How the Holiday Inn, Ramada & International Hotel Streamlined Stocktakes using growyze

Southwater Event Group

Southwater Event Group is a group of venues including three hotels (Holiday Inn, Ramada and The International Hotel, all in Telford) and an on-site production company, offering stand-out venues to meet, eat and stay within.

Andy Powell has been the Group Hotels Food and Beverage Controller for coming up to 16 years, with full responsibility for purchasing, stocktaking, stock control, transfers and pricing.

Here we speak to Andy about how he adopted growyze to streamline F&B operations across the Group’s three hotels.

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Before growyze we used many different phone, email and online systems to make supplier orders. Now we use growyze for 100% of our orders, the team does it all in one place, and they can do it from their phone.

Senior Finance Manager
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growyze makes the entire process of ordering and accounting automation easy and lets us see how much products actually cost us. From the first call, I knew the team were very genuine and that it was a platform I could trust!

Operations Manager
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I really enjoy using growyze and I think it's really really intuitive. Stocktake saved us a lot of time, saved hours of labour and is less daunting...And ordering is even much easier than on Amazon.

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Challenges overcome by using growyze

  • Stocktakes for 3,000 products have become simple and easy with quick barcode scanning, taking hours rather than days or weeks
  • Operations are streamlined with it being easy to match invoices, orders and deliveries, plus highlight discrepancies to suppliers easily
  • Excellent support that means a fast response to questions and issues, before they become a problem

Prior to using growyze Southwater Event Group were using an on-premise stock management software system that had been in residence for more than 15 years. Due to a change in the company, certain support was withdrawn which led Andy and his team to look for a new solution. 

“We originally purchased the software with licences so we had various machines with the software installed and paid a maintenance package. If something happened, they would jump on board and fix it but in April last year, that support was withdrawn”, explains Andy in reference to the previous stock management solution.

Despite the fact that all three hotels plus the group’s conference centre, had it installed and had been using it for over 15 years, a decision was made to search for a new system.

“Although it was a good software, it didn't fit our needs. It was too expensive, complicated, it was big and bulky and didn’t really do what we wanted it to”, shares Andy. “For instance doing stocktake I would have to write all 3,000 of the stock items down and then enter them manually into the stocktake package to get a result. This would take several days - and again the same with the invoices and that could be sometimes seven, eight, nine invoices per day. So it was very time consuming.”

Andy, along with his Director David, comprised a short list of stocktake software companies and began the process of searching for a new solution. Reviewing the offering and narrowing this down to three companies who they then asked to create a video presentation via Zoom. 

Following this, they selected one company - growyze - to do a face-to-face demo and meet the team. 

“Initially the growyze software didn’t have everything we required but after having conversations with the team we were given assurances that some of the things we wanted were already in the pipeline being worked on” says Andy. “We were given timescales of when they would be completed by and we were offered a no obligation month trial where they would come in, set it up, run it for a month and see how we got on.”

The other companies on the shortlist had been running for far longer than growyze - in some cases 20-30 years, but as Andy explains, this often meant that while the software was honed the downside was that they were set in their ways. “If we wanted to change anything, it wasn’t easy or it was physically impossible. Whereas at least with growyze we saw the opportunity of getting things a little bit more the way we wanted them done because they were really flexible and in the process of developing the software further.”

During the trial period Andy began to see some of the benefits offered, as he explains: “The trial period wasn't without its issues, but it went well and showed a lot of promise and I was quite excited to see where the software was going to go. First of all, doing stocktakes - it was simple and easy, scanning with a phone or a mobile device. It puts it in the system and you've got the result as soon as you've finished the stocktake - absolutely fantastic. So if I do a stocktake Monday morning I've got the result by Monday afternoon. Which, for the last 15 years, I've never had - it's always taken several days, and hours of reporting information before I can get a result.”

“Secondly, with the orders and the invoices going directly into the system that, again, saved me time.”

growyze isn’t yet able to integrate with the Southwater Event Group’s POS system, but this is something that growyze has started the process of, working in joint partnership, to write a programme which will allow the Group to better use growyze for reporting purposes.

However, as Andy mentions, even without this capability, they were still able to see huge benefits: “Even without getting 100 percent of what we'd hoped from the software, what we are getting is considerably better than what we had before.”

When we asked Andy what his key areas of growyze are, here’s what he mentioned:

1. Linking orders, deliveries and invoices effectively
“You can place orders through the system. You'll get a notification that the order has been placed. You can then link that up with delivery when the delivery comes in and then the delivery links up with the invoice which absolutely works fantastically.”
2. Finding and rectifying discrepancies
“If there's a discrepancy or an issue, I use the software to email the company and say it's not right or damaged. You’re able to take and attach a photograph at the point of delivery so you have evidence and so it's emailed straight away. I found that with a coffee company we had an issue and we got a credit for the missing items within four days of reporting it through growyze. When normally, history has told me that if I phone them up and do that, it can take several weeks and sometimes months to get a credit back. So in the respect of reporting discrepancies and short dates, it works supremely well.”
3. Speed of stocktakes and time-savings made
“We had a barcode reader with the previous software and it wasn't worth its weight. It was terrible - really slow. Now growyze’s hit rate is about 98%, and it's super quick and easy. If it did nothing else, it's worth taking just for that, just to do a stocktake, because it’s made stocktaking so much easier.”  

When asked if he would recommend growyze to other hotels Andy says “I would 100% and this isn’t just the software, it’s because of the support we get. I can contact any of the team via email and I get a response pretty quickly. The bank holiday Monday when I was doing stocktakes, bearing in mind it's Easter weekend, I decided to log onto the software at home to set up stocktakes for the different departments ready for Monday morning and one of the hotels I couldn't set any of the departments up. I emailed the growyze team, and this was past 10 o'clock at night, but when I came to work in the morning I found out that the hotel that wasn't functioning correctly had been fixed. You couldn't ask for any better support - it's a holiday period but they still managed to fix the issue before it became a problem for me. That's hard to find these days. As far as support is concerned, I can't fault it.”

If you’re a hotel group looking for the right stocktaking software and excellent support, we’d love to introduce you to growyze. Book a demo today to find out more.

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