New technology aids Galloway distillery’s revival

One of Scotland’s oldest independent distilleries has embraced new technology to achieve 85 per cent growth during the pandemic.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 11:59 am
The 204-year-old Bladnoch Distillery is enjoying significant growth

After being shuttered for years, Australian entrepreneur David Prior acquired the 204-year-old Bladnoch Distillery in 2015.

He was determined to reinvigorate its rich history in Galloway, all while managing the business operations from the opposite side of the world.

One of the first decisions Mr Prior made was to transition from an outdated technology system to address inventory management shortcomings and fragmented financial reporting and budgeting processes.

Mr Prior and team selected Oracle NetSuite to take operations to the next level, and successfully revived the Bladnoch and Pure Scot whisky brands by expanding the distribution network to more than 40 global markets.

With the right systems in place the distillery has achieved steady stream growth and was able to manage the operational complexity brought on by Covid-19 to take advantage of a surge in demand.

This included launching a new ecommerce site which is now available in the USA, UK and Australia and played a key role in helping the company achieve 85 percent year-on-year growth in 2020.

This new remote environment also helped bring the distillery’s global team together, being able to unify data from the Scottish warehouse and fulfillment teams with the Australian finance, sales and marketing teams .

Will Pitchforth, head of commercial at Bladnoch Distillery, said: “We were concerned the more complex our business became the more complicated the technology would have to be.

"We just wanted a single platform that would help us get the job done easier, which is why we selected NetSuite.

“This has given us the agility and insights we needed to quickly respond to changes, build lasting relationships with customers, and better understand the motivations and desires of shoppers directly through our global online stores.”

Bladnoch Distillery has partnered with HSBC UK in a new £10m funding round to support continued expansion that includes boosting distribution in international markets such as Australia, China, USA, Israel, and parts of Europe.