Case study:

DC Design & ERP/WMS Implementation

China Fine Wines Investment


Background & Brief

This client was planning a major expansion in their offering of Fine Wines Investment in China. They already had warehouses in Hong Kong and were in the process of developing two new warehouses one in the south and one in the north of China with a combined capacity for Euros4bn of wine.  The company had their own construction business and called in SCALA to provide the expertise in the operational design of the sites, the selection and implementation of IT systems and the management and staffing organisation.

Project Approach

The two warehouse buildings were very different with one a high bay warehouse comprising 4 chambers plus a private cellars, the other for planning reasons was mainly underground with a ground level plus 2 subterranean floors for wine storage and a first floor above ground for private cellars.  All areas for both warehouses were required to be temperature and humidity controlled and with all the stock very high value and bonded, stock control and full traceability of every bottle from source was essential. The key project undertakings were:

  • Assessment of the buildings construction in relation to the operational and wine storage conditions requirements
  • Development and comparison of alternative operational designs including automation, various pallet storage options and case storage options
  • Specifications requirements for all equipment requirements and storage mediums
  • Process mapping the proposed new operations
  • Setting out management structures and staffing requirements for the warehouses, the private cellars, the grounds and security systems, the administration and bonded stock control and the engineering teams
  • Identifying the IT requirements for the business from procurement, including bidding processes, stock tracing from source through inbound transport, warehouse receipts and storage.  Traceability was required at each individual bottle level.
  • Specification and Management of the IT System Selection process
  • IT Systems implementation into existing operations and into the new warehouses

Benefits & Results

The benefits & results of the project included the following key outputs:

  • SCALA provision of a level of expertise beyond that available in the region
  • Successfully combined with Chinese management teams who understood local capabilities and requirements
  • Successfully combined with senior French management of this business who had exceptional knowledge of the wine industry
  • Opened the first warehouse in early 2015 with first phase of IT implementation

Final Outcome

A member of the SCALA team has continued on a full-time basis to head up the company’s IT & Quality Systems.