In 2010, Tahbilk and Kiandra worked together to build an online ordering system that was locally hosted. While this served Tahbilk well over the past decade – the infrastructure was ageing.
Tahbilk has grown significantly over the years into more than a just winery – they now house a massive distribution and sales operation. This includes the Tahbilk Wine Club, a large membership-based offering for customers.
Hayley Purbrick, Tahbilk Wine Club Manager, said “We had lots of different reasons coming back to Kiandra. Over this time, we have grown our web and telesales and having a locally based tech platform wouldn’t cater to this increase. The other challenge was we had two systems operating simultaneously causing issues with inventory management, double-up and operational complexity that was making it hard to do business.”
The time had come for Tahbilk to move off their legacy software into a system to match their growth. It was also evident they needed an upgrade to enhance their Wine Club IT system to make inventory, customer orders and customer feedback more efficient.
To solve Tahbilk’s challenges, Kiandra proposed a modernisation of the e-commerce and telesales software. This included merging the two systems.
Kiandra built a single system to provide online sales, phone sales, and cellar door sales. This consisted of real-time, single entry inventory management to reduce administration effort and potential errors.
The aim was to improve the inventory tracking system as previously, Tahbilk’s two systems made inventory management complex. Items would sell out in one system but still show up as available in the other – overselling was a common issue. Real-time tracking fixed this challenge.
Another feature of the solution was to have a single source of truth for customer orders and feedback. This gave Tahbilk the ability to track and oversee feedback and queries, including a single source for customer notes.
Before this, the process was using an inconsistent spreadsheet managed by multiple people, which often lent itself to multiple errors.
The system was also integrated directly with Australia Post to streamline the dispatch process. Previously, Tahbilk would print out invoices, packing forms and mail labels and have to match them all manually – now they can easily print custom packing strips.
Hayley said of the software delivery process, “It was really hands-on, we chose to partner in a very hand-in-hand way. We started with a prototype and worked closely testing it the whole way through – which was really good. The team at Kiandra were very receptive and responsive, it was a great process.”
The Tahbilk Wine Club IT Systems Upgrade was successfully delivered in October, right before the busy period in sales.
“It was pretty important to get it up by the end of October at minimum, so we were happy that the build speed was quick, very seamless,” Hayley said.
The outcome itself has been really positive and improved the efficiency across all our systems. The internal efficiencies are really brought up fundamentally in terms of saving us time and energy.
The new system has also reduced the time it takes for a telesales person to familiarise themselves with a customer. Before the modernisation, it would take 2-3 minutes to work out who the customer was, and their buying history.
After rolling it into a display panel, the process now takes 30 seconds. Hayley said the team at Tahbilk are now familiarising themselves with the new technology, which started with a change management approach at the beginning of the build.
“You forget that when people have operated on a piece of technology they develop their own workarounds and then it’s suddenly “I don’t know how to do this anymore” so it’s been a process of coaching the team.”
“But they have all picked it up really quickly, it’s a very intuitive system – we started the change management system two months before going live with an early adopters group testing all the way through to launch.”
As far as what’s next for Tahbilk, the plan is to enhance the upgrade with further design changes and continue to use the system to make the business more efficient.
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