Through EBRD's advice and EU funding, a specialised beverage producer is able to embrace new export opportunities.
Pomegranate, blackberry, apricot and two dozen other fruit wines are among the top-selling products of 365 Wines, a small specialised beverage producer in Armenia. The business has been steadily growing and exports to the EU, Russia and as far as the US and Australia now account for 70 per cent of its operations.
But with growth, the business also faced some new challenges. To comply with Armenian legislation, 365 Wines had to be able to provide frequently updated accounting figures. Manual accounting was no longer an option, as it’s a time-consuming process and can lead to reporting discrepancies. Also, the firm’s management needed increasingly detailed figures and statistics to understand how effectively operations are run.
Finding the perfect match
The Bank’s Small Business Support (SBS) team was at hand to help. The team matched up the company with a local ICT consultant to integrate new technologies into day-to-day activities, modernise its management tools and save its employees valuable time.
A new customised IT system helped 365 Wines generate all the necessary tax and financial reports and submit them electronically. Furthermore, the company could use the system to manage its inventory more effectively, collect orders electronically and handle different aspects of HR management, including personnel registration, payment tracking and time-sheets.
The project with 365 Wines was supported by funding from the European Union. SBS activities in Armenia are also funded by the Early Transition Countries Fund and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.
Making a big difference on a small scale
It can often be advisory services at a comparatively small scale – in this case the project cost less than €5,000 – that can help a company run its business more efficiently and save money.
Through one of the reports generated by the new system, the firm realised its products sold more quickly and with a comparatively high margin in Russia. Its management therefore allocated more resources and products to this market – a strategic decision that generated an additional 15 per cent turnover.