Questions to ask when choosing software for your winery

COVID-19 affected all South Australian businesses in 2020, but wineries have been hit particularly hard. So, in the early days of 2021, most winery owners are exploring ways to improve sales and overall efficiencies while also cutting costs. Updating software to a cloud-based system may be just what you’re looking for.

While it might sound counterintuitive at first (we can hear you asking, “How can we afford that right now?”), there are cost-effective cloud-based systems that will actually help you save money, increase production, boost marketing efforts and simplify accounts – IF you choose the right software.

Any IT purchase is an investment, and as such, should not be made without asking some important questions first. Here are 5 questions to ask before choosing software for your winery:

    1. Which aspects of our winery need to be included and tracked? In short, if you’re making wine, doing on-site bottling, have warehouse inventory, employ staff, have a cellar door (and possibly a restaurant), and market and sell to wholesalers, retail operations and direct-to-consumer, it all needs to be tracked. A secure, cloud-based software system can bring information about all of these areas into one place so you can quickly visualise important connections and make faster decisions.
    2. Will the software work with our existing programs and website? You don’t have time to reinvent the wheel. If you already have a website and in-house tools that work well but you’ve grown too big for your current accounting software – or need to improve production and inventory – you need a system that can be set up quickly and integrate with what you already use. An experienced IT team can assist you with all the integrations and help train your in-house staff, too.
    3. Can the software help us sell and market our wines? With the right cloud-based software solutions, you can connect your sales, marketing, accounting and production areas in order to track customer behaviour and design promotions such as targeted email campaigns. Plus, by connecting events with inventory, you’ll be able to see which wines sold best and then more accurately plan for future promotions. Have a wine club or membership program? The right software will help you create, manage and track this, too.
    4. Will the software help us comply with tax regulations? No matter who purchases your wine – whether restaurants, individual customers or retailers – you have to track the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) owed to the government. The right software will help you set up tax rates for WET and for GST that can be applied automatically to the items you’re selling and then transfer immediately to your accounting records.
    5. Can we find something affordable that also meets our specific needs? Good news: There are industry-tailored ‘out-of-the-box’ systems – such as our Wine One for wineries – that are extremely user-friendly, will easily integrate with your existing website, and can be further customised and fine-tuned to meet your needs. And if you don’t already have an online store, this system can assist you in setting up e-commerce quickly. See how Oliver’s Taranga has used Wine One to improve their winery.

    At Solutions+, we have extensive experience helping wineries in Australia set up powerful, affordable and customised cloud-based systems. Contact us to learn more