Friday, July 27, 2007

Software assists wineries REthink compliance

As more and more states adopt the permit system [rather than the reciprocal method] for state-to-state wine shipments, wineries are faced with an ever increasing complexity of rules, regulations and reporting requirements that could force smaller houses to completely abandon out-of-state shipments. To help remove this new barrier to shipment, the Inertia Beverage Group has spent approximately 5000 man-hours in development to create the industries first [and only] web based compliance tool called REthink Compliance.

This new tool will automatically analyze a winery’s sales, compares them with built-in state-by-state compliance regulations, then creates completed reports ready to download and send in to the various state agencies. But why offer this service for free? I asked that very question to Inertia CEO Paul Mabray.

"We firmly believe that compliance is a strong barrier to wineries doing more direct sales and by removing this barrier more wineries will succeed in direct sales. As a by product, more wineries will choose to use advanced software engines like ours and more consumers will buy directly from wineries and thus we will all gain in the end" stated Mabray. He went on to add "another way to look at it is that when Robert Mondavi started in California he went and tested all the barrels, rootstock, yeast, etc. and when he found the best, he would not hoard that information so that he could only do better, he shared it with the entire industry. As a result Napa wines became world class, then California, then all New World Wines. He knew that the rising tide would raise all ships. We feel the same about compliance."

Inertia also provides wineries with a consumer direct software package called the REthink Engine. This package seamlessly helps with order automation, fulfillment integration, credit card processing, club processing, auto e-mail, and more. Wineries using Inertia's REthink Engine direct sales platform will have access to the compliance tool as a built-in feature of the REthink Engine.

The REthink Compliance tool could revolutionize the direct shipment market and not only benefit the wineries but us enthusiasts not so fortunate to live in the greater Napa/Sonoma Valley regions.


Matthew Mann said...

Thanks for bringing to the attention of your readers. I should disclose that I am now affiliated with IBG but prior to that I had been involved in the wine industry for well over a decade. I can say that I wish I had such a site available to me when I was doing the compliance work for the small Santa Barbara County winery where I worked. As a free service it solves two problems I faced tackling compliance issues: lack of financial resources and lack of human resources. The idea is to remove the barriers to other markets where potential fans can be introduced to small winery wines that might not otherwise have the marketing reach. Sounds good for the wineloving consumer and the small winery producer. I hope small wine producers do themselves a favor and at least visit the site to see for themselves.

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