Woodcut Tools: World turned upside down but business flies high

The world was turned upside down in 2020, but for a niche business based in Napier, there was a surge of online orders, as woodturners across the globe spent more time in their sheds.

Woodcut Tools has been making tools for woodturners for many years. The business was founded in Northland in 1990 and is now owned by Dan and Jennifer Hewitt.

Nearly 90 percent of orders come from the likes of Germany, Austria and North America, where wood turning is an age-old tradition. Eighty percent of their customers are hobby woodturners with 20 percent businesses that make wooden gifts and souvenir products.

As Dan says, “our products are designed by wood turners for wood turners”.

With the support of their accountant and business development mentors, Dan and Jennifer have been focused on scaling up the business. As part of that they recognised that to grow the business they would need good systems and processes.

“We have ambitious goals for the business and to help scale it up, we needed to make sure we had really good processes and systems and to get the most up to the minute information from our management software.

Importantly they wanted processes and systems to be automated as well as provide their accountant and business mentor remote access to live business information.

“Our MYOB software didn’t provide remote access and was being phased out, so we needed a new solution.

“Our accountant referred us to Joanna at Consult and we began transitioning across to online accountancy software Xero as well as inventory and distribution software Unleashed, which gives us real time information about our stock levels.

“Joanna has been fantastic, she set up the software, ensured all relevant information was brought across and provided us with training and ongoing support.

Dan is very optimistic about the future of the business and says Consult will continue to provide software support going forward.

Joanna says “when clients, accountants and implementation specialists work together, great things can be accomplished.  The client has the benefit of knowing any vital information the accountant needs is being communicated as well as their own, whilst getting the benefit of a specialist that knows the software inside and out and knows all the things that can go wrong or that might benefit that particular client.  It’s common knowledge that it takes at least 10 implementations of a particular software before the implementation truly goes smoothly, so for the accountants who may only have a handful of clients needing that software it just makes sense to use a specialist rather than train their own staff.”

“Dan and Jennifer’s job required conversion of their inventory, accounting and payroll systems to Unleashed and Xero, then integration between their Amazon US store and Unleashed.

“The Amazon payments can be tricky to reconcile and was taking a day a month to complete so as the business has grown, I’ve added A2X to their software bundle and it now takes just a few minutes to complete,” she said.

As a part of the implementation package Joanna provided training, customisation of document templates and customised notes for the business and continues to provide ongoing support and training workshops as required. 


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