How Seven Miles Coffee Roasters captured market share with the cloud

seven miles coffee roasters

Jenny Willits, CEO of Seven Miles Coffee Roasters. Source: Supplied.

When Jenny Willits took the reins as CEO in 2017, Seven Miles Coffee Roasters already had a storied history. “We’ve been a prominent member of the Australian coffee scene and the coffee culture of Australia for 53 years now,” Willits says. “We’ve been through many ups and downs, but we have been a constant in the coffee scene as we know it today.” 

From humble beginnings in the Sydney suburb of Roseville, Seven Miles has grown to now include large-scale coffee roasting, blending, wholesale and retail, as well as café partnerships and coffee research. With a focus on growth and the support of cloud-based technology, Willits has seen Seven Miles continue to scale and succeed.

A trajectory of growth and success

Growing Seven Miles as a business has been Willits’ focus over her five year tenure as CEO. Fresh off a rebrand (the business was formerly known as Belaroma Coffee Company), Willits needed to forge a clear direction. “My first task when I started was to create cohesion and clarity around what Seven Miles Coffee Roasters is always about, and set the purpose and the values,” Willits says. 

By encouraging diversity of opinion, employee satisfaction and — naturally — a focus on exceptional coffee, Willits has seen genuine growth and success. “Watching our ENPS (employee net promoter score) growing and being above the 65 to 70 mark, is the thing I’m most proud of because that translates to fantastic customer scores as well.” Employee and customer satisfaction can be difficult to maintain as a business continues to grow, but clear company values can help. So, too, can the right technology.

Seven Miles relies on NetSuite, an integrated suite of business applications in the cloud, to help manage a business that just keeps getting bigger. “Last year we had over 10,400 local customer support visits including training, equipment calibration, technical support and more,” Willits says. “Those visits don’t create value or meaning without real time data.” 

Jason Toshack, GM and VP at Oracle NetSuite ANZ, understands that instant access to data is a key factor in great customer relations. “Cloud technology is providing real-time insights into the information that’s critical for you to make decisions,” Toshack says. 

“If you’re not in the cloud, with a holistic view of the business, it’s very difficult not only to do your own job, but also to get access to information that’s key to you from other parts of the business.”

For more than 20 years, NetSuite has been helping businesses take advantage of a powerful cloud ERP platform to gain the visibility and control needed to adapt and thrive. For more information go to netsuite.com.au

Overcoming challenges

As any business leader understands, navigating the upheaval of the pandemic has been challenging. Willits, though, showed agility in finding alternative channels for Seven Miles. “We went, ‘it’s here, we’ve just got to move on’ and that’s one of the reasons why we put a lot of investment into our online store and our subscription service,” Willits says.

Shifting the focus of a large business can be unwieldy without the right infrastructure. Using cloud technology — in particular, the automation of accounting — has helped keep Seven Miles Coffee Roasters agile. 

“We have over 900 café partners, thousands of retail customers across Australia,” says Willits. “NetSuite really helps us automate a lot more of those repetitive tasks like invoicing so that we can focus our efforts on providing exceptional customer service.” 

For Toshack, having a holistic view of the business makes changing direction much more accessible. “For those organisations that have been slow to move to an ERP where they’ve got that holistic view of their business, they can’t act on opportunities that potentially their competitors can.” 

Into the future

Though Willits can reflect on recent success, there is no thought of slowing down. “We’re continuing to focus on our people, our customers, expanding into new sectors, unifying the acquired businesses that we’ve got under the Seven Miles Coffee Company umbrella,” says Willits. 

For Seven Miles, having the stability of technology that scales with it means the sky’s the limit.

“When you’re working with something like NetSuite, you’re totally reassured that you’re working with technology that can scale with us,” Willits says. “You don’t have any concerns that it’s not going to be able to deal with growth or as we acquire and integrate other businesses. There’s great reassurance that comes from the fact that we’ve got a good cloud-based technology, a great partner that is able to facilitate and expedite our growth.”

For Toshack, those looking to emulate the success of Seven Miles Coffee Roasters should commit to a holistic, cloud-based technology early, and grow alongside it. 

“You’ve got finance, accounting, professional services capabilities, inventory management and CRM,” says Toshack. “It’s really a single business platform that can cover the majority of the key business departments of an organisation and allow them to adapt and thrive.”

oracle netsuite
Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite is the industry's leading provider of cloud-based business management software. Oracle NetSuite helps companies manage core business processes with a single, fully integrated system covering ERP/financials, CRM, ecommerce, inventory and more.

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