Pure Malt

Award-Winning Scottish Exporter Uses Epicor Tropos to Power Business Growth
A world leader in the manufacturing of speciality malt extracts, PureMalt is an independent, privately owned company located in East Lothian, Scotland. Blending a unique range of refined malt extracts for food and beverage industries in 63 countries worldwide, PureMalt's expertise has transformed over the past 40 years from flour milling and malting to the specialised production of natural colours and flavours from a malt base.

“Tropos allows us to easily analyse segments of our product portfolio for profitability. We can see the costs at a forensic level- something which we were previously unable to do-and this has led to some rationalisation in our offering. These were difficult decisions, but it isn't just about top-line growth. We needed to initially scale back to move forward.”

Ross Turner
Key Account Manager

A software platform with a true manufacturing focus
Legacy tools and duplication of processes across departments were key factors in the decision to implement a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, along with an ambition to have easier visibility into product costings and profitability. Ross Turner, commercial director at PureMalt, saw the primitive nature of the previous systems as a blocker to the company’s growth
plans. He commented, “We wanted to unlock key insights into customer buying patterns and our products in order to maximise profitability.”

Topping the criteria for change was the need for manufacturing software with the ability to integrate financial processes, rather than an accounting system. Turner explained, “What set the Epicor Tropos system apart is the fact that it is a software platform clearly born out of a production and manufacturing focus, whereas some of the competitors’ products seem to have grown out of a finance package. It is a better fit for our business.”

The manufacturing focus is key to supporting the growth of the PureMalt business and how they compete with industry counterparts. Epicor is an established provider of supply chain solutions to the food and drink sector and the Epicor Tropos ERP solution is designed specifically for process manufacturers. The ability to unlock new features as the company grows is a benefit that PureMalt are continually realising. “Epicor is a long-term partner that can, almost on a monthly or quarterly basis, contribute towards new initiatives that allow our business to improve both operationally and commercially,” said Turner.

Rationalising costs to achieve top-line growth
Since the initial rollout of the Tropos system, PureMalt has seen benefits in every area of the business, from raw material procurement and quality control through stock creation and sales order fulfilment. Turner commented, “Previously, as an ingredient supplier, one of the most complicated operational tasks we encountered was product labelling.

Over the decades, the complexity of our product labelling had become, to all intents and purposes, out of control. It was almost a full-time job for one
employee. However, the implementation of Tropos enabled us to automate the process and streamline the business almost overnight.” Streamlining has been an integral step in achieving growth over time. Turner explained, “Tropos allows us to easily analyse segments of our product portfolio for profitability. We can see the costs at a forensic level— something which we were previously unable to do—and this has led to some rationalisation in our offering. These were difficult decisions, but it isn’t just about top-line growth. We needed to initially scale back to move forward.”

In addition to a reduction in product lines, Turner and his team used Tropos to selectively generate a short-list of customers by profitability. This data enabled a strategic review of each relationship to ensure profits and costings were fully maximised. The period of rationalisation has proved successful with the results showing a 10 point increase in profit margins over a three
year period and in March 2018 the PureMalt team won “Export Team of the Year” and “Emerging Markets Exporter of the Year” at the Scottish Export Awards.

Predicting month-end sales figures
What makes the Tropos solution unique at PureMalt is the deep integration with Grow-a business intelligence dashboard platform, which is designed to visualise data in a highly useable format. Sales figures and metrics are
tracked and presented on screens throughout the PureMalt facility to employees in all roles. The increased visibility strengthens the capabilities of the Tropos system and enables the PureMalt teams to make faster, more
proactive decisions based on live information. Making the data constantly available to all employees in the business eliminates the need for multiple customised communications on one topic. Each person has the same view and is empowered to use it in their role. “One of the most valuable metrics we use is a prediction of our month-end sales figure by combining order dispatch dates with invoice values. We can track this number over the course of the month and if it is falling below target, take the necessary steps to mitigate,” said Turner. “It is the expectation of our employees and teams that the data is there to be used and not presented in a report three to
four weeks later.” For PureMalt, using data to course-correct in real-time is fundamental to future growth. “In our business, if you can’t achieve growth on a monthly level, then you are unlikely to achieve it on an annual basis. Without the insights that Tropos provides, we would not have the ability
to make the necessary changes,” added Turner.

From rationalisation to optimisation
The future for PureMalt sees a shift in focus from rationalising to expanding their production facilities and addressing new markets. The profits will be retained and reinvested into installing additional capacity for new machines. This will allow them to work within new segments of craft and artisanal
products and implement state-of-the-art equipment to continue to optimise efficiencies. Turner concluded, “There is so much more Tropos functionality we can benefit from and our Epicor consultants will help us do that. Needless to say, we are excited for the future.”

Company Facts

Location: East Lothian, Scotland
Industry: Manufacturing - Food and Drink
Website: www.puremalt.com

Challenges

  • Operated with fragmented departmental silos
  • Lacked visibility into business performance
  • Had difficulty converting incoming sales orders and demand for products into a manufacturing plan

Solution

Epicor Tropos

Benefits

  • Increased transparency and integration between departments
  • Moved from manual to automated processes
  • Gained better understanding of product costings, leading to more strategic product pricing
  • Increased growth in terms of sales and profits

Follow Us