Bringing disparate processes together to provide a holistic employee experience

How ELMO helped Villa Maria


A leader in sustainability, innovation, and quality, Villa Maria is recognised as an icon in the New Zealand wine industry. Truly exceptional wine made by passionate people encapsulates Villa Maria’s success story.

Problems Experienced

" The problem is we’re now in that stage where we’re wanting to integrate and not duplicate information; we want to share information across those areas."
Greg Macdonald - HR Manager at Villa Maria

Villa Maria had a number of successful – albeit paper-based – systems in place to handle various aspects of talent management across its workforce of more than 300 permanent employees. However, when discussions were undertaken around performance, development, training, inductions and exiting staff, it often required locating data in disparate systems. While the foundations were in place for solid talent management, it was no longer practical to store information in multiple systems.

“The problem is we’re now in that stage where we’re wanting to integrate and not duplicate information; we want to share information across those areas,” says Greg Macdonald, HR Manager, Villa Maria. “For the talent matrix to be successful we’ve got to be tapping into the performance review, sure, but to understand someone’s potential we’ve got to be looking at what learning & development opportunities they’ve had, and how they’ve responded.”

HR and managers were spending too much time manually moving information from one system to another. Macdonald recognised this couldn’t continue.

“The processes were working, the approach was working, and there’s nothing wrong with a piece of paper – but it’s still a piece of paper,” he says.

1 Duplication of employee data across multiple systems – many of which were paper-based
2 Lack of transparency and visibility between different areas of talent management – eg performance management and learning & development
3 Inefficient processes requiring too much manual handling of information by managers and HR


To consolidate its talent management processes, Villa Maria opted for ELMO’s Performance Management, Learning Management and Course Library modules.

The Result

" ELMO offers us the ability to scale and grow. Agility, integration, and a simple interface are all key factors in why we recommend ELMO solutions to others."
Greg Macdonald - HR Manager at Villa Maria

Macdonald says he did not see ELMO as the solution to all the issues the business was attempting to address; instead, he viewed ELMO as being able to provide the framework and the opportunity to provide some transparency to the processes they already had in place.

“All we wanted to do was bring them together into something that was a little bit more meaningful, a little bit more coherent and a little bit more structured,” he says. “We did not want to replace everything we’ve always done, and we’re not trying to wipe away what a lot of managers really buy into and feel is successful for us.”

Macdonald has been impressed by the customisable nature of ELMO’s offerings. “Even the name used – modules – indicates how customisable it is,” he says. “It means we can add modules on as we grow and develop. Thinking about what we’re hoping to achieve in one sentence, it’s a framework that brings together who we are, what we’re currently doing well, and increasing our ability to do certain things a whole lot better.”

1 The introduction of a coherent, structured and transparent digital processes across all elements of talent management
2 Enhanced ability to share data, and less chance of duplicated data
3 Greater efficiency for managers and HR, who no longer need to manually move data between systems
4 Greater potential to grow and develop HR systems as Villa Maria grows, thanks to customisable modules