As beverage producers everywhere are struggling to stay on track and keep the processes going, more and more are relying on software systems that let them control operations from afar (while sheltering remotely, for example). Here are a few of the many options available.
Watching the Whiskey
When Donald Snyder arrived to assume the role as barrel warehouse and logistics manager at Buffalo Trace in Frankfort, Ky., the company was managing operations with spreadsheets, manual tracking and reporting. Over seven years, Snyder automated the distillery’s recordkeeping, barrel warehouse, bottling, processing, and the onsite distribution center. During his tenure at Buffalo Trace, Snyder realized there was no turnkey software solution for small craft distillers. He saw this as an opportunity.
In 2014, he launched Whiskey Systems, the first mobile enabled SaaS (software as a service) solution exclusively designed for the needs of small craft distillers. The brand’s ease of implementation and integration across all aspects of distillery operations—from TTB compliance and reporting to more advanced features, such as batch costing and continuous distillation functions—have made it a market leader. One in five U.S. craft distillers now use the system.
Says Snyder, “Clients that have implemented our software are realizing huge ROI, with some customers reporting saving more than 30 hours per month versus maintaining their own home-grown systems.” The company’s packages start at $199 a month for unlimited logins.
Silicon Valley Meets Napa Valley
InnoVint founder, Ashley DuBois Leonard, has held nearly every winery job imaginable, from forklift driver to general manager. After graduating from UC Davis with degrees in viticulture and enology, she worked at notable wineries and became increasingly dissatisfied with the reliability and accuracy of production data.
In 2013, after a time working in Silicon Valley, she decided to combine her wine industry knowledge with skills earned in the tech world and launched InnoVint, the first mobile-friendly cloud solution that met market demand for flexible, intuitive, winery management software. The company embraces the distributed model of wine production, and its mobile-driven platform permits winemakers to work from anywhere, saving time and eliminating redundancies. The result is greater operational efficiency.
Innovint’s monthly subscription pricing includes unlimited users with packages starting at $149 per month for boutique producers.
Managing the Cellar from the Field
Hillary Silva is what’s known in the industry as a “harvest chaser,” a title she earned as an intern making wine in both the United States and New Zealand. While working for multiple wineries, she discovered a winery management software system called Vintrace and quickly became an evangelist. Silva now leads the customer experience effort for the brand, a leading SaaS solution platform that serves enterprise, estate, custom crush, and boutique wineries.
Founded in 2007, the Australian company (its U.S. headquarters is in Sonoma, Calif.) currently serves more than 500 wineries in 13 countries. “With our system, winemakers can spend their time doing that they love: being winemakers,” says Silva. “Vintrace added mobile capabilities to the platform in 2016, and it’s been a real game changer for our clients. Our clients can remotely view a wine’s history and barrel protocol and assign tasks to the lab or cellar in real time.”
The platform includes a separate sparkling wine module, and Silva says winery managers can add seasonal workers to the system during crunch times. Monthly fee for a basic package starts at $95.
For more SaaS solutions, check out “From the Cellar to the Cloud” (Spirited, May/June 2019).