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A Good Vintage: How a Wine ERP Helps Merchants Manage Critical Product Data

A Good Vintage: How a Wine ERP Helps Merchants Manage Critical Product Data


Explore Food & Beverage ERP

A Good Vintage: How a Wine ERP Helps Merchants Manage Critical Product Data

9 Aug 2019

Aptean Staff Writer
A glass of wine held before a vineyard.

As a wine industry professional, you know that the products your business sells aren’t merely bottles filled with a beverage to be consumed. They promise a complete multi-sensory experience, and they carry with them fascinating subtleties and important characteristics that determine how they taste, smell and feel—not the least of which is their vintage.

Of course, this additional information adds to the burden on the merchant’s side, as you’re already tasked with tracking and maintaining a number of other details associated with your wines, including origin, variety, alcohol content and other numerical identifiers. That makes having a highly organized system for your inventory a necessity, as without one you may struggle to locate what you need and fulfill orders accurately.

With the world growing increasingly digital and the marketplace demanding agility from all food and beverage operations, neither pen-and-paper nor spreadsheets are going to cut it for your solution. You need a purpose-built wine enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform from a provider that knows the segment inside and out.

Not convinced yet? Let’s explore why ERP technology is so well-suited to managing vintages and a whole lot more.

The Issue of Article Numbers

When presented with an additional datapoint that differentiates various items of the same variety like a vintage year, many companies would default to creating a new and unique article number for each. It would seem that this would help to keep products properly identified in the system so that they could be picked according to clients’ specifications.

The problem with this approach is that over time, the constant creation of new article numbers for items that are otherwise identical leads to clutter and disorganization. The article file becomes so large that it no longer serves its purpose of providing an overview of inventory, and your warehouse workers can become confused when several different numbers are listed for the same wine on a pick receipt.

These effects, in turn, make the process of fulfilling an order more time-consuming and increase the chance of a critical error. Knowing that your customers are demanding and that vintage really does impact the quality of a wine, it’s in your best interest to avoid this article number issue by finding an ERP solution that handles the information in a more streamlined fashion.

How a Dedicated Wine ERP Functions

ERPs designed specifically for wine merchants like your organization avoid creating new article numbers for different vintages by handling the various years as variants, or different versions of the same product. It’s a much more logical architecture for the information and is quite similar to how an apparel manufacturer would distinguish between different colors for the same garment.

Advanced systems, like our own ERP platform for beverage businesses, can also tie other vital characteristics of your wines to the relevant bottles and cases in your inventory, including alcohol percentage, volume, vineyard and closing code. Depending upon your clients’ needs, these details can be just as important as the vintage, so trusting to a fully digital solution for their tracking is a smart move.

What’s more, this is just the beginning of what a dedicated and industry-specific wine ERP can do for your business. This kind of software has become the gold standard when it comes to a foundation for full digital transformation, as they serve all departments from procurement and marketing to sales and financials while serving as a “single source of truth” for your entire organization.

Benefits of an ERP System for Wine Merchants

With the right wine ERP solution in place, you’ll have control and visibility over your vintages like never before. The platform can:

  • Automatically fill in sales and purchase orders with the relevant information

  • Allow for price agreements and availability by year, including disabling vintages no longer available

  • Create new Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTINs) for each vintage (necessary for EDI orders)

  • Integrate with your online storefront to accurately reflect product details

These benefits help you avoid costly errors in order fulfillment, keeping customer satisfaction high, while also maximizing your staff’s efficiency. When your people don’t have to puzzle out where to find the right wine or whether or not they have the right vintage according to the client’s specifications, they can concentrate on more crucial tasks that require their attention.

Meanwhile, your database is kept clear of redundancies and excess information that could slow down operations in the future. Your company can move forward with confidence knowing that your system is future-proofed and you’re fully prepared to effectively manage all critical details associated with your wines.

Why Aptean ERP Solutions Are Superior

If you’re eager to enhance your operations with a single system that improves transparency, communication and capacity with cutting-edge tools and technology that will stand the test of time, you should be in the market for a wine ERP. To separate the great from the mediocre in terms of the offerings on the market, there are a few hallmarks to look for.

First, seek out a platform that has purpose-built features for the complex and unique challenges you face, like vintage management, excise administration and fine-tuned pricing controls. There are plenty of generic ERP software packages on the market, but they won’t likely have these must-have functionalities out of the box, limiting their ability to address your most vital needs.

Also investigate the provider behind each solution you come across. Some claim to be everything to everyone, regardless of industry, whereas others have truly in-depth knowledge of the markets they serve and build their systems based on that information and the best practices they’ve internalized through hands-on work.

Aptean can deliver on both fronts here, with an ERP for beverage companies that provides the tools you need to properly account for the nuances of the wines you sell along with a raft of must-have modules for inventory management, quality control, traceability and order fulfillment. We’ve worked with business like yours extensively in the past and speak your language—so you can count on us to be a partner and guide in the implementation process when you’re ready to move forward.

So, want to learn more about Aptean’s ERP for wine merchants and how it will help you track critical product data like vintages? Contact us today, or request a personalized demo.

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