Foxes Island Wines has been producing regionally unique and premium wines from their New Zealand vineyard for over 25 years. Focused on producing exquisitely handcrafted Pinot Noir, along with select Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, Foxes Island Wines employs sustainable and organic farming practices and is a globally recognized premium brand.
International winemaker and consultant John Belsham founded the company in 1992 and along with his partner Kelly Brown ensures the company has a clear focus on innovation, quality and sustainability to supports its international growth whilst making every vintage a better wine than the year before.
The company deals with geographical challenges on a daily basis. With vineyards and production in the South Island of New Zealand, and a customer-facing tasting room and distribution center in Auckland on the North Island, it’s critical for Foxes Island to ensure data stays consistent between warehouses, locations and software platforms. Running a global business and travelling the world to meet clients, John Belsham needs all data to be truly accessible 24/7.
“When you’re running a business you need to be constantly evaluating your systems and ensure that you are not only relevant, but are innovative,” John says.
“Unleashed’s advantage is it’s a true interface between systems,” says Kelly Brown, who oversees Sales and Marketing for Foxes Island. “We need to know our sales and profitability on a daily basis to ensure there is a bottom line at the end of the day. True systems interface and daily reporting is a really nice feature.”
For Foxes Island, the seamless integration with their accounting software, Xero, was the overriding factor in their decision to implement Unleashed as their inventory management solution; it also helps them meet their compliance requirements. All of their customer, product and transaction information transfers instantly to Xero, while they and their accountant can access Unleashed remotely because of the multi-user options provided. Everybody has access to their inventory and sales data – all the time, wherever they are.
“We work in an industry that is highly regulated,” says John. “We have accounting compliance with GST and audited records; management records required for our bank, but just as importantly we are required to account for every single bottle of wine that we sell. If we can’t do that accurately then we can’t meet our customer audit requirements.”
The simplicity of the user interface is also a big plus – staff training is an easy process, and user role permissions means John and Kelly can choose which staff members can have access to which modules in Unleashed.
“My stocktake last month took me one and a half hours instead of a day and a half. A significant time saving.”
Providing premium products to high-value customers, professionalism and accuracy is a focus for Foxes Island Wines that encompasses all areas of the business, which needs to be translated into everything they do. Moving to cloud-based business management software was a straightforward decision, in order to have all of the business information required in the cloud. After choosing Xero as their accounting software, an inventory management solution that could provide a seamless integration was the next step.
“It was a natural solution to add Unleashed as our inventory software – being truly cloud-based – to integrate with Xero,” John says.
Foxes Island Wines also uses Unleashed as their sales channel, taking advantage of the multi-warehouse features and using the software as a single data entry point that helps them manage the customer-facing side of the business too. “Success is being profitable and proud of what we do. Everything needs to be professional,” John says. “The invoice presentation, the timing of orders – we use Unleashed as the first point of contact.”