A Full Pour of Efficiency: Incorporating an integrated point of sale solution in your tasting room
Direct-to-consumer sales from tasting rooms are growing at a double-digit pace, making your winery’s tasting room one of your winery’s most important assets. It’s a good idea to think of your tasting room not as another way to sell a bottle (or even a case) of wine to a customer, but as a means to create clients and the lifelong revenue stream that comes with them. It’s a place where clients can interact with the wine and with your staff, building lasting brand loyalty. That being said, there are retail transactions in your tasting room, and you need to account for them, efficiently and accurately.
In our continuing series covering The Six Must-Haves in a Winery’s ERP System, we’re looking at the importance of using an integrated point of sale (POS) solution in your winery’s tasting room operation, by answering four common questions about choosing a POS solution.
- Do I need a POS designed for wineries?
Short answer — no. There is nothing that is so unique about winery retail sales that a robust, full-featured POS solution cannot handle. If you shop for a winery-specific solution, you’ll limit your options and likely end up paying more for the software. Plus, it won’t offer the tight integration needed with your back-office ERP solution.
- Why is integration is so important?
With your point of sale software sharing the same database as your customer relationship management (CRM) software, your inventory software, your accounts receivable software, and your general ledger software, efficiencies improve, the quality of your business data soars, and accuracy gets a big boost.
Rather than manual data re-entry, or clunky imports, your data flows bidirectionally from POS to ERP. Tasting room staff can view available quantities and have access to up-to-date pricing. Customer information flows from the ERP into the POS (and back again) so you can gain a complete picture of customers’ buying behaviors. Rather than a simple general ledger transaction to record the sum of your receivables, you gain detailed sales data which helps you make smarter and more timely decisions about where to keep stock, which items are selling well, and which are not. An integrated POS and ERP solution helps you to:
- Simplify inventory management through a single stock pool across all sales channels
- Minimize the need for duplicate data entry and the inevitable errors that accompany it
- Gain full insight into operations by monitoring transactions in real time
- What happens behind the scenes?
True integration is bi-directional, meaning some data flows from your ERP to your POS, and other data flows back in — eliminating the need to manually enter or import that data. Data synchronization typically happens either over your LAN/WAN or the internet. And because the wine doesn’t stop flowing when there is no network connectivity, you’ll want a solution that can continue processing transactions, re-synchronizing when connectivity returns.
Some of ERP data accessible by your POS might be:
- Customer data: names, addresses, ship-to locations, terms
- Item data: number, description, unit of measure, pricing, warehouse location
- General ledger account data
- Payment types and banking data
And data moving from the POS to the ERP might be:
- Sales orders
- Account payments
- Gift card sales
- Can an integrated POS really help me grow my winery business?
While your tasting room may not be the major source of your sales, it represents a growing direct-to-consumer sales channel that’s gaining traction. Tasting room sales, wine club sales, and web sales — in addition to your B2B sales — make you an omnichannel sales organization. And the more channels you can capitalize on, the more opportunities you have to grow your operation.
- With the ability to add new customers from the POS software, you begin building a sales history (or add to an existing one) for each customer that visits your tasting room.
- Accept orders using the customer’s credit terms from the ERP software, or collect a deposit, or accept a payment on their account.
- Create or access on-file shipping addresses from the ERP to facilitate product shipment.
- Begin building a customer portfolio in your integrated CRM. (What’s that — you don’t have integrated CRM? We’ll cover that in an upcoming post.)
- Reallocate staff resources no longer needed for manual data entry to more value-building tasks.
An integrated POS solution can streamline operations in your tasting room, allowing your staff to focus less on accounting and more on delivering a full flight of delight.
Caron Winery Solutions is a comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use winery ERP solution, built on Sage 300, that addresses the challenges wineries face. Learn more about Caron Winery Solutions here, or by contacting us here.