Vine to table – connecting Hentley Farm
Boutique winery Hentley Farm’s system requirements are anything but boutique. They cover the wine industry from grape to distribution, with all the complexity that comes with a multipronged business. With Advanced’s ERP system connecting each part of the organisation, Hentley Farm has the information and automation it needs.
Hentley Farm grows and picks their own premium grapes, plus managing a bottling line and distribution warehouse to get their product out in the world. They also run a restaurant and cellar door – which adds retail and hospitality to the list of functions, and the complexity.
Tim Pengilly, the company’s chief financial officer, says they quickly outgrew their existing system, MYOB’s AccountRight Premier.
“There were areas we needed that it just didn’t have,” says Tim. “We had a workaround to track stock locations – and the system worked, but there was a perception that it didn’t.”
System too simple for complex processes
With complicated workarounds “people had no faith in the numbers.”
“I’d have sales-support people off counting pallets of wine,” he says.
Reading raw data from spreadsheets the team wouldn’t finalise monthly board reports until 2-3 days before the end of the following month.
“We weren’t getting information out quickly enough,” explains Tim. “It was a nightmare.”
This manual process also meant errors easily crept in.
“If you’re data-dumping and manipulating it, you’re asking for trouble. Finding errors wastes so much time. And then if you’re here at 11 o’clock at night, you end up with errors still there when it gets to the board – that’s really embarrassing,” says Tim.
"We were relying too heavily on spreadsheets to read raw data and weren’t getting information out quickly enough. It was a nightmare."
MYOB Advanced: a game changer
Hentley Farm needed a single system where data would be automatically collected in one place. MYOB Advanced offered the right mix of functionality – Tim was particularly excited by its capacity to show where stock was at any one moment.
“This is a big game-changer,” says Tim. “Before, the data wasn’t there, and we’d be wasting time trying to work it out.”
Implementing Advanced would streamline operations even more: automation would help to eliminate embarrassing errors in reports, and speed up report generation. With the board and other business managers having to make do with outdated, and potentially incorrect information, this access would have widespread impacts.
"This is a big game-changer – before, all that information was kept on Word docs and spreadsheet. The data wasn’t there, and we’d be wasting time trying to work it out."
Speed, flexibility, insight
Advanced is delivering multifaceted benefits, with speed is the most obvious.
“Even just putting together the full management report for the board could be a 5-day process when you consider everyone’s time. Now that would be less than half. You could knock it out in a day if you had to.”
The improved efficiency is because the system is pulling live data from different parts of the business.
“It happens automatically – there’s no manipulation of data required.”
Reports to the board used to take a full month – the oldest report the board now sees is mid-month. “And we’re working on getting that out even quicker”, says Tim.
Improvements in the warehousing and inventory have seen the team “happy and doing well” with marked increases in efficiency and customer service.
“We know exactly where that item is in the warehouse, from the system,” explains Tim. “We should have moved across five years ago,” he enthuses.
"We know exactly where an item is rather than having to look it up in the spreadsheet that may or may not be up to date. We should have moved across five years ago."
- Human error meant staff had no faith in the numbers
- Lack of integration created days of manual work
- Reporting out of date and sometimes inaccurate
- No inventory oversight created inefficiencies
- Automation removes errors and gives staff confidence
- Integration reduced report writing time by more than half
- Faster, more accurate reports give management better business insights
- Inventory control delivers efficiencies and better customer service