The Wine Foundry is an established winery providing custom crush services for clients in Napa, California. Founded in 2012 in Sonoma, The Wine Foundry purchased their current facility in Napa in 2014. The Wine Foundry manages over 25 alternating proprietorships and custom crush clients, along with their own internal brands. The Wine Foundry works nearly exclusively with some of the most lauded vineyards in California, and more specifically in Napa Valley, excelling in small lot, ultra-premium quality winemaking with wines regularly exceeding $100 per bottle on the retail market.
Wine production software is at the center of day-to-day operations for any winery. At The Wine Foundry, it’s no different. As a custom crush provider, software is necessary to track daily activities at their facility and plan their workflow. It also aids their business model to provide an easy-to-use, transparent software solution that their custom crush clients can access and utilize for their own work order creation and reporting, in compliance with state and federal laws.
The Wine Foundry inherited AMS Wine Production Software when they purchased their facility, and in 2016 switched to Vintrace. However, within just 2 years, it became apparent that the inflexibility and limitations of the platform was beginning to stagnate their efficiency and progress. The Production Winemaker, Jeremy Weiss, turned to emails and text messaging for daily communication with clients to offset the software’s lack of features and difficulty of use. As a consequence, he would spend significant time transcribing emails into work orders and then sending constant updates to their clients of completed work and analysis data.
Very quickly they realized that an upgrade was necessary to improve their efficiency, and ultimately the quality of the wines they were producing. As a result, they began to evaluate other wine production software technologies, led by Steve Ryan, General Manager, and Jeremy Weiss, Production Winemaker at The Wine Foundry.
Their criteria included solutions that were web-based and could offer real-time access to their clients. Digital work orders, with the option to use pre-formatted templates, would allow them to eliminate the need for extraneous emails and text messages. Easy, straightforward data input for analyses and winery activities, along with simple interfaces and no-fuss reporting was crucial. In addition, they sought new and visionary technology that could offer solutions for their current model, as well as solutions for the future.
The Wine Foundry evaluated their options among leading wine production platforms, however, many of the systems did not meet their specific needs. They eliminated any software platform that wasn’t able to manage their custom crush model and meet the needs of their both their internal team and their clients. Other software systems fell out of contention because they were too difficult to learn and use, or weren’t keeping up with current industry trends.
In the end, the team found their ideal solution with InnoVint.
“The ability for clients to write their own work orders directly in the system and the ability to create work order templates”, said Steve Ryan, General Manager at The Wine Foundry, “these were driving forces to consider the transition, as it would directly show an impact to the bottom line by creating efficiencies.”
Thanks to InnoVint’s powerful import technology, The Wine Foundry was able to migrate their data from their old system into InnoVint without skipping a beat.
Custom crush clients were given access to the system which eliminated much of the back-and-forth that slowed them down before. Now outfitted with the ability to obtain their own government compliance reports and view the real-time progress of work in the cellar, clients were happier than ever.
The time-consuming tasks that once required the employment of a part-time assistant winemaker were eliminated.
“There were fewer mistakes or miscommunications to and from clients, which resulted in a dramatic reduction in the time we spent handling clients as opposed to handling their wines,“ explained Steve.
An intuitive user interface that was easy to understand also influenced The Wine Foundry’s decision to choose InnoVint.
From harvest-planning calendars to advanced fermentation tracking, the team could easily view their inventory and winery activity and focus on critical decision making. And with access from any internet enabled device, they could make those decisions from anywhere. Now they could easily and more clearly see the production workflow and prioritize the needs of their clients in real-time. This was transformational to their productivity. With new tools that would allow them to optimize their workflow in just a few clicks, they could involve their custom crush clients in ways they hadn’t before.
InnoVint’s software solution significantly reduced the amount of time spent writing work orders and reconciling data entry. With more time spent in the cellar, paired with better visibility of their inventory and real-time data, the team could focus on quality winemaking.
“We have quantified it as an average of 32.5 hours per week [saved] between the reduction of part-time personnel and time freed up from responding to calls and emails,” said Steve. “We chose to reinvest this savings into the business in order to improve wine quality and client services.”
The added efficiency created by InnoVint extended beyond better client relations. InnoVint’s Fermentation Work Order Generator, an innovative fermentation management tool, helps the team collaborate with custom crush clients in real-time to modify fermentation strategies. Using this solution, clients can view the most up-to-date actions, additions, and analyses on their fermentation lots and make adjustments on the fly. The result is better management throughout the fermentation process.
Having the right tools in place to build new levels of engagement has become valuable to The Wine Foundry’s success, not only through client relationships, but to wine quality and reduced labor expenses.
“[Wine quality] has improved. Hands down. We have a better staff because of the efficiencies and are able to spend much more time with the wines,” explained Steve. “We were able to eliminate the part-time assistant position and push those dollars into the cellar which allows more throughput and the ability to add more clients and revenue.”
The efficiency delivered by InnoVint’s software has created a ripple effect of benefits to The Wine Foundry. With optimized procedures and workflows in place, the team feels confident to stay on pace with industry growth and evolving client needs.
SAVED PER WEEK ON MANUAL ADMINISTRATIVE WORK
CLIENT ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION