Winery Programs Made Easy
Publish Date: January 19, 1998
Author: Richard Jones
Nestled behind a brick wall halfway along Wills Street is a Bendigo business which markets its software expertise to the world.
Ezy Systems offers a unique package for grape growers and winemakers, a package which is used not just by firms in Australia, but in New Zealand and South Africa as well.
Director Nick Cugura said yesterday he was also vitally interested in securing a foothold in the massive Californian wine industry.
"We spent the first one and a half years of our operation developing the software and then towards the end of that period we had to put a brochure together," he said.
"We needed to find some genuine, positive points to promote which would make us different from our competitors.
"What we found people needed - not just people generally who need to use accounting software - is some genuine support.
"They want to know their software won't become outdated and they also want to know as there are changes in the industry we'll keep up with them without charging them for it," Mr. Cugura said.
"Clients don't want to feel like they're coughing out money all the time."
The Ezy Systems director said the company was founded in 1993 when Mr. Cugura and co-director Peter Ellis became disenchanted with software houses which ignored the needs of their clients.
"I've worked for software companies in Manhattan in the United States, in Canada and in Europe and found it annoying the customers would be constantly charged for services.
"At our company we pride ourselves in providing a high level of service and support," he said.
Ezy Systems employs eight staff and has no intention of expanding the total beyond that figure.
"We have three trainers who are responsible for installing the product here and abroad and we have a distributor in New Zealand and South Africa, as well.
"I'm also receiving a lot of assistance from Domaine Chandon and we're trying to secure a distributor in the United States, because basically we won't sell a huge number ;of systems until we get one there.
"Apart from our winery clients we also count TransCom here in Bendigo and Compumend, a computer hardware supplier, among our clients," Mr. Cugura said.
The EzyWine system consolidates all the winery procedures into one comprehensive package which can be easily utilised. Mr. Cugura and Mr. Ellis promote the fact wineries no longer need to run separate accounting, bottling, payroll, vineyard, budgeting, winemaking and plant servicing packages.
Ezy Systems now has 83 winery clients and is growing at the rate of about two new clients each month. Only a handful are Victorian wineries.
"When we go to a winery site, we find quite often we have to replace six packages - we throw them all out and replace them with one package," Mr. Cugura said.
"We don't think the US will be any different. I have not found one complete package in the States, so we're hopeful they'll take our system on board as we've found in other overseas countries."
In 1995, Ezy Systems took the EzyWine system to the New Zealand land market where it was well received.
Winners which embraced Mr. Cugura's software include Matua Valley, Rapaura Vintners and Villa Maria with 30 Villa Maria staff using the software across three winery sites in Auckland and Napier.
Later in 1995 interest in the software spread to South Africa. Mr. Cugura spent three months in the Cape region around Capetown learning about the South African wine industry.
"We installed our software at Boschendal Estate in the Stellenbosch region and at the Robertson Co-Operative, a grower-operated winery in the Robertson Valley," he said.
With the aid of the computer system Robertson Holds a complete history of the vineyards, grapes, tonnage and quality on all its members and growers.
Source: The Bendigo Advertiser