Streamlines scheduling for teams at multiple events
Improves reporting on tasks, team performance
Syncs up with Xero, speeds up payroll and accounting
Those Girls Beverage Co. serves charming handcrafted drinks made with fresh local ingredients in season: refreshing exotic ice teas for summer and hot (non-alcoholic) spiced apple cider for winter.
You can find them at hundreds of events and venues across the country, from garden weddings to food festivals and plenty of forward-thinking cafes and bars in between.
Life-long friends Lauren Davie and Elena Andoniou dreamed up exotic beverage concepts while on holiday together in New York, where they’d first tasted hot apple cider. Originally they planned to sell iced teas at weekend markets as a sideline to their week day jobs in marketing…
“We learnt very quickly how popular our beverages were and that there was huge potential in front of us,” the pair reminisced in a YMag interview in 2016. “That’s when we took our leap of faith: getting an investor, quitting our jobs, sacrificing our personal lives and focusing solely on Those Girls Beverage Co.”
A $70,000 investment and mentoring from Steve Baxter during the first season of Shark Tank in 2015 helped Those Girls expand to more markets and special events, including ‘hot apple pie in a cup’ cider in Winter.
Committing to more markets and events, plus wholesale of mixers to venues, meant quickly scaling up to manage multiple remote teams simultaneously. Easier said than done.
As Those Girls Beverage Co. quickly grew in popularity, Davie and Andoniou, found themselves spending more time on the admin of scheduling employees (full time, part time and casual), when they’d rather be developing products and building customer relationships.
Onsite employees were relatively simple to coordinate, as five full timers could manage most of the production and logistics at HQ, from sourcing fresh ingredients and brewing beverages, to decanting and cooling them before they are delivered to each location.
Managing offsite teams at festivals and markets across different states was something else. The workload was different week by week so Those Girls Beverage Co had a rolling team of casual employees on its books.
“Managing casual staff can be a challenge already, but when you work in an industry that is in different time zones and locations, it’s a huge headache,” says Davie.
Too often Davie and Andoniou found themselves scrambling to find a replacement for a casual who hadn’t shown up for a shift; then there was up to four hours’ worth of spreadsheet wrangling every week trying to capture and crosscheck crucial information such as pay rates against hours, causing issues with payroll.
“One of the biggest issues we had was manually checking and inputting staff hours into our accounting software,” remembers Davie. “Due to the nature of our business, staff hours were always changing so it was very difficult to track, and it took so much time.”
The pair quickly realised employee management was a major financial cost to the business and started searching for a system that would fit the business model.
“We were losing time manually creating rosters, tracking hours and staff breaks and trying to fix pay issues resulting from the informal systems. We also had problems where staff didn’t turn up for shifts because they didn’t know about changes,” says Andoniou.
They asked the company’s payments provider, Square, to suggest an alternative and Deputy was at the top of the list. After learning about the solution, Davie and Andoniou moved Those Girls Beverage Co onto Deputy and saw immediate benefits.
While there are a range of features in Deputy both founders love, Elena claims the ability to manage multiple locations tipped it into the ‘must-buy’ category.
Lauren adds that being able to share team communications via smartphones has helped her decide which people work best with the business.
“I love that I can check up on the app to see if team members are showing up to their shifts,” says Davie. “That was a huge bonus as it helped get my head around what type of people we needed to hire – which ultimately helps our customer service.
Integration with Xero was the ultimate bonus: shift data including hours, location and penalty rates is seamlessly shared from Deputy into the business’s accounting software of choice, speeding up payroll approvals and wage payments.
“It’s made our lives so much easier!” says Andoniou. “There was no disruption to our business and we were able to apply it instantly. I love the interface; I love the practicality of the app: I can sit there at night watching TV and change the roster; and our bookkeeper is aware of everything and knows exactly what’s going on.”
As the business works in peak and off peak trading periods, Davie and Andoniou both agree Deputy is the perfect scalable solution to their festival and markets-based business – and their employees are happier as well.
“Our people have embraced Deputy because it makes everyone’s lives easier,” says Davie. “We’ve more than halved the time we spent on the admin of team management, we’ve increased productivity, stopped no-shows to shifts, and we now have higher staff retention rates.”
Now they can get rostering done in less than 30 minutes each week, rather than several hours, Davie and Andoniou are free to pursue their passion for bringing more smiles to more customers:
“Our business is running smoothly and knowing that we can manage staff properly and seamlessly, we’re able to turn our focus to expansion,” reports Andoniou. “It just comes down to working smarter – not harder.”
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