Wine industry matures with sales force mobility, reporting

Casella Wines undertakes first deployment of M3 solution in Australia

To support domestic growth as well the export of more than 10 million cases of wine per year, Casella Wines is automating its sales order process.

The family business, which has been making wine locally for three generations, is the first Australian organization to deploy Lawson Software's M3 Enterprise Mobility solution.

The solution, which provides field staff with access to information on sales forms, processes and inventory, is a management dashboard and reporting solution used to support sales strategies.

Casella Wines entered the export arena in mid-2000 with the launch of its brand Yellow Tail.

Today, it sells more than 10 million cases per year to international markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Canada.

In 2003, Casella began selling the Yellow Tail brand domestically.

The company's business service manager, David Alpen, said the mobile solution has a high level of usability.

"It offers the kind of dashboard functionality our managers need to know what's going on in the field," he added.

Up until now, Alpen said Casella relied on telephone and fax to process sales orders from wholesale customers and direct sales representatives.

He said sales managers and staff often lacked the detailed breakdown of information they needed.

"But this deployment will help provide an accurate and historical view of sales activities and trends in customer demand; business processes will also be more efficient," Alpen said.

The goal, he said, is to have tools that enable staff to take control of reporting and information management functions.

This includes the ability to streamline order placement and the delivery process.

"Our field staff will have greater access to real time information about their customers' sales history, which will allow them to be more proactive," Alpen said.

"We'll no longer be reliant on phones to get updates on sales activities, and we won't have to worry about faxes going missing, or people left wondering if an order's been placed.

"Orders will no longer have to be double-keyed as what's entered into the system by the sales rep in the field, goes all the way through the system. This will reduce errors as well."

Lawson Software managing director, Stephen Moore, said Casella is one of Australia's most successful wine exporters.

Moore said the company provides software to 4000 customers across 40 countries.

Lawson's M3 solution was acquired when it purchased Swedish ERP vendor Intentia for $US480 million last year.

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