Clear and accurate information is the secret to long term success for Melbourne-based food and leisure business Bekir (also known as Alasya Bakery).

Overview

Alasya Bakery started life in 1978 as a tiny shop front dishing up home-style Turkish cuisine to the people of Brunswick, on the edge of Melbourne’s CBD.  Since then, the company has gone through a number of transformations. Today, it’s a multi-dimensional business that includes a retail butcher, a wholesale bakery and a large restaurant.

With 75 staff and counting, the business is growing steadily. But expansion means more products, more customers and more transactions. And that creates more data.

Looking for the right recipe.

Alasya Bakery had been using MYOB Premier for their general accounting for over seven years – happily too, for most of that time. It was only when business really took off that the system began to strain.

Under the weight of additional data, Premier slowed. With more and more staff trying to access it simultaneously, duplication started to creep in too. So Alasya Bakerydecided to look for a replacement.

Over the next six months, they trialed several alternatives, including NetSuite and Attaché.

“They are both decent systems,” says General Manager Ismail Bekir, “but in practice, we found NetSuite just too complicated, and we didn’t like the idea of our data being stored externally either. Attaché looked equally promising, but the ongoing costs were more than we could justify for a system of our size, for the number of users we required.

“What we were looking for,” continues Bekir, “was something that had the simplicity and ease of use of Premier, but the capacity to provide for a growing organisation. “It had to be the right price too, of course,” he says. That’s when they considered other products in the MYOB stable.

Discovering EXO

“Straight away, we could see that EXO was what we were looking for,” says Bekir.

“First and foremost, the price was in budget. It was easy to use from the outset too – and accessible by multiple personnel, which Premier wasn’t. Most importantly though, it was customisable, which gave us confidence that it would adapt to our changing needs as a business now, and in the future.”

Bekir admits he found it a comfort that EXO was an MYOB product. “We knew there would be some familiarities with the Premier interface, which would probably make the transition easier on staff,” he says.

Even more of a comfort, however, was Acacia – the company implementing the software. “The guys at Acacia were terrific …,” says Bekir, adding quickly, “It’s fair to say their professionalism and service orientation had more than a little to do with our decision to go with EXO”.

So the implementation began.

Setting things up right

According to Bekir, Acacia’s scoping of the project was first-class. “They looked deep into our business and asked all the right questions to make sure they had a sound understanding of our requirements.”

On top of the standard functionality, there were a number of specific tweaks that Bekir needed to make. “We needed to create standard orders for customers,” says Bekir.

“We needed to create delivery runs and sequencing too – but have the ability to easily change customers’ delivery preferences at the weekend. “We also needed to create appropriate packing stickers, which took into account client requirements and packaging limitations.”

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