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The EZY way out of dreary paperwork

Publish Date: September 1, 1996


Anyone using this computer program will agree with the name. To the computer stupid person, such as myself, the attitude upon installation is often: "ah, easy in, easy out." But talk to users now and you'll get the impression they had been bought or were brainwashed.

The EZY System was introduced to cape winemakers in January and already there is a buzz regarding what the package has to offer and its efficiency. Mark Lansdell of Action Technologies, who distributes the program, can barley keep up with the inquiries and installations. His office has trebled in size he set up shop on Helshoogte.

It sounds like a sales pitch, but the EZY System was designed in Australia for people frustrated by the complexities, overlapping areas and the multitude paperwork involved in the actual process of grape

Growing and wine-making. It is often stated by these people that "We are not desk jockeys or pencil pushers!"

EZY Systems now offers a comprehensive package for every want and need in the industry. This includes all accounting receivable and payable. The system then reaches out to other departments and tracks wine movement, cellar operations, packaging (both costs and operations), trail and final blending, weighbridge operations, vineyard management and grower payments. The distributors claim that no one else offers such a comprehensive package specifically for the wine and grape growing industry.

Robertson Co-op agrees. Administrative Manager Anton Cellar has the main computer server in his office: He administers all necessary reports such as the KWV statutory reports, financial documents and money-in and money-out, including printing of cheques through the system. The system is programmed to lap into the thirteen other terminals in use at the Co-op to retrieve and sort each day's numbers and activities every 24 hours when the winery is closed for the night. The on-line or central server then transfers this data onto a back-up tape that is locked away in a safe, assuring that nothing is ever lost.

Anton is the man with the huge grin. As he sat at his desk near to tears late last year, a brochure regarding the EZY System was thrown on his desk. He thought it had fallen from heaven as it claimed to do everything that could not and was being handled efficiently at the time. The "angel" was co-op chairman Johan Bruwer, who spotted the brochure while attending last year's SASEV conference. Johan has been in the industry long to remember the first computer systems that always waited until harvest to break down and assured loss of all data forever. He thought an organisation such as the Robertson Co-op was in need of the EZY System.


A telephone call to Mark Lansdell led to one meeting which led to which led to one presentation to the co-op board and the contract was signed. under the condition that the EZY System be up and running within ten days. Harvest was looming and there was no time to waste. It turned out to be ten days of 28 hours each, but the installation was completed in time and now tracks everything within the winery so efficiently that with the stock control department utilizing a bar code, their suppliers use the wineries stock and E-mail for re-orders. The paper flow has also been reduced.

Robertson Co-op brings in 23 000 tonnes of grapes each year, but the system can be used by wineries crushing as little as 100 tonnes. With the aid of the computer system, Robertson Co-op holds a complete history of the vineyards, grapes, tonnage, quality, etc on all of its members and growers. Reticent at first, the growers have now been spoiled with the tracking ability of the system.

What pleases a grower most is the piece of paper handed to him at the weighbridge during harvest. Before his grapes have been dumped into the hopper, he has a complete slip regarding tonnage, payment, class, analysis and price to be paid for that particular load. Thanks to the system summary of the previous harvest for the individual also accompanies the grower remittance advice. That brings smiles to most.

Another aspect is the system's adaptability to most agricultural concerns. Nurseries that deal in fruit trees, fresh or dried flowers for export, and even grain growers can all track their product's movements and the history. This is especially viable for a large agricultural concern that is involved in more than one product, such as grape growing and fruit for export. At the end of the day someone always needs to see the numbers.

The EZY System has been installed and is in full use at Backsberg, Boschendal, Robertson Co-op, Vergelegen, Rustenberg en L'Ormarins. It must be remembered that it is up to the user to select the programs necessary for use.

Each program is flexible and adaptable to individual needs. The EZY System client base is the programs major information source. Drawing from their suggestions and input throughout the world, a free update every six months insures the international wine industry is "on-line" with all new developments.

Action Technologies has a full support team in Stellenbosch to install and carry out maintenance of the system. So if you are looking for an EZY way out of all that dreary paperwork, contact Mark Lansdell for more information and a demonstration on 021-887 9360/1.


Source: Wynboer Magazine

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