New Zealand vintners use FileMaker to track productivity

Relational database software FileMaker has proven its usefulness in a wide variety of industries. Last week, this blog reported on how it is being used to improve health services in complex operational areas and underprivileged regions. Now, companies thousands of miles away and in a completely different line of business are also benefiting from the same software.

Vinepower Limited, a contractor for the wine industry based in Blenheim, New Zealand, has developed a database that it's using to keep track of its operations. Vinepower provides workers year-round for vineyards in the Marlborough Region, a major producer of Sauvignon blanc wine. The company employs up to 250 during peak season. Until recently, supervisors had to make note of their workers' progress manually, but that is no longer the case.

Vinepower is now using a database they call "Vinny" to track field information. Supervisors carry iPads where they enter all the pertinent data on vine rows and workers, and the information is later synced in the master database. The company's higher-ups say the software has benefited them financially as well as logistically.

"We've got better knowledge of our production and how workers are performing," said director Jono Bushell to The New Zealand Herald. "It's also allowed us to do invoicing before we even do payroll, which improves our cash flow."

Companies that want to benefit from the improved organization that this software provides can engage the services of specialized FileMaker support and training providers. With proper instruction, users with limited IT expertise can learn to manage and update their FileMaker databases and customize them to suit their company's needs.