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Taking Inventory

BirchStreet Broadens Its Offering, Customer Base With Acquisition Of AccuBar

Thursday, September 22, 2016
Dennis Nessler
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With designs on offering a comprehensive food & beverage solution to both hotels & restaurants globally, BirchStreet Systems, Inc. recently acquired AccuBar and its beverage inventory software solution.

AccuBar—which has been servicing the hospitality, restaurant, casino and club industries since 2001—brings its patented beverage inventory, digital menus and barcode scanning technology to the cloud-based procure-to-pay technology provider.

The privately-held company has created a subsidiary under which it will eventually operate called BirchStreet Technologies to integrate the AccuBar lineup of product as well as key personnel, including Dan Grimm, who served as president of AccuBar. Grimm will now take the post of COO of BirchStreet Technologies—which will operate out of the company’s Newport Beach, CA office— and he will report to Sushil Garg, who is CEO of BirchStreet Systems as well as the new subsidiary.

Grimm pointed out that customers will now have access to an end-to-end solution from inventory to automatic ordering and replenishment. “We bring the beverage expertise, they bring the food expertise, so end of the day we will work to create a single solution that is great at both of those. I think that’s something that’s going to be very unique out there in the market,” he said, adding, “Certainly part of what this is about is we will go from having a niche solution to having a solution that fills a broader need out there.”

Grimm further touted the partnership. “It really is a couple of synergies. We know how to do inventory; we have a patent on our technology that really makes it difficult for other folks to do it the way we do. We’ve got a proven way of being fast, efficient and accurate with doing inventory. You combine that with the fact that there really aren’t many systems out there that do both the food side of the operation and the beverage side of the operation well,” he said.

The AccuBar system offers a variety of barcode scanning operations that feed into a cloud-based database that gives users fast, accurate inventory; receiving; transfers; event management; perpetual inventory and ordering; as well as a suite of reports that drive loss prevention and accountability, according to the company.

Garg, meanwhile, commented on the deal from the perspective of BirchStreet. “We are thrilled to welcome AccuBar’s team and their customers to BirchStreet. AccuBar shares our vision of innovation in creating better processes to enhance our customers’ profitability and efficiency. By combining our solution sets, both BirchStreet and AccuBar customers will have access to a broader set of options and functionality,” he said in a statement.
Grimm acknowledged the two companies had conversations about working together as far back as 2012 at the request of mutual customers, but ultimately opted to remain independent. However, the companies agreed to reconvene recently at the request of another mutual customer, the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC, and the rest is history.

“Ultimately those conversations evolved from ‘what can we do interfacing with each other to maybe we ought to work even more closely together and partner together.’ There certainly felt like there was some opportunity for us to partner up with some good people in the industry and that was a definite attraction to this whole thing,” he said.

Grimm noted that another factor is BirchStreet’s broad range of distribution globally as it has corporate contracts with many of the major brand companies, such as Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Four Seasons, to name a few. In addition, thousands of businesses in more than 100 countries currently subscribe to BirchStreet to connect and do business with a network of more than 345,000 suppliers, according to the company.

Nevertheless, Grimm maintained AccuBar’s restaurant presence represents additional opportunity for BirchStreet. “BirchStreet wanted to expand the markets within hospitality that they pursue beyond the hotel/resort segment. Restaurants and clubs represent a vast opportunity and AccuBar brings extensive experience in these segments which will enable us to bring enormous value to those customers as well,” he said.

Reinforcing its global presence, Birchstreet also has offices in China, Singapore and India. Grimm emphasized the importance of that presence. “That provides us access to a global market, which we were just dipping our toe in up to this point. So it’s going to immediately make it so we’re able to provide a solution out there across pretty much the entire world,” he said.

Grimm noted that all 13 of AccuBar’s employees will remain with the company with the exception of founding partner Dave Grimm, who has left to pursue other interests.

Grimm reiterated the upside of the partnership. “Ultimately, we’re going to be able to leverage the best of what each of us has and combine that into a solution that just doesn’t exist in the market right now. And it should create an enormous opportunity for our customers to benefit from what we have to offer,” he said.
Dennis Nessler    Dennis Nessler
Hotel Interactive®, Inc.
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