BusinessWorks Customer
SweetWater Co., Inc.

Corporate Profile
Culver, OR

Type of Business
Bottled spring water producer

Western United States

Number of Employees

Annual Revenue
$3.9 million

System Profile
Computer System
U.S. Computer Pentium 200 server, ABS custom Pentium workstations

Operating System
Microsoft Windows® 95

BusinessWorks Modules in Use
General Ledger
Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Inventory Control and Purchasing
Mailing Labels
Order Entry
Crystal Reports
System Manager

General accounting, estimating, sales orders, invoicing, receivables, purchase orders, payables, payroll, and inventory control

Home page

2055 Carolyn Sue, Baton Rouge, LA 70815
225-923-1985 • fax: 923-3515

Bottled Water Producer Pumped Up About BusinessWorks

“QuickBooks had no provision to view where or how credits were applied to a customer account. BusinessWorks has a much more sophisticated accounting trail that provides comprehensive definition of all account activities.”

Terri Law, Partner, SweetWater Co., Inc.

The Challenge
After 10 years of operating Quality Heating, a successful heating and air conditioning sales and installation business in the central Oregon town of Redmond, Terri and Dave Law saw opportunity in the crystal-clear waters of nearby Opal Springs. With another couple, they decided in 1992 to establish a bottled water enterprise they named the SweetWater Co. Inc.

Terri, who previously worked in the banking industry, had managed the books for Quality Heating by hand. She and Dave knew they would need a computerized accounting system to accommodate the additional bookkeeping requirements posed by SweetWater. Inexperienced with accounting software, they purchased QuickBooks™ software, an entry-level bookkeeping program.

After immersion in the details of pipelines, micron filters, ultraviolet sterilizers and ozonation during the construction phase, Dave and Terri turned their attention to marketing. The growing company hit a snag when it implemented a marketing program incorporating cooperative advertising; QuickBooks was unable to track units of sales by customer.

Terri, SweetWater’s finance manager, was forced to print out lengthy reports and tabulate totals with a calculator. She became increasingly frustrated with the limited reporting and tracking capabilities of QuickBooks.

The Solution
Terri called in a financial systems consultant who analyzed SweetWater’s business objectives and functional needs, and strongly recommended BusinessWorks accounting software for Quality Heating, and for SweetWater, as well. BusinessWorks was installed and put into operation at both companies, and the results were immediate.

“QuickBooks had been unable to provide our marketing staff members with the detailed production and distribution data they needed. But BusinessWorks enables us to tell very easily what sizes are selling in which quantities. We can also break that information down by individual customers as needed. QuickBooks required us to extract that kind of information by hand,” explained Terri. “BusinessWorks produces the reports I need. I count each report generated as an hour of my time saved by using BusinessWorks.”

SweetWater uses BusinessWorks for what Terri terms “full inventory accounting.” Sales orders input by the company’s receptionist trigger orders for raw goods and production scheduling. BusinessWorks calculates the amount of raw goods needed for each case shipment, including bottles, labels, caps, shrink wrap and shipping trays. When a truck rolls up to the dock to load a shipment, we use BusinessWorks to generate an invoice detailing the contents of the shipment. QuickBooks was incapable of those functions. Terri also became frustrated by the inflexibility of QuickBooks in posting credits to accounts.

“QuickBooks had no provision to view where or how credits were applied to a customer account. Once a credit was posted, I couldn’t go back and review it.” She added, “BusinessWorks has a much more sophisticated accounting trail that provides comprehensive definition of all account activities.” She also applauds the more advanced payroll capabilities of BusinessWorks.

“BusinessWorks enabled us for the first time to break down payroll by department and place it accordingly into our P&L statements. QuickBooks couldn’t do that,” said Terri.

“In fact, BusinessWorks lets us format our P&Ls any way we want — by each size of bottle we sell, by vendor or by territory. We can break down the P&Ls to show cost of goods, we can distinguish between production and administrative payroll costs, and BusinessWorks shows percentage equivalents for all figures,” said Terri. BusinessWorks allows her to close the books each month, which her previous inflexible software did not allow. “BusinessWorks provides information with clarity and gives us an accurate, timely overview of all of our production, sales and fiscal operations.”

That’s important for a company like SweetWater, where cash flow is truly a measure of liquid assets.

The capabilities, system requirements and compatibility with third-party products described herein are subject to change without notice. Contact STATE OF THE ART® for current information. BusinessWorks® and the BusinessWorks® logo are trademarks of STATE OF THE ART®. The STATE OF THE ART® name and logo are registered trademarks of STATE OF THE ART, INC. All other product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their manufacturers. ©1996 STATE OF THE ART, INC. All rights reserved.