Read how prominent apple grower Wairepo Holdings streamlined their orchard operations, made better-informed decisions with easily accessible and accurate block costing information, and saved time and improved their record-keeping with digital timesheets and bin cards.


Less Paper. More Time. Easily Accessible Costings Per Block. Enhanced Planning. Reliable and Accurate Information. More Informed Decision Making.

Wairepo Holdings Ltd operates orchards, a packhouse, and a cool store situated in the “fruit garden of New Zealand,” just outside of Motueka and further inland into Lower Moutere.

Wairepo is a family-owned and operated orchard that has been in the Easton family for four generations, dating back to 1910. Starting with just a few cows, the business has grown to produce top-quality pip fruit across 160 acres (65 hectares) and approximately 7 acres (2 ½ -3 hectares) of export-quality Peony roses.

bin of red apples

The orchard is currently managed by brothers Simon and Matt Easton, both key figures in the local fruit-growing community with years of experience and expertise between them. Simon’s partner, Josie, also plays a crucial role in the business, helping with administration and payroll. The Eastons are passionate about producing high-quality fruit and are proud to contribute to the local industry’s reputation for producing some of the world’s best apples.

photo of 2 brothers in apple coolstore
red apples on tree

We spoke with Simon and supervisor Mark Carrington about their experience using Hectre in the orchard to boost efficiencies in their business.

Mark has an interesting background, having previously worked in the banking industry as a mortgage specialist before trading in the office for the fresh air and open spaces of the orchard. According to Mark, there was a learning curve, but since he started working in the industry, he hasn’t looked back.

Why Did You Select Hectre As Your Tech Partner?

Around the time that we were looking for a better, more efficient way to do bin cards, we were approached by these enthusiastic and energetic guys who basically came to us with a blank page and said, “What can we do for you?” A group of us growers suggested a bunch of ideas, with improving the way we do bin cards being one of the most popular!

Before Hectre, a lot of time was spent duplicating information, counting bin cards by hand, and chasing people up to correct mistakes.

men in orchard
Bin Tags Before Hectre

Before we started using Hectre, we used the old traditional bin cards in which we had to duplicate the information three times into three sections. Then, we had to tear off each section of the card, one for the bin, one for the picker, and one for the office. There was a lot of double and triple handling, where information needed to be written out multiple times. At the end of the day, we had to count up the cards to work out how many bins a picker had picked.

There were also issues with information getting lost and mistakes that needed sorting out, which was another drain on our time.

Bin Tags & Timesheets With Hectre

With Hectre, there’s no need to input things more than once. After the block is set up in the app, getting the bin card is almost instant – at least ten times faster than before – and repeating the process is just as quick and easy. Hence, there’s no need to maintain a diary to keep track of everything anymore.

Now that bin cards and timesheets are done with Hectre, it’s ten times faster than before.

I remember when I first started working for Dad, sitting around the table at the end of the day, counting up the bin cards. It was very time-consuming. With the Hectre app, there are definitely huge time-savings across the orchard. And the time Hectre saves in the field is time our supervisors have to spend with their teams and ensure we’re on track to reach our targets.

With timesheets, all of our staff submit them with Hectre now. Whereas before, we had to collect all the handwritten timesheets and manually transfer the information for payroll. With Hectre, it’s a much faster and more efficient process.

Another great benefit of Hectre is that we can show people how much work they’ve done. Before Hectre, if a picker said they had been underpaid, we had to take their word for it. Now, with Hectre, we can pull up the information on the app and show them exactly how many bins they picked, when and where they picked them, and what the variety and rate were.

Hectre app on phone
apple flowing through apple packhouse

More Accurate Costings Per Block

Hectre provides us with more accurate data to track costings per block. Previously, a timesheet might have shown that a picker had worked on multiple blocks, but we never recorded that data for each block. We only recorded the number of hours they had worked. With Hectre, I can easily check the app at any time and see how much a block cost to prune, thin, tree train or pick.

With the Hectre app, I can quickly determine the blocks that are performing and the ones that are not – the cost analysis is incredibly valuable.

Knowing the profitability of blocks is highly beneficial, whether it’s for future planning, analyzing how a season went, or making real-time decisions. For instance, when I consider turning over or changing blocks, I can quickly access Hectre to get an accurate indication of which blocks are performing well and which ones are not.

Another advantage of having all the information in one place is that it’s easy to compare data with previous years. It’s simple to see how much a block cost to prune the previous year and then use that information to make decisions for the current season. This cost analysis is incredibly valuable.

Benefits of Accurate & Live Information

Hectre provides me with real-time information whenever I need it, including the blocks being pruned, thinned, or picked, the costs to date, and other useful details. So after we’ve finished thinning a block, it’s easy with the Hectre app to see the hours and wages that were spent in the block and the same with pruning jobs.

During harvest time, after the first pick, I can access the Hectre app and see that 200 bins have been picked. If the block estimate is 300, I immediately know that there are 100 bins left. I use information like this to know when to call the truck drivers to pick up the bins and tell them how many bins to expect.

Having quick and easy access to live information is highly beneficial for future planning and real-time decision-making.

apple picker picking apples on Nelson orchard
Clever Tech That’s Simple to Use

One of the main benefits of Hectre is its simplicity and ease of use. It’s similar to using a cellphone – all of our staff have one, and if you can use a cellphone, you can use Hectre! Whether it’s timesheets or bin cards, everything is straightforward and intuitive.

After the first pick, I can easily see how many bins were picked and how many are left, as well as the time it took and the labour cost.

We previously tried another orchard management system, but we stopped using it because it was clunky and took more time than it saved. The difference between the two products is night and day. The Hectre app is incredibly user-friendly, with an interface that doesn’t overcomplicate things. Typically, it takes only a day or two at the start of the season for all the staff in the orchard to learn how to use it.

Supporting Our Success

We’ve been using Hectre for some time now, so we’re familiar with it and don’t tend to need any help. However, if we’re ever unsure about something, we simply give our Customer Success representative a call, and it’s quickly resolved.

We tried another orchard management system, but it was difficult to use – the difference between it and Hectre is like night and day. Awesome people, with support just a phone call away.

The team at Hectre is awesome to work with – they’re enthusiastic and always willing to answer any questions.

Supercharge your fruit

If you would like to learn how Hectre’s award winning fruit technologies can support the success of your business, please connect with us.