This project investigated potential opportunities for improved process efficiency from the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries, using five key measures to evaluate efficiency; production speed, labour efficiency, materials efficiency, energy efficiency and water efficiency.
The following six opportunities were identified as having the greatest potential for improving process efficiency in the wine industry were: measurement of metrics, automation, cross flow filtration, fermentation efficiency, cold stabilisation techniques and continuous process systems.
Out of these, measurement of metrics and automation are likely to have the greatest impact for improving winery process efficiency across the full process chain. This is because much of the process efficiency technology found in FMCG industries is readily available for use in the wine industry, for example, cross flow filtration and process automation efficiencies. Delays in implementation are not due to the availability of technology, but are due in part to capital availability, lack of knowledge on efficient practices (such as contact cold stabilisation) or uncertainty about what the costs benefits are for increasing process efficiency.
The largest process efficiency difference between wine and FMCG industries is not technology based, but rather, a difference in management focus. Many of the leading FMCG companies have a core business focus around process efficiency and continuous improvement. This requires an understanding of current process efficiencies through measuring metrics, analysing these metrics and improving these processes. Every winery is different and every process efficiency opportunity will be different; it is only after analysing current winery process efficiencies that these opportunities for individual wineries can be fully understood and the benefits realised.
Understanding current process efficiencies should be seen as key to improving business efficiencies. Undertaking these steps can lead to significant cost savings for the business particularly in regards to resources, materials and production speeds. This will require a change in paradigm for many wineries, but is necessary to ensure they remain profitable in the changing business environment.