winery’s ERP systemIt’s Not Just Your Wine that Needs Balance, Integration, and Finesse….

The winemaker’s job is to produce wine that achieves a perfect balance of alcohol, TA, RS, and pH delivering integrated flavours, aromas, colour, and texture – wine with finesse!  Too often the principles that drive the winemaking process aren’t applied to the business side of running a winery.  Spreadsheets to track wine production, a cash register or iPad in your tasting room, manual purchase orders if you’re lucky, basic accounting software, outsourced payroll, more spreadsheets to upload your government reporting, and hours of manual entry to get information from one “system” to another with little or no reporting to show for the effort.  Sound familiar?  The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way.

Balance and integration are the hallmarks of business systems too, and a solution which tracks a bottle of wine from production to delivery is not as hard as you think.  Production, purchasing, inventory management, agency sales, direct-to-consumer sales, wine club, accounting, budgeting and forecasting, government reporting and most importantly – a real-time view of your winery operations is easily achievable.  The key is selecting a system that provides seamless integration from vine to glass and balances the effort to maintain it with the cost of implementing it.

6 ERP Features Needed to Run a Successful Winery

We’ve worked with many wineries in our 18 years in business, and we’ve noticed several ways that a business management software solution can be implemented to help.  There are several components that, if designed and implemented correctly can reduce your workload, increase customer satisfaction and improve visibility into your business.  Some of these are:

  1. A well-designed and robust multi-location inventory management system
  2. A solid accounting system in the background
  3. An integrated point of sale solution that works for the specific needs of tasting rooms
  4. Remote access for sales reps and agents
  5. A configurable wine club membership system that is integrated with ordering and accounting
  6. On-demand reporting and dashboards

As the manager, accountant, owner (or all three!) you can also employ the winemakers’ art and bring finesse to the business side of running a winery.  In the next installment of this blog, we’ll start with the basics – building a proper inventory system to be the backbone of your business, but you can jump ahead – find out more by visiting

Alan MacLennan is a wine enthusiast, collector, Senior Sales Manager with Caron Business Solutions and principal architect of Caron Winery Solutions powered by Sage. He has over 18 years of experience working with the winery industry.