Case study

Dalston’s Soda Company Ltd

Dalston’s Soda Company Ltd

Dalston’s was born out of a nightclub in Dalston, East London in 2012. Dalston’s make healthy soft drinks using real fruit and sparkling water, no refined sugar and no junk. Their products are available in retail including the major supermarkets Asda, Sainsburys, Waitrose and M&S, as well as via trade, online through its own e-commerce site, and in selected speciality & health stores including Selfridges.

The business has grown considerably in recent years with investment in production, launching their own canned line in 2017, and now selling over 600,000 cans by June 2021. Dalston’s continues to grow their brand, using sustainable British Farms to source their ingredients, on are a mission to be the nation’s most loved healthier soda brand.

Visit Dalston’s Soda Company

The Challenge

Dalston’s needed a new outsourced finance provider as their previous advisor’s outsourcing service had ceased. They needed an advisor to take care of its days to-day accounting needs, including their sales order processing and provide regular reporting. As a multichannel operator including with a strong online element, Dalstons wanted to use cloud-based accounting software and apps to help drive the business forward, providing both efficiencies, better ways of working and a greater level of insights.

As the company was experiencing strong growth it also wanted to find an outsourcing solution that would give advice where needed but gave them peace of mind their accounts were in safe hands, allowing them to focus on growing the business.

“The Farnell Clarke Outsource Finance team quickly became a vital part of our team and business. They handle multiple functions for Dalston's Soda Co with the professionalism and speed that are vital when it comes to the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector. We work with the Outsource Finance team closely and entrust them to provide front line reactive support to our customers as well as comprehensive back office financial services support. We couldn't do what we do without them!”
Duncan O’Brien
Founder Dalston’s

Our approach

As well meeting with the company to truly understand their needs and ambitions, we also spent time with Dalstons to give them an insight into the different software we use to ensure our bookkeeping processes are as efficient as possible.

As the client was moving from existing accountant, we had to ensure a smooth handover, especially on the sales order processing, to ensure customers still received all orders as well as continuing to provide the same level of service as their previous accountant. Farnell Clarke held handover meetings with the previous accountant and ensured we built the right support team to ensure all sales orders and invoicing was dealt with promptly.

Following a review of its software and systems, the accounts receivable application and platform Chaser was implemented to replace the Xero payment reminders. Dalston’s also needed to improve its stock management, this led us to facilitate and run process mapping sessions with them to discuss and map out all the stock processes from start to finish. This allowed us to make recommendations around new software platforms and for them to look for efficiencies and new ways of working.

As Dalston’s expanded it’s sales team to meet growing demand for its products, it was important we had a robust expenses process in place. We introduced Dext expense reports, allowing the team to upload their own expenses and to be approved by their manager as appropriate. This both allowed expenses to be paid bi-weekly but also gave the management team a much greater level of control and insight.

The Result

Farnell Clarke now manages Dalston’s finance and orders inbox, answer supplier and customer queries, daily bookkeeping, managing both sales and purchase ledger. We also provide reporting in terms of weekly sales reports (for their growing sales team), weekly cashflow forecasts, bi-weekly finance meetings, monthly management accounts and VAT returns. As their sales team continue to grow, we have adapted the sales report to give the team the insight they need into the businesses sales to help them meet targets. Finally, the process mapping identified the need to implement a new inventory management software and Farnell Clarke is working with the company to embed Unleased inventory management which will give Dalston’s instant clarity across suppliers, production, inventory and customers and also give them real time inventory control and reporting.

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