Vinepower is a contracting company that employs around 400 staff to work in the vineyards in the renowned wine making district of Marlborough in New Zealand. Workers are predominantly casual, registered under the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme (RSE) and come from Thailand, the Solomon Islands & Vanuatu. The picking season is determined largely by weather conditions and workers are often needed at very short notice. Tasks range from planting young vines to picking ripe grapes and include pruning, trellising and bunch thinning. As workers are paid per vine it is essential to gather job details quickly and accurately.
Vinepower had always used a manual process to collect these details in the vineyard and then feed the data into separate payroll and invoicing packages. Because it was extremely labor-intensive and prone to error, this process was putting Vinepower’s competitive edge under threat.
Different IT companies had approached Vinepower offering solutions. Some systems were too complicated and some were too expensive. Director and staff recruitment manager Jono Bushell explains:
As there wasn't an off-the-shelf solution we decided to have something developed ourselves. There had to be a way of doing things that was more robust and could be handled through a single system.
Jono had worked with FileMaker previously:
I knew FileMaker was easy to operate, could be modified as the need arose and had the ability to connect with mobile devices. We had already started using FileMaker Go on our iPhones for checking job details in the vineyard.