Winery Management Software - Support Is Critical For Success

Publish Date: November 1, 1998
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"With over 100 clients, Ezy Systems is easily the most successful provider of winery and vineyard management software in the Southern Hemisphere" claims Marketing Director, Nick Cugura.

Cugura questions "How many software suppliers are really behind their product and are prepared to make changes at no extra charge to the client? How many encourage their clients to be proactive in the ongoing development of their software?"

Cugura told Grapegrower & Winemaker that since Ezy Systems commenced in 1993, over 1000 enhancements raised by clients in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have been incorporated into EzyWine at no extra cost to the client. These vary from minor changes such as the new Wine & Brandy Board GIC zonings to major changes such as the managing of foreign exchange losses and gains.

Cugura and partner Peter Ellis have been in the information technology industry for 15 years and have been long disenchanted with software companies. Ellis says "there are too many software companies providing little support and to justify the charging of clients to fix shortfalls in their software as 'customisation' is appalling."

The enhancements made in one country are often utilised by clients in another. On introducing GST and Excise for New Zealand clients, it took very little effort to introduce VAT for South African clients. The version of EzyWine running overseas is the same as the one being used in Australia. Incorporating a goods and services or value added tax for Australian clients would be a minor change.

"In addition to ongoing enhancements, phone support, user guides and on-site training must also be of the highest standard if the client is to maximise benefits from a software package" adds Cugura.

Ellis explains further "We see it like this - clients suggest enhancements, we introduce the changes for all our clients. This makes for a better product and therefore more attractive to potential customers. It makes good business sense."

"Unlike our competitors, Ezy Systems has never lost a client. If a client requires assistance, all they need to do is ask - this is core company policy" explains Cugura.

Recently, Sam Trimboli, Production Manager at Riverina Wines asked whether his tank farm layout could somehow be incorporated into EzyWine.

Ezy Systems took on the challenge and within a couple of days developed the Vessel Map shown.

The Vessel Map shows the client's tank farm in a diagrammatic format, allowing the client to easily look at the composition and status of a tank with the click of a mouse button.

EzyWine consolidates all the winery procedures into one comprehensive package that can be easily utilised by all the staff. Thus, you no longer need to run separate general ledger, stock control, bottling, asset register, payroll, vineyard management, marketing, production planning, mail order, winemaking, plant servicing and budgeting packages. This integration streamlines procedures and removes any double handling.

Of interest to all wineries is the tracking of grapes and wine through the various processing stages to accurately assess the cost and composition of the finished product. "EzyWine can tell the client the actual cost and profit on a bottle of wine, as well as provide a complete audit trail back to the grape and/or bulk wine (juice or must) receival" says Cugura.

EzyWine also meets the requirements of the Australian Wine and Brandy Board (Label Integrity Program), Liquor Licensing Commission, Superannuation Guarantee, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Customs (Fortification) and the Australian Taxation Office (PAYE Tax, Group Certificates, Sales Tax, Liquor Subsidy and Grower RPS).

Recent installations include West End Wines, d'Arenberg Wines, Henschke Wines, Haselgrove Wines, Penley Estate and Taylors Wines with more installations scheduled before the 1999 Vintage including Margaret River and Geelong.

Ezy Systems also developed a stand alone vineyard management system, EzyVine, which is sold and supported by an Australian distributor. Tom and Kaye Hazle, directors of the Computer Learning Centre in Mildura have made significant improvements to EzyVine, including analysis graphs and bank reconciliation.

"EzyVine is an accounting system that specifically meets the needs of the grower and has been extremely well received," says Tom Hazle.

The Computer Learning Centre has a large computer classroom, using the latest Microsoft products. The EzyVine course runs for one day and includes a comprehensive step-by-step training manual. Hazle can be contacted on 1800 153315.

EzyWine is designed to run on a Windows platform, operating on Windows 95, 98, NT and Novell networks.

EzyWine caters for wineries crushing from 100 to over 100,000 tonnes.

If you require more information about how EzyWine can streamline your winery activities, contact Ezy Systems at 63 Wills Street, Bendigo, Victoria on (03) 5441 2044.

 

Source: Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker

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