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The wine business has been around for centuries, and so have many of the challenges wineries face. But in recent years, new problems have emerged, and winemakers can’t lean on history and tradition to solve them.
New problems, or reiterations of old problems, call for new solutions. And current trends in the industry present an opportunity for wineries to grow and embrace technology in ways they haven’t before.
Take a look at some of the top challenges facing winemakers today, and how technology can help.
When Sommelier Business asked 28 leading winemakers about their most pressing issues, nearly all of them mentioned climate change. Unpredictable weather patterns and increasingly frequent natural disasters, including fire, drought and flooding, have wreaked havoc on the industry around the world.
Of course, there’s not much that individual wineries can do to solve this problem—it’ll take a collective effort that extends far beyond the wine industry. But in the meantime, wineries can use modern technology to protect their data and enhance their business in a way that accounts for their agricultural troubles.
By using a Cloud-based, industry-specific ERP solution, wineries can improve their risk management in a high-risk environment. When a natural disaster strikes and compromises the integral parts of a winery, they need their mission-critical data to remain safe and accessible in order to maintain business continuity. A Cloud-based ERP’s enhanced security capabilities can ensure just that.
The literal climate isn’t the only one that has become more unpredictable and harder to navigate. The global political climate has also been in disarray as of late, and as a result, many wineries have found it difficult to keep up with ever-changing laws and stay compliant.
Again, there’s no software that can solve the macro problem here, but a good ERP system can most certainly help wineries navigate those choppy political waters. For example, if you want to avoid an audit from the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), basic solutions like Excel and QuickBooks won’t cut it.
You need a comprehensive, Cloud-based solution that gives you immediate and easy access to all your data related to records, inventory, reporting, tax payment, basic permits, registration and bonds. With technology that does much of the tedious compliance-related work for you, you can focus your attention on what you’re passionate about: Making wine.
Grapes are the most important material for any winery, but glass and cardboard aren’t far behind. The glass shortage that began in 2021 remains an issue that wineries must contend with, and if we’ve learned anything from the last few years, it’s to expect the unexpected, especially as it relates to the supply chain.
Wineries need to be prepared for anything—which means they need to embrace high-quality forecasting technology. As glassmaker Daniel Primack told The Buyer, “Detailed analysis and budgeting, pro-active decision making, finding alternatives, cash flow planning and customer loyalty are all key for the long term.”
VinPoint is integrated with Microsoft’s Power BI platform, which makes it easy to access and visualize relevant industry-specific data points and make informed decisions about things like sourcing in real time. If you can anticipate the next shortage, you can stay ahead of the curve and make sure you still have something to put your wine in.
As more of Gen Z reaches drinking age, alternative beverages like hard seltzers and canned cocktails will continue to threaten market share. Some of this is an issue with branding, as many wines feel like they’re aimed exclusively at older demographics.
Then there’s the product itself: many new wine consumers want “natural” wine, as well as no- or low-alcohol options. If wineries hope to compete for these younger customers while holding onto their loyal older base, they need to have the agility and flexibility that comes with embracing tech-driven solutions.
There are so many things that can throw a winery into the red these days. By moving into a Cloud-based future, wineries can stay on their toes and maintain the level of continuity necessary to overcome the industry’s many growing challenges.
No matter where you are on your technology journey – just opening up a map or farther down the path, rest assured that you’re in good hands. VinPoint can leverage over 2,000 applications that have been vetted by Microsoft to help wineries modernize and reach customers where they are.
Hear how one of our product leaders, Jennifer Ranz, describes how she has seen VinPoint Wine Management modernize wineries:
To learn more about how VinPoint can help your winery today, contact Enavate’s team of wine industry experts today.
Diane Fox is the Beverage Industry Program Leader within the Product Pod at Enavate. Her focus is to bring industry experience and technical leadership to our beverage offerings. Diane has actively worked in the Dynamics NAV/BC channel for more than 20 years and in the wine industry for 14 years. Outside of work, you’ll find her and her husband traveling in their fifth wheel and enjoying all of the amazing and varied regions the U.S. has to offer.