Taylors Wines - Case Study
Taylors Wines tastes financial success with Board
Taylors Wines is a family-owned winery that has been crafting great Australian wines in the Clare Valley, South Australia, for three generations.
Taylors Wines wanted to become a more data-driven business, making a greater amount of information available to its management, sales, marketing and finance teams - wherever they happened to be working. Taylors Wines was running its business off just three reports: a direct sales report updated daily, a monthly P&L, and a static PDF produced monthly for its area sales team.
All the reports had limitations: the direct sales and P&L reports could only be interrogated by finance, meaning many emails from people trying to understand what data sat behind the results in front of them. The static PDF report, meanwhile, was hard to read on iPads used by the area sales team.
“Finance was spending so much time creating reports rather than analysing them,” finance manager Hamza Jinwala says.
“Our main goal was to make information available to people on the go, as and when they need it, without relying on us. Instead of relying on a sales analyst or finance team members if and when they wanted to get the information, we wanted to let them just go and get the information themselves.
In addition, the reports were not visually appealing; the tool used to produce them was Excel-based
The business had aspirations to become more data-driven: to use data to grow sales in the stores, restaurants and bars that stock Taylors Wines; to better understand demand and use that to manage stock levels and production; to measure the impact of winning international wine competitions on sales; and to accurately track rebates it paid out to customers.
In 2013, Taylors Wines selected and deployed Board as its new reporting tool. It primarily runs on top of Taylors Wines’ data warehouse though it also links directly to other internal data sources such as customer relationship management (CRM) and various Excel worksheets. Initially, the company decided to simply replicate the reports it already had while improving them from a data visualisation and remote access perspective.
“But when we saw the product and what it could do, we started realizing more of its potential,” Jinwala says.
Five years later, Taylors Wines has increased the number of reports it produces from three to over 100, unlocking latent demand for data and value for the organisation. Board’s reliability and flexibility quickly became a catalyst for change in the way Taylors Wines tracked its success.
“About six months after we implemented Board, we had a sales restructure where we redesigned the KPIs for our area managers,” Jinwala says.
Where area managers were previously only measured on revenue, now they also use Board to track who sells what ranges and brands, where they are running in-store promotions and retail displays, and other metrics. They use Board to identify gaps, opportunities and to create a shortlist of customers to visit. These are all new capabilities.
“In the previous world, we didn’t have the same measures because we knew they would be very difficult to track and report on a frequent basis,” Jinwala says. “In the new world with Board, we knew we could have a dashboard and get the information updated to them every week or more frequently if we wanted to.”
Long-term profitability and stock levels can also be easily measured.
“We’ve been able to create a long-term forecasting model whereby we can actually look at what our profit is going to look like for the next five years, and based on that we can discuss what sort of initiatives we’re able to afford in the future,” Jinwala says. “We also used to hold quite a bit of safety stock just so we didn’t run out, but now with Board we are producing weekly forecasts that are fed into the production planning schedules so they can be changed to avoid running out of stock and losing sales.”
Board makes it easier to reliably check rebate claims filed by customers.
“We’ve got hundreds of customers who would send in their rebate claims. We wouldn’t even bother checking whether they were correct because there was no source to check them against. Now we just go into Board and look at whether the claim is valid or not,” Jinwala says.
Another major benefit of Board is that Taylors Wines can see how winning wine medals and displaying these on its bottles impacts sales. Prior to Board, the impact on sales was completely unknown.
“Depending on the type of medal and prestige of the competition, we’ve seen a 15 to 20 percent increase in sales on bottles with more than two medals on the label,” Jinwala says. “We didn’t know this before or even enter that many wine shows, but as we’ve started tracking the sales uplift via Board, we’ve been able to enter more wine shows and win more awards.”
Board occupies a critical place in Taylors Wines’ operations.
“It’s just simple things we now take for granted. From a company perspective it was a great decision to deploy Board because we were able to become more efficient and achieve cost savings. And because everyone is so much more self-sufficient, the finance team is now free to concentrate on bigger and better things,” Jinwala adds.