OrderWise Customer - The Big Prawn Co LogoThe Big Prawn Company began trading in 1995 and currently employs 40 members of staff. Their original area of expertise was brined shellfish and they soon became the largest brining operation in the UK. They have now extended their range to include ready to eat products. In addition to this they have an extended shelf life range and more recently they launched a Seafood Cocktail range.

Around 60% of their product is Crayfish based, followed by King Prawns c. 25%, Cold Water Prawns c. 13%, the balance being made up of Mussels, Salmon and Brown Shrimp. Big Prawn sell in 180g retail pots, 900g wholesale pots, 7.2kg industrial tubs as well as 150g retail trays and 1.36kg wholesale trays for MAP.

Vince Gotts, Financial Controller at The Big Prawn took some time out of his busy schedule to speak to us. Vince initially worked for the company preparing management accounts whilst he was employed by a local accountancy practice. It soon became evident to him that stock control was difficult and that traceability was very poor. Their existing systems were a number of Excel spreadsheets linked together. One break in this link and problems arose.

The Big Prawn were running Sage Line 50 as their accounting package, which amply dealt with standard financial ledgers but stock and more notably BOM capabilities were very limited.

“Whilst we looked at alternative solutions, OrderWise stuck out for me. It had the potential to tick all the boxes regarding the existing short-comings, whilst seamlessly integrating with the existing accounting package, meaning less disruption to the accounting side of the business.”

OrderWise has given them greater control over all sides of the business. As well as using the pre-available parts of the software such as contact manager and orders on hold for improved sales ledger maintenance and control, The Big Prawn also found OrderWise to be very flexible with analysis fields which gave them the ability to make the package fit their business. Combined with a little knowledge of Excel data queries, they have been able to clearly identify profit margins by customer, by product, identify performance yields, monitor wastage, and look at raw material stock and run-outs.
These have become key data indicators to which they challenge themselves, in turn making the business more aware, but more importantly, potentially more efficient.
The level of traceability available within OrderWise is very beneficial to them. OrderWise can ensure products are rotated correctly minimizing waste and preventing stock with an expiry date from being disposed of. OrderWise can also handle product recalls efficiently to make sure that any industry standard rules and regulations are met.

“Traceability, as a food processor is key to us.”

Time after time at technical audits The Big Prawn are able to clearly demonstrate the whole route of a product, from purchase order, through intake, through production and out to their customers.
“This part of the system is tested as part of the BRC accreditation which we proudly hold at grade A.”
The Big Prawn have also found the OrderWise Works Order module a huge asset, Vince told us “BOMs on Sage Line 50 are what I would call rigid, they like ‘Product A to equal Product B plus Product C’ with no tolerances.
“Our business needs flexibility for tolerances all the time as to make Product A, sometimes we will use one amount, sometimes another, it always varies, it’s the nature of the business.” OrderWise deals with all of this efficiently.

Furthermore, as Financial Controller, it is important for Vince to be able to interrogate all sides of the business and OrderWise allows for him to do this.

Vince has found Roz Gibson and the team in Reports to be very helpful, “Though we have some Excel skills in the office, there have been occasions where we have required higher level Excel work and Roz and I have worked together to achieve what we require.”

And with regards to the Support Team, Vince said
“OrderWise support have always been very helpful, luckily we don’t need to use them that often.”

Many thanks to Vince and everyone at The Big Prawn Co.