Data and statistics are the new world currency. Once interpreted and converted to intelligence, they can take businesses and industries to the next level.

Business intelligence will be a crucial tool for the South African wine industry going forward,” said Christo Spies, CEO of Farm Management Systems (FarmMS), an IT company in the wine and agricultural industries.

The company presented a seminar to celebrate the 10th harvest during which it assisted wineries and wine grape producers in capturing and managing their data through its flagship software package, WineMS.

The first WineMS-supported wine grape harvest in 2005 captured 48 577 tonnes, with Perdeberg, Kanonkop, Daschbosch and Groot Eiland as the initial clients. In 2015 the system captured 863 415 tonnes and the client base has grown to 536 users from 71 producers and cellars.

This module-based programme is the flagship product of FarmMS, an affiliate of VinPro. It includes modules that aid in managing wineries, from the receipt of grapes to bottling and labelling, and those that assist farms in managing stock, costs, yields and planning.

The software has also been translated, implemented and is being used at a cellar in Russia. “This illustrates the versatility and applicability of the WineMS system for wineries elsewhere in the world,” said Spies.

“Clients now have the added benefit, apart from capturing and managing data, of drawing integrated business intelligence from their information to aid in decision-making,” said Spies. “If you know what questions to ask, you will be amazed at the answers your data can give you.”

To this end, WineMS partners with a leader in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, as well as with the accounting software Sage Pastel Partner. Integration with management reports, charts and Google Earth maps increases business intelligence capability further.

According to Nick Botha, managing director at Dynamics Africa Services, the agent for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, business intelligence is a crucial tool to identify risks proactively. The systems used to generate it are constantly evolving, with a strong influence from millennials.

Attie Retief, director at Linc Communications, WineMS’s partner for Microsoft Dynamics NAV integration, added that the IT industry strives towards ERP systems that are easier to use, more cost-efficient and provide more accurate data faster.

“Data is at the heart of every business transaction,” said Dave Ives, director at Karabina Solutions. He illustrated how Power BI software can be used to search and query corporate data in natural language, seeing almost instantaneous results in the form of interactive graphics.

As published in the November issue of WineLand magazine.

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