Project Summary

The West Auckland Trusts exist to sell alcohol responsibly, and to do so in a way approved of by the community, which owns The Trusts. Instead of profits being paid to private owners or shareholders, the organisation returns surplus profits back into the community or reinvests into the business.

The Trusts are going through transformation to improve profitability, operations and customer satisfaction (among other improvements). As a result, the organisation made the decision to outsource the management of inventory to 3PL warehousing and logistics services.


“We recognised that our core business is retail sales and promoting hospitality venues, not warehousing and logistics – there are lots of people who can do that better than us. However, we felt conflicted about giving away a critical part of our business (critical, not core) and we were worried about losing control of that.”   

Marie Weaver, Group Financial Controller, The Trusts 



  • To introduce systems that interfaced The Trusts' inventory management, stock control and point of sale with the 3PL warehouse
  • To successfully complete the project within aggressive time scales with minimal disruption

How the Project Helped

3PL put in place a new warehousing system and Designertech had to work with The Trusts, 3PL and their IT provider to integrate the systems and change all the processes that surrounded the system itself.   

The Trusts spent two months workflowing the business by going through every single process and policy that surrounded the distribution systems and activity, as they had previously carried it out, to understand how those processes worked and to challenge them where necessary (in order to pass on those details to the companies developing the interface system).


“I felt we got huge benefit out of that. Now we have documented every normal process and every exception, so that if in future we want to make changes we can see what impact that will have on any part of the business – we learnt a lot about our business; how we do things. With that knowledge we can make efficient improvements.”

Marie Weaver, The Trusts  


“The fact that The Trusts decided to manually workflow the business was courageous, and was instrumental in making sure everything worked when the system went live. The key was that The Trusts were willing to listen to what turned out to be good advice, particularly when they were under a lot of pressure to get the thing done... 

The delays to get things right cost them real money. Most customers will keep working on things that are defective to achieve short term cost savings, but The Trusts chose to play the long game... 

It is very cool when an organisation of The Trusts size goes down this path, in terms of the outsourcing model and all the complexity that it entails – it is serious innovation.”

Ray Delany, Designertech 


Results, Returns on Investment and Future Plans

Described by key people involved in the project as a very good example of a well governed project, the end result was clarity of roles, an understanding of who is doing what, getting things done and moving forward on time.


“This has given us the ability to design a project process we can apply to subsequent projects. We now have a structure around it and we are clear on establishing roles, scope, governance and reporting. We gave a piece of our business away but the value we got back was tremendous.”

Marie Weaver, The Trusts 


The project has made The Trusts' business a lot more commercial.


“We can now look at how well we purchase products, manage and maintain them. We have achieved some financial cost savings, but of more value is focusing on the upper line which is the cost of product, how the organisation negotiates with suppliers – all of which improves gross profit.”

Marie Weaver, The Trusts 

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