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The Wine Society Toasts Its 6 Millionth Order

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The challenge for The Wine Society has been maintaining the customer service levels across the different sales channels with a growing number of members...With 1500 products available online and around 1,000 inbound calls each day, The Wine Society needed a central system to track, document and process all of this information.

Text of The Wine Society Toasts Its 6 Millionth Order

  • Summary

    Since implementing Maginus solutions, The Wine Society has significantly improved the service it provides to its customers - from reducing the delivery promise to offering members a choice in how they interact with the Society.

    The Wine Society is a co-operative organisation specialising in supplying fine wines to a large and growing membership.

    As a co-operative organisation, owned by its membership, customers come well before profits in the Societys priorities. Service, product quality and value for money are the guiding principles, as they were written into the Societys constitution when it was founded in 1874. The Society currently has in excess of 90,000 active members and a turnover of 50M.

    Members have a choice of how they interact with the Society; orders are accepted by phone, internet, fax, post, email and in the shop. Maginus Commerce Software controls orders, and the fulfilment of those orders, irrespective of the sales channel, using a central database. This gives The Wine Society a single point of maintenance for all product, pricing and other business information ensuring excellent customer service.

    The Wine Society Improve Customer Service


    Fine Wine

    Customer profile

    Multichannel organisation specialising

    in supplying fine wines to a large and

    growing membership

    Maginus solution

    Sales, CRM, Supply Chain & Warehouse


    Customer benefits

    Drinks specific functionality

    Improved customer service in line with company ethos

    System reliability

    Quick Facts


    Case Study

    To improve the efficiency of The Wine Societys operations across the organisation and also help it continue to drive the business forward during a time of multi-channel growth.

  • T: +44 (0)161 946 0000 E: or visit

    The Wine Society has a number of different order types, all of which are handled by the Maginus system. The main catalogue includes over 1000 products, which can be purchased in full cases, as part of a Wine Society mixed case or by the bottle. Promotions and offers are a key part of the business. The Wine Society sends out promotional literature every 3 weeks which may be regionally based offers eg Italian Wines or themed offers eg Wines for Summer Drinking.

    Wine without Fuss is a subscription scheme where customers can provisionally order goods for delivery at particular points throughout the year. The Wine Society checks the customers still require the goods before despatch.

    Opening Offers or En Primeur sales, offer wine for sale before its been bottled. Demand often outstrips supply and The Wine Society use a separate system to build up orders until a cut off date and then allocate the stock fairly before importing the data automatically into Maginus, where it is handled as any other order. The original order includes shipping costs, but excludes Duty & VAT (In Bond). When it comes into the country (which might be 2 years later) the Duty & VAT due is invoiced.

    Wines can also be stored for members (customer reserves), a rental fee is charged per year per case. This too is automatically handled by Maginus.

    The Wine Society has 30 telesales staff, this figure doubles at Christmas when up to 40% of the annual turnover is handled in 2 months. David Marsh, IT Manager at The Wine Society commented Our sales staff find the contact log in Maginus very useful it gives them a history of everything thats happened with the member and allows them to answer queries quickly and easily. Maginus also holds a significant amount of product data, which also helps staff to answer queries such as whether wine is to lay down or to drink now. This access to information allows them to handle the peaks of the business much more smoothly.

    The warehouse is temperature controlled at 13oC and contains approximately 2 million bottles. Research amongst members has shown that accuracy of order is more important than speed of delivery. To ensure the accuracy of picking whilst maintaining efficiency within the warehouse, The Wine Society have a number of picking areas fast moving goods, slow moving goods and an assembly area for customer mixed cases the goods are then moved to a marshalling area and collated by van route. Approx two thirds of orders are delivered by their own vans, the rest by external carrier. Maginus controls this entire process, including revising product status to ensure, for example, that goods coming onto promotion are moved into the fast moving area.

    The works order functionality within Maginus is used to put together mixed cases produced for an offer. Maginus wont allow stock to be sold that has been allocated to make up a mixed case.

    One of the difficulties in delivery is that 40% of members dont have a house number, so Maginus allows sales staff to record directions and delivery instructions, so that the drivers can make a successful delivery.

    Since we implemented Maginus we have been able to shorten our average delivery promise by 50%. added David Marsh.

    The current system includes 175 PCs, 10 Windows Servers and a central Sun server used to run Maginus. Maginus controls the business with links to external systems such as a specialist Duty Management system and a Business Objects Data Warehouse.

    Maginus has given us real system stability, it doesnt go down and its allowed us to spend more time worrying about wine rather than the system. Another key benefit is that its a system with a future; Maginus (the company) has the ability and willingness to invest in the future in terms of both technology and functionality. Our business is much better off with Maginus and the system has come a long way concluded David Marsh.