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From global meltdown to renewed profits

What do you get if you put together a champion racing car driver, a pharmacist, a property developer and a vigneron?

The answer is a fascinating journey for the owners of a wine export business that originally called itself PB1 – and a source of inspiration for any business that finds itself facing a challenging economic or industry environment.

Initial success exporting wine to the US gave PB1 its start, but hard times followed in 2008 after the global financial crash. The owners reacted by concentrating on wine exports to Asia instead, an area of activity they had started a couple of years before (and a testament to the power of diversification). In a story familiar to anyone who has also weathered the financial crash, progress was slow. However, perseverance finally paid off by 2015, when the business started making a profit once more – not least thanks to other Intersect members.

Sales of wine to a chain of wine stores in China helped the PB1 team to grow significantly following the collapse of the US market. There were new customers and opportunities – and things were looking rosier – but there were still no profits.

A big turning point came thanks to a Business Review by Paul Twiss from Paarta Business Advisory in 2013. It revealed the reasons behind the lack of profit. A swift change of management was accompanied by a new business model, which relied on carrying limited stock, related to customer orders only.

With the business holding its own, it was time to concentrate on branding. PB1 engaged the services of another Intersect member, Sector7g, to come up with their ‘story’. This led to a subsequent rebrand which more clearly articulates the type of business they are today – a wine AND food business.

Momentum Food and Wines is the new name, which reflects the journey they have been on: a journey that has involved assistance from different businesses, all now members of Intersect. The Chinese market presents a huge opportunity for Australian produce, so Momentum Food and Wine are positioning themselves to export an even greater range of products, as well as tackle the domestic market too, selling meat and dairy products in the first instance.

The next phase of development involves another Intersect member, JH Advisory who are currently undertaking a software selection and implementation project, involving Xero and dedicated Point-of-Sale plugins. Operationally, this will really transform the organisation and significantly reduce the cost of administering business for the company and its international and domestic customers.

Momentum Food and Wines is a fantastic Intersect success story and is set to become a much more profitable business in the future thanks to the combined help of Intersect members.

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