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Ezy Systems now a major supplier of winery/vineyard software

Publish Date: October 1, 2001


If you're one of the increasing number of wineries and vineyards using integrated management software, then chances are you're using a package developed by Ezy Systems.

Nicholas Cugura, marketing director for Australian-owner Ezy Systems, said that of the wineries utilising integrated management software in Australia, 90% were operating the company's flagship product, EzyWine, which accounted for more than 100 wineries. There were a further 100 vineyards using EzyVine, the other popular system supplied by Ezy Systems.

Based in Bendigo, Ezy Systems was established by Cugura and his business partner, Peter Ellis, in 1993. Since then, the company has captured a sizeable portion of the integrated management software market for the wine industry, and is now also developing quite a following overseas. Cugura says Ezy Systems software has been installed in 37 sites in South Africa and 26 sites in New Zealand. Interest in the software had also emerged in the UK, Bulgaria and California.

Cugura said an Ezy Systems software package was currently being installed at two sites per month, and he is proud to say that the company has never lost a client.

So, how did two graduates from Monash University become so successful in supplying computerised management software to the wine industry? Cugura said it had as much to do with service as providing a totally integrated software package.

For the uninitiated, EzyWine is a comprehensive and fully-integrated computerised winery management system which enables operators to track every transaction or movement from the planting of vines to grape processing and wine production, through to selling the finished product. Just some of the functions that the software can perform includes sales invoicing, payroll runs, purchasing, bank reconciliation, stock-takes, asset depreciation, plan maintenance, creditor payments, grape receivals, grower payments, cellar operations, vineyard analysis and packaging scheduling.

EzyVine is based on the vineyard module of the EzyWine system, which allows grapegrowers to easily and accurately record income and expenses and clearly report on all operations, enabling them to establish and monitor the overall performance of their vineyard.

"Most wineries run five systems to perform the operations consolidated within our software. Most of these systems don't talk to each other, which often means having to double enter everything," Cugura said.

Rather than burden clients with the task of entering all their existing reference data to EzyWine or EzyVine, Ezy Systems staff 'migrate' the necessary data prior to installation.

Whilst both packages have been designed to meet every conceivable need of anyone who uses them, Ezy Systems invites their clients to suggest modifications. Furthermore, the company does not charge for such modifications.

Cugura said Ezy Systems, which has a staff of 10, visit every client once every six months to assess the performance of the software and how well it is being utilised, as well as install the latest enhancements.

Cugura and Ellis now also run their own vineyard operation in the Bendigo region. Their 12-acre vineyard is planted to Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet, which is supplemented with other varieties sourced from various vineyards to produce their own label, Big Hill Vineyard. The site also boasts a barrel hall, café and restaurant. Cugura said, being able to relate to the day-to-day management of a vineyard and winery strengthened their understanding of their clients' needs.

"We encourage staff to jump on a harvester or help out with picking. By doing those sorts of things, it helps them appreciate the issues our clients encounter and gives them an understanding of how their operations work," Cugura said.


Source: GrapeGrowers & Vignerons

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