Managing winery operations requires your hands to be in a lot of different barrels– and we’re not talking about pinot noir or chardonnay. Coordinating important operations like wine production, inventory levels, orders, accounts receivables and accounts payables takes some serious organizational and multi-tasking skills.

Yet, many small to medium-sized wineries are still doing winery operations the old-fashioned way–like using clunky spreadsheets, or worse yet, by putting pen to paper.

Seasonality, cost control, compliance and economic factors make managing a winery challenging enough, don’t make it harder for yourself unnecessarily. 

One way to streamline operations, keep organized and save time is to start thinking about your winery software and how you can make it work harder for you. In this blog, we’ll explore key types of software, how to choose the best software for your winery, and more.

Why purchase winery management software

So, why should you invest time in choosing the best tech stack (software) for your winery? 

Manual processes in areas such as accounting and inventory will slow you down once you begin to grow your business. Tasks that are simply annoying now, could become a major time suck. For example, manual credit card processing becomes risky when you start selling to a variety of new partners and need reliable cash flow to manage your finances. And in the wine business, precision is key for compliance and regulatory reasons.

The right winery software can help streamline and eliminate unnecessary manual processes, reducing risk for your business and increasing profits.

We’re not advocating for you to go overboard. Software is only helpful if it’s relevant to your business and if you’re going to actually use it.

Benefits of winery management software are:

  • Automate tasks to save time and reduce risk
  • Get reliable data so that you can make sound business strategy decisions
  • See how your winery is performing on all fronts
  • Equip yourself for the next stage of your business’ growth
  • Keep accurate data for compliance, regulatory and audits

What to consider when choosing winery software

Before considering what software your winery could benefit from, it’s important to consider the following.

The most important is integration. Integrations are how your different software tools speak to each other. For example, let’s imagine you have accounting software and inventory management software (IMS). Key information (data) needs to be passed between the two platforms to ensure your systems stay up-to-date and accurate. And preferably that data is shared with just one step in a dual-sync.

Looking for out-of-the-box integrations will help ensure the smooth passing of information. You can also look for a tool like Notch that helps connect accounting, inventory and ERP platforms to provide one centralized platform for managing your accounts receivable (money owed to you), accounts payable (money you owe your suppliers), and inventory. Notch can also help take away other manual processes that may slow down your team, like automatically processing payments to ensure you get paid reliably and on time. 

Types of winery software for management

Now that we’ve discussed what to keep in mind during this process, let’s get into the key types of software to consider. While there’s other software outside of these categories that you may need, like winery compliance software, the following categories are what’s necessary for core business operations.

Winery management software & ERP software

Wineries use winery management software, sometimes known as ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, to manage day-to-day business activities, such as inventory management, production, procurement, sales and grape intake/supply chain tracking. It can even help you ensure compliance with alcohol board regulatory requirements. 

When selecting your software, we recommend opting for a platform that caters to the wine industry. NetSuite and SAP are practically household names for enterprise businesses and they can be a good fit for large commercial wineries. However, they can be too cumbersome and expensive for small-to-medium-sized wineries. Luckily, there are many software options for smaller businesses.

Ekos Winery management software

Ekos specializes in the beverage industry and helps to streamline inventory, production, sales, and accounting in one business management solution. Ekos for wineries can help with:

  • Tracking data across production, including COGS reporting
  • Inventory
  • Production, including grape intake, composition and chemistry
  • Sales and direct-to-consumer (DTC) features, including sales orders to distributors and retailers
  • Accounting

Ekos offers many integrations including Square, Quickbooks (more on this later!), Shopify and Xero.

360Winery 

360Winery in an end-to-end winery software that helps with a multitude of operational activities such as:

  • Warehouse management
  • Costing
  • Retail & POS sales
  • E-Commerce
  • Wine club
  • Administration

360Winery integrates with QuickBooks, Square, Clover, and Xero.

InnoVint wine production software

InnoVint focused more on the production side of the winery business, but still offers an array of features to help with winery management. Innovint features include:

  • Winemaking, helping with schedules and winery work prioritization
  • Finance, providing COGS reporting and cost allocations
  • Operations, assisting with quality control, understanding inventory levels and SOPs

Winery POS software

The next category of winery software is POS software. If you’re selling direct-to-consumer, whether in a tasting room or through an online store, you’ll need point of sale (POS) software to facilitate the transactions.

Two of the main generic providers in this category are Square and Clover–both are a good fit for small-to-medium-sized businesses like wineries. Square tends to be more highly regarded on software review websites.

The main difference between Square and Clover is Clover lets you choose your payment processor, while Square is its own payment processor. Additionally, Square offers free POS software, whereas Clover doesn’t. Square’s pricing structure is also more straightforward.

There are also options made specifically for the wine industry.

WineDirect DTC e-commerce software

WineDirect is an e-commerce platform and fulfillment platform for wineries to help manage their DTC business (selling directly to customers). WineDirect claims to be a great fit for wineries of many different sizes whether you’re just starting out or have an established winery.

WineDirect can help you with:

  • Selling wine online with a digital store
  • Selling wine in a tasting room with a post-of-sale app
  • Starting a wine club
  • Distributing through a marketplace
  • Fulfilling faster

Winery accounting software

When it comes to operating a business in the liquor and beverage space, your books and records must be accurate, which means accounting software is critical for ensuring your financial affairs are in order. Tracking accounts receivable, accounts payable, cash flow, and tax information accurately is paramount. It’s also important to have a solid understanding of payments.

Luckily, there are several intuitive accounting software options available. And while most don’t cater directly to wineries, they’ll have everything you need for success.

QuickBooks Online is one of the most common accounting platforms we see beverage businesses using today (which is why we built an integration with it!) Several leading winery management software platforms also integrate with QuickBooks. As we previously, mentioned with the Ekos integration with QuickBooks, you can sync all inventory receipts, invoices, companies, journal entries, and credit memos.

Other accounting software options include Xero, Sage, and Spire.

Level up your winery software stack

We know winery software can be intimidating, and our goal is to make it as easy to understand as possible. Notch integrates with top ERP, inventory and accounting software, making your winery operations a breeze. 

Want to learn more about how Notch can streamline your winery software? Book a demo today.

Manage a brewery and want to learn more about brewery management software? Check out this How to Choose the Best Brewery Management Software blog.