally used different software systems to support various elements of their business, including separate products for telesales, operations and accounts. When the support for their operations system stopped, they decided to modernise their operations and chose Drink-IT, a modern, flexible og standardized solution based on best practises for the brewery industry.
"With Drink-IT we are reaping knock-on benefits. Drink-IT stood out and really made a difference compared to other solutions," says Simon Burchill.
With Drink-IT, Robinsons benefits from an end-to-end retail solution which supports every aspect of the business, from EPOS and EFT to warehousing and distribution. “We are reaping knock-on benefits by having more clarity of our operation," says Simon Burchill.
Harnessing the business for the future
“Flexibility was vital for Robinsons,” states Burchill and continues: “Drink-IT is a seamless beverage business software solution that gives us a solid, yet extremely flexible foundation that enables us to move our business forward in the direction we want to go. In short, we’ve got a highly flexible business software solution to built our future on. Drink-IT is a platform for the company to go on to bigger and better achievements."
“Drink-IT has automated processes that have never been automated before in our brewery. The functions make life easier and eliminate manual routines."
Robinsons approached the Drink-IT project on the fundamental premise that they wanted the installation to be as close to off-the-shelf as possible – “and we certainly succeded in getting that,” Simon Burchill explains. “Drink-IT makes it easy to scan every item in and out, which enables us to know exactly what’s in stock, in real time.”
A key measure of success is user acceptance, and with Drink-IT being very intuitive and easy to use, the staff at Robinsons soon able to get the most out of the system.
“Drink-IT has automated processes that have never been automated before in our brewery. The functions make life easier and eliminate manual routines, enabling our employees to focus on more value creating tasks,” states Simon Burchill.
Robinsons’ Drink-IT solution replaces a number of disparate systems, including stock control and accounting including sales order processing, invoicing and purchasing, plus rents and loans management and transport load planning. These functionalities were implemented in the first phase.
In the second phase, Robinsons implemented Drink-IT functionality that helps the architects manage their databases and project costings. Furthermore, the purchase order processing (POP) module was implemented with integration to invoicing.
In the third phase, Robinsons implemented an interface for stock control to a new RFID and barcode scanning system to replace the costly manual process for stock counting and inventory control.
Lastly, Robinsons added a full operational version of POP, along with document scanning facilities, cashier and private ledger functionality.
Robinsons’ Drink-IT solution was implemented by The NAV People, a partner in the Drink-IT partner network.