How a chartered accountant served Akubra modernise their business enterprise


Hamish McLeod, manager of Strand Hatters. Supply: supplied.

There are several brands a lot more Australian than Akubra. 

You may well know it as the enterprise that’s been providing hats to the Australian armed forces given that World War I, or imagine promptly of Paul Hogan in his iconic purpose as Crocodile Dundee. 

Golfing legend Greg Norman has also sported an Akubra on several occasions. The hat created for him, way again in 1987, was called ‘The Wonderful White Shark’. 

In shorter, this 140-calendar year-aged household company is steeped in a rich record, and its well known hats — continue to proudly built in Kempsey, NSW — are all about custom and high-quality craftsmanship. 

But although sticking to a “traditional recipe” on the output line can give you a exceptional competitive advantage, it’s possibly not so valuable in the back business office.

All the things was handwritten

You know the tale. It’s about enterprise proprietors who are so targeted on developing major-excellent products and solutions that they have small time left over to fret about upgrading and re-engineering their back-close procedures. 

Luckily for us, all that transformed 24 yrs in the past, when the Keir spouse and children — homeowners of Akubra for 5 generations — introduced on chartered accountant Roy Wilkinson to assistance them modernise and go with the occasions. 

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Roy is now CFO of Akubra and a board member, and thanks to his combination of ahead-thinking and appreciation for Akubra’s heritage and experience, Akubra were being capable to evolve their organization activity even though staying real to who they are. 

“When Roy to start with took above as the CFO at Akubra, all our accounts, anything, were being nevertheless handwritten in ledger publications,” says Stephen Keir, operator and handling director of Akubra. 

And in a company wherever tradition is anything, “Roy respects our heritage and is extremely committed to our model and values.”

Stepping it up with new devices

“Chartered accountants are very valued for their adaptable ability established and imaginative lateral considering,” in accordance to CAW, 2020 — Interbrand, Ideal World-wide Makes 2019, “and which is why all of the top 100 Worldwide Brand names make use of chartered accountants”.

Roy absolutely place these skills to excellent use, supporting Akubra modernise by placing up new accounting techniques, and doing the job with the enterprise to build e-commerce systems that reveal leading tendencies and browsing moments.

“These times you have received to continue to keep latest and you’ve bought to have far more strategies of acquiring that ideal buyer — and Roy’s aided us do that,” states Hamish McLeod, manager of Strand Hatters, an Akubra stockist. 

“Roy’s established new systems that mixture behaviour and buying information, building insights to identify the finest hats for the period and peak browsing situations for prospects.” 

Roy also developed an integrated electronic source chain, which gives Akubra-owned storefronts across the place a single watch of inventory, allowing them to much better provide their clients and, finally, to maximize product sales.

On leading of all this, he has developed Akubra’s viewers past rural Australia to untapped markets. Now, you are just as probably to see an Akubra in a metropolis setting as you are out in the state, such is the close to trademark status of their famous felt hats. 

Holding it in the spouse and children

Most meaningfully, Roy has assisted Akubra with its mission to keep manufacturing feasible on Australian soil 

“A great deal of manufacturers have long gone offshore, specifically in the textile business,” Roy claims, “because of the compliance expense of getting to carry your factory up to day and your staff members together for the experience. 

“As a 140-12 months-outdated enterprise, we weren’t fascinated in heading offshore at all. Akubra is really a lot a material of the state, and all of us are dedicated to creating confident that carries on on for generations to arrive.”