19th November 2020
Ben Reynolds and his team from MSI's Adelaide accounting member Oreon Partners have worked with Tuckers Natural from the company’s initial start-up and have continued to support the business as it has grown into a household brand. Today, Tuckers Natural is Australia’s most-awarded cracker company, having won 77 medals to date. Here’s an interesting look into their company’s challenges, opportunities and path to success.
Tuckers Natural ‘s Gourmet Cracker range was originally developed from a shared philosophy of husband and wife team Sam and Cindy Tucker. Both were active sports people with a strong interest in health and well-being who wanted natural, healthy products in their diet.
So when the opportunity arose of developing a cracker that was GMO-free, contained no artificial preservatives, flavours or colourings, was free from yeast, soy and MSG, and looked like something the consumer market was asking for, they jumped in – and in 2007, the Tucker’s Natural Gourmet Cracker range was launched.
“Winning ‘Championship Biscuit’ at the 2018/19 Royal Sydney Fine Food Show for one of our flagship products was exhilarating for the whole company,” says Sam. “It really provided the ultimate recognition for our dedicated bakers.”
Sam says that the company’s biggest challenge over the years has been achieving a good balance between many areas of the business, including:
As for so many businesses, the rapid changes that came about due to COVID-19 were difficult. The company’s first priority was to ensure all staff were safe and protected. They set up and implemented a plan within days, following government health and Business SA guidelines and providing daily updates to the team.
“Communication was key, so everyone from the office to the production floor was informed and educated on the processes required to keep our workplace safe,” says Sam.
“Our sales environment was also very challenging – orders went through a roller coaster of highs and lows. The supply chain from end to end was disrupted and it was important that we remained flexible to meet these daily changes.”
Obviously, these swings had an impact on cash flow. “The support of our financial partners at Oreon was integral in helping us manage market fluctuations and in ensuring we met our compliance and reporting requirements,” says Sam.
When asked about the keys to his success, Sam says, “First and most importantly, it’s having the support of my wife, Cindy, and my three boys. They’re my foundation.”
He said that other major factors include:
When giving advice to new entrepreneurs, Sam says, “I would say research, ask, research and ask until you’re very certain about your vision and then do a business plan in conjunction with your financial partner. It’s a bumpy ride and you need courage and a dogged persistence.”
For current business owners, he says the same advice applies, but also advises, “Maximise your relationships to get assistance and guidance when needed and ensure you’re surrounded by great staff who can support you on this journey.”
His additional recommendations include:
“Oreon Partners has been a critical part of my support team and an integral part of the growth of my business. Their advice and knowledge cannot be underplayed or undervalued,” says Sam. “I rely on them to provide me with sound financial advice and strategies, and they ensure we meet our compliance requirements and remain up-to-date with the latest information and legislation.”
Oreon Partners recently helped Sam’s team transition over from their existing business software to Xero. As the business has grown Oreon has introduced Tucker’s Natural to an inventory management program called Unleashed, which has helped the company calculate costs and better identify units on hand.
The company just received (at long last) a new production line from Germany – a $3m investment that will improve production and outputs and serve as the foundation for the company’s growth over the next 10-20 years, both in Australia and globally.
“We know the healthy snacking market is growing and we are now in an even better position to compete globally,” says Sam.
To find out more and see their great range of products visit Tucker’s Natural.
Oreon Partners are located in Adelaide, South Australia and provide Accounting and Financial Planning services to a wide range of clients. Our goal is to deliver outstanding results and value that enable the growth, protection and transition of wealth, with a focus on cloud-based accounting.
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