Like many other businesses, wineries are incorporating technology into all aspects of their operations in order to run more efficiently and optimize sales. Winery software is playing a key role in how modern wineries approach everything from vineyard production and wine inventory management to accounting and customer relations. In this article, we will take a closer look at how winery software works, essential features and the best winery systems on the market.
Defining Winery Software
Winery software refers to a range of products that have been designed to help streamline each stage of the production process while also providing tools that help manage the entire vineyard. Wineries can use the software to manage inventory, optimize sales, improve the distribution process and much more. In most cases, the software also comes with accounting and POS system features. Products that don’t come equipped with these features will offer integration capabilities so that they are fully compatible with existing technology.
Winery software can even be used by viticulturists to monitor, track and improve grape output and quality. By gathering and analyzing data, winery systems able to provide important insights into the health and productivity of the vineyards, which can then be used to make important decisions about vineyard maintenance and care. Wineries can choose among affordable products that offer some or all of these different functions.
Types of Winery Software
As any winery employee will tell you, inventory management is one of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks, yet it is also a necessity. Wine inventory management software can drastically reduce the amount of time employees spend manually tracking inventory while also reducing counting errors and providing more accurate data. All this translates into traceable inventory and more efficient operations when using wine inventory management software.
Order fulfillment is another area where there is the potential for mistakes that can result in unhappy customers. Fulfillment software provides a clear view of the entire supply chain. Users can quickly generate new orders, search prior orders, view inventory, initiate returns and receive alerts about any shortages that could cause problems.
Wineries have various compliance standards that they need to meet in order to legally operate a business that sells alcohol. Meeting these standards can mean keeping track of various deadlines and is further complicated when selling to different states that may have different standards. Compliance software simplifies this process and reduces the risk of being hit with hefty fines.
Wine Club Software
Wine clubs are a popular and effective marketing tool that helps wineries stay in touch with customers and build brand loyalty. The right wine club software can enhance the wine club experience by automatically informing customers about the benefits of wine clubs and making it easy to place orders. Wine club software also makes it easier for wineries to manage their clubs by providing a single platform where they can view club member data, customize shipments and manage communications with members.
The Importance of Winery Software
Wineries have operated for centuries without the aid of technology and software, so you may be wondering why it is so important now. Essentially, it all comes down to competition and growth. According to Ted Starr of VinNow, wineries “need products that work the way the winery wants to run their business, which are affordable and supported with great service and have the ability to grow with the business as the business grows and changes.” The right winery systems allow businesses to leverage technology to meet their goals and stay ahead of the competition.
At the very least, wineries should prioritize finding software solutions that reduce paperwork while improving efficiency and organization. From there, Scott Meloney of Microworks recommends finding a product that offers “a good CRM package with POS, club, ecommerce, inventory, and accounting software so it can leverage sales efficiently with the right tools to promote, track, and measure business goals.” It is important to keep in mind that wineries will have different needs based on the types of sales channels they use. Whether they sell through retail, clubs, tasting rooms or a combination of these, will influence which tools are essential.
Best Winery Software
- GreatVines. This software is powered by Salesforce and offers an enterprise-level platform. It is designed to help manage 3-tier accounts while also planning sales and monitoring spending and marketing efforts.
- ShipCompliant. For those who specifically need help with compliance issues, this software can help meet deadlines and avoid mistakes that can result in fines and other losses.
- Wine Direct. Wineries that sell directly to consumers will enjoy the tools that come with Wine Direct. Features include: point-of-sale, e-commerce, wine club, fulfillment and distribution.
- Ekos. For a comprehensive tool that covers inventory, accounting, production and sales, Ekos is a solid option.
- Innovint. This is another solution that improves product management and data gathering and analysis.
There are also some emerging software products that are hitting the market and offering new and unique features. For example, Overproof is the first and only strategic planning and business intelligence platform that is driven by artificial intelligence and specifically designed for the alcohol industry. This software helps distilleries, wineries and breweries create, execute, analyze and optimize winning brand strategies. By providing valuable insights that are powered by artificial intelligence, Overproof takes the guesswork out of decision-making for winemakers so that you know exactly what accounts to target and when.
Looking forward, winery software will continue to play an increasingly important role in the way wineries operate. Fortunately for wineries, there are excellent products on the market that are utilizing the latest technology to provide a full suite of features to help improve overall organization and efficiency. Leveraging these products can be the key to sparking growth and staying competitive.
What is winery management software?
Winery software includes a suite of different products that are designed to help wineries to more efficiently manage every aspect of the production process all the way from harvest to distribution.
What are the different types of winery software?
Common types of winery software include: inventory, fulfillment, compliance and wine club software.
What are the different features within winery software?
Typically winery software will include features such as vineyard maintenance, inventory management, customer relationship management, enterprise resource management, business intelligence, cost tracking, production management, packaging, distribution and much more.
Why is winery software important?
Winery software provides important tools that support wineries in the way they want to run their business. The right winery systems will provide excellent service for an affordable price and allow businesses to grow and adapt to market changes.
What is the best winery software?
Wine Direct, Ekos, Innovint, GreatVines and ShipCompliant are often ranked as top winery systems by industry experts. Overproof is also emerging as a popular option because it is the first to use artificial intelligence to support wineries in all their efforts.