TRE makes expansion look Ezy
Publish Date: January 1, 2008
Author: Phil Laing
Tamar Ridge Estates senior winemaker Tom Ravech moved across the Tasman from Villa Maria Estates in July 2006 to take up his role with Tasmania’s biggest wine producer.
Part of his brief was to look at information management to help accommodate the company’s planned growth.
“We covered a fair range of products and services, and were working hard to cope with the complexities that are associated with rapid growth,” he said.
Since then, TRE has taken on fruit from three new plantings, with more fruit on the way every year, plus a considerable portfolio of contract winemaking and a growing sparkling program. “The result is quite a broad mix of products, characterized by a large number of labels, greatly differing price points, and widely varying production costs and timetables,” Mr Ravech said.
And that is just the winemaking. TRE also has a burgeoning direct sales program, as well as numerous distributors globally, three cellar door outlets, and a restaurant and function facility.
To accommodate all these needs, the company sought a management program that would bring all the required modules together. Having looked at what was available on the market, TRE eventually settled on the EzyWine package from Ezy Systems.
“Under pressure from an early 2007 vintage, the system was commissioned in February,” Mr Ravech said. “We were forced to prepare our data rapidly but the process demands that the data be treated rigorously.
“The result is that you end up putting your record system through something of a spring-clean”.
“It also requires you to think carefully about systems of coding information to end up with something that is both meaningful and manageable.”
“We went through this review for the way we code our bulk products, our packaged goods, packaging items themselves, winery consumables, creditors, debtors, and our barrel numbering system.”
He says Ezy Systems offers a strong service approach and is available throughout the working year to provide technical support by phone, email or remote access.
“The annual service fees are not inconsiderable but the pay-off is a commitment to keeping the system relevant,” Mr Ravech said.
“Ezy provides system updates twice a year. The most interesting part of this is that as a user I get to contribute to these changes. If I have a suggestion as to how to improve EzyWine’s operation, or to increase its functionality, I can put in a system change request. Ezy Systems will adopt the change if practicable and incorporate it as part of their six monthly update.”
“All users will be informed of the system changes and will benefit from my idea. Conversely, I get the benefit of contributions made by bright sparks right across my industry”.
The main benefits TRE have enjoyed since adopting EzyWine are all based around its ability to service the entire business from vineyard through to winery, production, warehousing and stock-take, sales and marketing, and accounts.
“Its very strong reporting is a feature.” Mr Ravech said. I can product reports in seconds now. We still export some data to spreadsheets. And Ezy demands time and careful processing of information, which requires considerable input hours by trained and resourced staff.
However, the overwhelming advantages of reduced error, reduced duplication and faster access to accurate and up-to-date information all contribute to reduced costs and a better functioning business.
“After a year of using Ezy the benefits of a unified system are so apparent that the idea of being without one seems inconceivable.”
Source: GrapeGrowers & Vignerons