Winemaker gets bottle for e-export drive

Miranda Wines is investing more than $1 million in a range of e-business solutions it says will "futureproof" the company both here and overseas.

As Australia's eighth largest winemaker, Miranda, with holdings in the Barossa, King Valley (Vic) and the Riverina (NSW), believes it will gain a competitive advantage by positioning itself to go live with the project by September 2001.

The company's financial controller, Graeme Lyons, said the IT investment will not only maximise supply chain efficiency but improve customer service levels.

"The wine industry in Australia is becoming part of the digital economy; a completely different set of rules may soon govern the entire industry based on e-business principles," he said.

Miranda is undertaking a 50-user deal with Intentia to provide its Movex enterprise application for secure electronic access to selected suppliers and customers. Functions include automatically generating distribution and manufacturing orders based on stock reorder points.

Lyons said this will allow stock from any location in the company to be sold on a single customer order and to electronically deliver invoices to customers or send purchase orders to suppliers.

"Internet-based order functions will let our customers order directly and immediately through the desktop Web browser.

"This investment will prepare our IT infrastructure to become an e-wine business and is an important factor in accelerating our expansion," he said.

Intentia's Australia and New Zealand managing director, Steve Ironside, said the success of Australian wines overseas has forced local industry to upgrade their applications.

However, he said there are many organisations still using outdated in-house or manual systems.

Before this project Intentia upgraded information systems for another leading Australian winemaker, Rosemount Estate.

Over a five-year period Rosemount had quadrupled in size and needed to centralise its information both here and overseas.

Ironside said demand for Australian wine is set to grow even further in Europe and Asia, forcing IT to take on a very important role in the industry's ability to sustain accelerating growth. Rosemount finance director Peter Cleaves said the company implemented Movex to avoid building an IT department within the company.

"We had many stand-alone systems for payroll, stock management and other areas and they were located in different locations.

"What we have done is put them all together and Internet-enabled the company.

"After a lot of investigation we decided the AS/400 doesn't need a great deal of administration to monitor it and keep it running," Cleaves said.

"We also want to use the Internet to provide customers with tasting notes and information about their wines, and information on the status of orders."

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