Using Diver® to Help Manage Fast Growth in the Wine Industry
Organization: Mercer Estates
Dimensional Insight Customer Since: 2015
Location: Prosser, Washington
Company Description: Mercer Estates is a family-run wine-making operation with vineyards in Washington State. The company has about 16 primary labels and other reserve wines and small lots.
Solution: Diver Platform
.As the company has grown, it has become more data-driven. When Mercer Estates was looking into business intelligence solutions to help it make better decisions to drive growth, it selected Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform based on positive reviews from members of its sales team who had previously used Diver.
Mercer Estates is a rapidly growing winery located in Prosser, Washington. The company’s foundation vineyards lie in the idyllic Horse Heaven Hills appellation, on the same land that the company has farmed since 1886.
Managing depletion reports and accountability
Mercer Estates turned to Diver to solve two main problems. The first was managing depletion reports. Prior to using Diver, the company would get depletion reports in different formats from each of its distributors. This became problematic as the company grew, and it took a lot of time to organize the information. In addition, often when the data was put into a file, there would be mistakes.
“It became a nightmare trying to organize all this information into some kind of report that we could actually use, or that management could use to make good decisions,” says Nathan Ochs, controller for Mercer Estates. As the company grew, he says, “We had more distributors coming on line so that was our primary goal – to get rid of the process we had and get some sort of master depletion report we could actually look at and have faith in.”
The second issue Mercer Estates needed to solve involved being able to better keep track of customer orders. Ochs cites one instance where they expected a big rollout with a major vendor, so Mercer Estates hired more staff for increased production. The rollout was delayed and because of the information Mercer Estates had at the time they didn’t find out until the year ended that they where below where they expected to be. “Now [with Diver] I can look more closely to see what our retail customers are actually doing as opposed to just what they say they’re going to do,” says Ochs.
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Diver for sales and management
Almost half of the workforce at Mercer Estates uses Diver, primarily those staff in sales and management. One of the main uses for the sales team is to gain insight into distributor inventory levels. If inventory levels are low, then the sales team needs to take action on that. The sales staff also uses Diver to dive deeper into the numbers. “One of my sales people recently was inquiring about getting points of distribution reports set up and I was able to use NetDiver to set up some reports that showed that for those markets,” says Ochs.
For the management team, Diver offers a way to make better business decisions as well as a way to keep everyone accountable. Diver allows managers to see another level of the three-tier system that they previously didn’t have insight into. Ochs says the company used to only be able to see what the distributors were buying from Mercer Estates, but could not see which stores the distributors were selling to.
“Now we can see another level beyond. Not only can we see what we are selling to these distributors but also what and how much we are selling to all of these retail locations and where they are located,” he says. “Our management team feels more confident in the quality and depth of our data, and they can make better business decisions based on that.”