Heywood Orchards

New Zealand

How Heywood Orchards Made The Move To Tech And The Benefits They Are Gaining
Improved Productivity. Faster Payroll. Less Paperwork. Easy Adoption.
map of Motueka
Fruit Types Apples, Pears, Kiwifruit
Size 115 Hectares / 284 Acres
Using Hectre App Since 2019
Modules In Use
  • Timesheets & Payroll
  • Harvest
  • QC
  • Scout
  • Insights & Reports
  • Check In
  • Background
    Heywood Orchards is a family-owned apple, pear, and kiwifruit orchard located in the Riwaka Valley, just north of Motueka, New Zealand. The business has been around for over 100 years, with three generations of the Heywood family having managed it.

    Arthur and Lilius Heywood started the orchard when they purchased the property known affectionately as “Home Block” to farm fruit and tobacco. Sons Paul and Mike took the torch from their parents in the ’60s and managed the transition from tobacco to kiwifruit and apples, all the while growing the operation.

    Today, under the direction of Scott and Evan Heywood, the company grows apples, pears and kiwifruit across 115 hectares of orchards. They have been instrumental in putting Heywood Orchards on the global fruit stage as founding members of the innovative Golden Bay Fruit cooperative.

    Mid shot of Scott Heywood standing in his orchard with apple trees behind him

    Scott Heywood

    Mid shot of Evan Heywood standing outside in his orchard

    Evan Heywood

    Challenges & Solutions
    Scott Heywood with rocky landscape in background
    We sat down with Scott Heywood and Kiwifruit QC and Apple Harvest Supervisor Corey Newport to discuss how the Hectre App is supporting their success.

    Here’s what Scott had to say about the time savings, accuracy, and record-keeping that Hectre delivers.
    Why We Moved From A Paper-Based System To Tech
    Manually collating all the information and making sure it was all correct took a lot of time!

    As the orchard grew over the years, so too did the paperwork and complexity of the operation. We have leased orchards, joint ventures, and our own personal blocks, each requiring different codes for the payroll.

    For example, we had four, and at one point five, different orchard locations. During the harvest season, staff would be shared between gangs, which caused some real headaches when it came to payroll and record keeping. Manually collating all the information and making sure it was all correct, took up a lot of time!
    Sign showing Heywood Orchards workplace values
    Red apples on a tree
    Alick George standing with an apple picking bag in front of three bins of apples
    Massive Time Savings And Information We Can Trust
    The time savings are undeniable. With Hectre, payroll takes about a fifth of the time it used to and you can trust that it's correct.

    With the Hectre App, everything is recorded and checked throughout the day. You know what is going into the bins, who has picked what, and how many bins they have done.

    Then, at the end of the pay period, all the information is in Hectre, and you can trust that it's correct.

    The time savings are undeniable. With Hectre, payroll takes about a fifth of the time that it took before. I used to have to be involved because, as a harvest manager, I knew the five different orchard locations, who was in the gangs, and who was supervising them.

    So that required three days of my time in the office to correlate and code all the information. Now that it is checked and recorded with Hectre, I don't have to do any of that!
    Payroll report on laptop shpowing how the Hectre Orchard Management App helps fruit growers and farmers to manage minimum wage requirements for piece rate workers
    Fewer Mistakes and Less Time Wasted Sorting Them Out
    It’s far more accurate than when we had a manual system.

    Before Hectre, there could be quite a few mistakes that weren’t picked up on, which meant having to go back through the manual records to find and correct them. Not having to do that anymore saves a lot of time too.

    Entering and checking the data daily with the Hectre app also helps keep the number of mistakes to a minimum. It’s far more accurate than when we had a manual system. And if there is a problem, it’s a lot easier to go back and pick it up in the app.

    There’s a lot of time-saving within the administration side of the business, that’s for sure.
    There’s a lot of time-saving within the administration side of the business, that’s for sure!
    Apple bins stacked 9 high and 20 wide at Heywood Orchards Motueka
    Better Traceability And Quick Access To Important Information
    The ability to get quick and accurate information with the Hectre App is very beneficial to us.

    In the past, we used truck dockets to keep track of what had been picked.

    If a truck docket or the truck book got lost, then you’d have to guess how much fruit came off that block, or go back to our picking records to work out how much fruit was picked from a block.

    Whereas now, it’s all in Hectre, so it’s really easy to find the variety, block, or area it came from, and how much was picked.
    Adopting Technology And Dealing With Change
    There’s no way you’re getting me on one of those things!

    As with learning anything new, there were some teething problems in the beginning, but overall, it was relatively easy to set up and start using.

    The main issue was convincing some of the older staff members to use it. We had one person that said he’d never use the Hectre App; “There’s no way you’re getting me on one of those things!”

    Two weeks later, he was busy telling everyone else how to do it!
    We would absolutely recommend Hectre to other growers.

    The support from Hectre is really good, and so are the people. There’s always somebody on the end of the phone to help out.

    They also visit regularly to make sure we’re up to where we should be, and they listen if we want to discuss any changes or share feedback with them.

    We would absolutely recommend Hectre to other growers.
    Red apple with frost on it
    A group of Heywood Orchards workers smiling for the camera after a long harvest
    Heywood Orchards Apple Harvest Supervisor
    Apple Harvest Supervisor Corey Newport has worked for Heywood Orchards for the past 12 years. Here’s what Corey had to say about using Hectre to help manage the harvest.

    Ease Of Use
    It’s a lot easier with Hectre.

    It’s easy to clock your team in and assign blocks, and easier at the end of the day to add in how many trees they’ve done and send it all to the office. It’s quick and easy to do this daily, which means I don’t have to worry about handling it all at the end of the week.

    There were a couple of teething problems in the beginning, but now I know my way around it like the back of my hand. And if there is an issue that we can't solve, Hectre’s customer success rep sorts it out for us.

    When I’ve made a suggestion about how to improve it for us, it’s been passed on to Hectre, and usually implemented. You can’t ask for more than that.
    Improved Productivity
    We're more productive using Hectre, especially during harvest.

    Paperwork that used to take about 30 minutes every night, now takes about ten minutes in total. It’s awesome to have that extra free time after work.

    Having a record of everything on the Hectre app also makes my job a lot easier. Things like being able to view a weekly summary or check where we were on such and such date, what job we were doing and how long it took, it’s all great information to have at your fingertips.

    I also think we’re more productive with Hectre, especially during the harvest, because of how easy it is to print and manage the bin cards. We don’t need to write out each picker's name and the block they are in. All you need to do is click on a name, and it prints it out. That’s it!
    Dirt road next to fruit trees at Heywood Orchards in Motueka New Zealand
    Hectre on iPad
    Wide shot of apple trees and beehives at Heywood Orchards Motueka

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