Welcome to GrapeGears
. . . a personalized experience for every customer interaction . . .
In the wine business customers who become club members generally end up as personal friends. We want to run our business professionally yet still have the personal time to spend with our friends.
Frankly, every software system we reviewed appeared to treat customers as numbers so we developed GrapeGears.
Built by us as winery owners to run our own winery GrapeGears delivers end-to-end sales and marketing visibility for all interactions with customers across every touch point – Tasting Room, Wholesale, eCommerce, Wine Club Memberships, Events and Social Media.
GrapeGears actually allows you sell more wine by simplifying the process, lower your costs by getting more done with your current people and embrace growth using your existing story, staff and resources.
GrapeGears Features & Benefits
Simple to use, fast, accurate and always available, GrapeGears point-of-sale allows multiple customers to have open orders all being managed simultaneously by any number of staff.
Existing customers are recognized and any special status, club discounts, etc., are automatically taken into account at time of sale, enhancing accuracy and boosting customer satisfaction.
New customers are automatically on-boarded into CRM via PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) credit card detection.
Email addresses are automatically added to their file via email receipting, permitting further post-sale marketing and customer service opportunities.
Behind the scenes inventory management and shipping fulfillment are taking place, reducing front-of-house staff workload.
Fast and Easy to Use
Historically referred to as the "cash register" the POS can become a choke point in a busy tasting room with "register queuing" resulting in dissatisfied customers and lost sales.
In the tasting room the point-of-sale system must be simple to use, fast, accurate and always available. In busy times multiple users need simultaneous access.
GrapeGears POS allows individual servers to maintain their own personal view of products they are selling, providing structure to their tasting presentation and simplifying checkout. Temporary, seasonal and new staff can come up to speed in minutes.
Each server can maintain as many "open" orders as they need with quick retrieval of their own orders so customers are able to run a ‘tab” over time, pay in cash or via credit card, split their bill and reward their server with a gratuity for a job well done.
Customers with special requirements such as split payments or multiple shipping destinations can be managed easily and quickly. That customer who buys fourteen bottles, ships twelve and takes two for dinner (with local tax added) is automatically managed by the GrapeGears POS on one receipt.
Fully integrated with the CRM system, the POS system recognizes the customer, maintains credit card tokens on file for billing, any discounts that apply, back orders waiting, calculates appropriate shipping, tax and special requirements.
Receipts may be printed or emailed to the customer. With GrapeGears POS in the tasting room every customer gets VIP service.
Mobile ~ Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device
GrapeGears POS runs on any device, PC, tablet or cell phone and can be used to sell wine anywhere, anytime.
In the tasting room GrapeGears POS allows individual servers to use any combination of mobile devices or stationary register devices, whatever is appropriate at the moment.
Orders reside in the cloud so they are simply assigned to a server and follow that server.
At events, dinners or anywhere on the road wine sales can be made anywhere using internet, WiFi or cellular data connection and since it is fully integrated with the CRM system, all of the customer details, order history, spend, club levels, etc. are available right there on your phone .
POS ~ Special Features
Shifts are an effective way to manage orders made during the business day. Shift management at each venue can manage the cash float, orders, pours and adjustments, track numbers of tasters, types of tasters and report on individual sales person performance.
Shifts are updated in real time so management may view a Shift at any time. Check on how the day is going, if the tasting room needs extra staff or other resources.
The Sales order tab can be split between any number of tasters with any combination of different credit cards and cash. Products can also be split into carry-out and shipping without extra orders, etc.
Keyboard and touch screen devices can be used interchangeably, for instance a server can take an order or update an open order (tab) on their mobile phone and as the customer leaves the greeter can check them out using a traditional PC with keyboard and mouse.
Orders may be voided or credited through the POS, subject to employee access control, and inventory is managed as a background processes by system intelligence rather than leaving it to the casual tasting employee.
POS as a Doorway to Marketing
The POS system is where a new customer is created so POS is obviously a great point to gather data on the customer that may help in future engagements and marketing programs.
To assist GrapeGears POS has automated functionality to :
- Capture email addresses during checkout.
- Segment customers for targeted campaigns, such as:
- Follow-ups on tasting room visits with a thank-you email.
- Repeat product purchases by simply knowing which wines your customer preferred can help you target your marketing.
- Invite feedback by encouraging prior visitors to post reviews to social media.
- Inclusion in groups with notifications of new releases of the wines they previously purchased.
- Invitations to events.
- Have tasting employees record notes on customer preferences for travel, events, etc.
GrapeGears CRM shows everything about an customer in one place. Every interaction with that customer is available, contact details, order status, tastings, events attended, emails exchanged, club details and history, spend, birthday, special instructions, etc.
Everything your marketing and sales professionals need to effectively engage with that customer.
GrapeGears CRM Marketing Tools
The GrapeGears CRM system records all contacts with customers, their memberships, auxiliary clubs, web activity, favorite products and events with a full history of contact and spend.
GrapeGears CRM provides calendar integration, customer bio, photos, emails, order history and contact notes and is invaluable in maintaining high levels of customer engagement and service.
Regardless of how a customer wants to interact, in person at a tasting room or an event, via phone, email or social media GrapeGears has one customer account containing all the information about that customer.
Even better, GrapeGears gives the customer access to their own account so they can manage it themselves.
Finding new customers, winning their business, providing support and additional services throughout the relationship are all enabled by GrapeGears CRM.
Knowing about your customers is important for acquisition and keeping track of customers is crucial for retention.
How it all Works
These days just to sell and deliver wine you need a lot of information from a customer, contact details, shipping instructions, credit card, phone, email, etc.
That initial information usually begins with a sales person, perhaps in the tasting room, transitions through administration and fulfilment then to packing and shipping.
By using the data collected, your team can proactively address issues and reach out to satisfied customers at the right moment, to encourage repeat purchases.
Once input, GrapeGears is positioned to use the customer data for subsequent sales via tasting room, email, phone or web shop orders, without asking the customer for further information.
The customer now has “an account” with you making subsequent sales easy.
Since GrapeGears is all one system the customer account is recognized in the tasting room, on the web site, at an event and in a wine club run.
The level of customer service your business delivers is a primary factor in customer retention.
If you need to resolve customer issue, GrapeGears CRM has all activity concerning that customer, including past purchases, preferences, and anything else that might help in finding a solution quickly.
GrapeGears CRM positions you to provide better service to customers through improved understanding of their issue and history.
Your customer perceives this as good customer service.
You get the added advantage of lower costs because issues can be addressed immediately.
Market more effectively. Create segments of your customers based on order history, clubs, geographical location, and more.
Then, use GrapeGears integrated social marketing and direct marketing tools to send targeted offers and track performance.
GrapeGears CRM allows a more targeted and cost-efficient marketing program. By understanding customer needs and behavior, you will be able to identify the correct time to promote your product.
GrapeGears CRM will also help you segment your customers providing insight into which are the more profitable customer groups.
By using this information, you can set up relevant promotions and execute them at the right time. By optimizing marketing resources revenue increase at a lower per customer cost.
GrapeGears truly delivers on the “membership has its privileges” concept permitting customer engagement on a personal level, knowing their details, preferences, contact and purchase history, etc.
GrapeGears CRM helps winery staff develop a powerful relationship with wine club members and leverages the relationship on a wide scale without the need of extra staff.
Present your products and services with a visually modern, easy-to-use, web site that runs responsively on every type of device. Capture and delight customers and communicate with a community that’s waiting to hear what you have to say.
Easy to Create, Use and Change Website
GrapeGears delivers a modern, responsive Web Site template with Wine Database, Shopping Cart, Event Calendar and Blog all fully integrated to attract and maintain customers.
Being a responsive site it will work equally across all PC and mobile devices, it is optimized for search engines and does not require any apps or downloads.
Highly customizable so we can use your existing site preserving your design investment but if you’re looking for a change you may use one of our templates for your exact needs.
Optimized for Wine Customers
An on-line account enables the customer to update their own details, address change, new credit card, etc..
This has two benefits namely improved customer service and less work for your staff.
GrapeGears includes tools to promote search engine optimization (SEO) resulting in more hits, more clicks and more sales.
GrapeGears CRM provides analytics on website customer orders, club signups, customer sources, etc., so you know the actual value of your site from the revenue generated.
A Content Management module allows the collaborative development of marketing newsletters and emails and the website blog as well as all the tools needed to make changes, updates and additions to the web site content.
Wine-specific products and database make everyone happy - from winemaker to customer. Maintain each wine's attributes, vintage, style, alcohol, etc. as well as tasting notes, winemaker notes, cooperage notes and production notes.
Long after you've sold out of a vintage your customers can still read all about the wine they have been ageing all these years - and buy more of the current vintage.
Improved Performance + Lower Cost
Improved performance - enjoy finding out what using multi-core hyper-threaded processors across enterprise-class network equipment with Gigabit Ethernet really feels like.
GrapeGears delivers lightning-fast SSD storage because your customers only want to buy on a reliable, fast web site that is as secure as Amazon Servers.
Cut your infrastructure costs by turning off your old legacy systems. GrapeGears will host your the new web site and the sales and marketing systems behind it, delivering further saving on hosting and web consultant costs.
People talk about social media marketing and viral content, but in the real world, if no one is searching major search engines for your product, then frankly you have not developed sufficient demand to support your eCommerce platform.
GrapeGears portfolio of eCommerce tools puts your marketing in the driver's seat, directing customers to your eCommerce site and making it easy to find and buy wine through eMarketing, Search Engine Optimization and Affiliate Marketing.
Aim High on Search Engine Rankings
GrapeGears provides effective eCommerce tools like "keywords", "product attributes" and "catalog filters" attracting search engines to zero-in on your eCommerce products by forming a more perfect search match.
Product attributes are characteristics that define your product enabling consumers to search, filter and compare products easily, aiding browsing and decision making.
More hits in a search results in more customers at your eCommerce store.
Personalize the Shopping Experience
As the business grows in complexity or number of products the web site shop will need to be structured to meet a wider range of customer requirements.
GrapeGears filters such as "product categories" and "brand categories" are personalization tools that help drive the nurturing process to tailor content to individual customers.
eCommerce personalization means showing individualized offers, product recommendations, and other content to your visitors based on their previous actions, demographics, and other personal data.
GrapeGears products can be displayed for sale or can be exclusive to club members or hidden entirely. Club member-only products could include special items such as event tickets and bookings for stays in winery accommodation.
Promote a Shopping Trip
Through its content management tools, GrapeGears enables social and direct marketing to effectively personalize the web site shop products.
Follow up by inspiring more sales with a streamlined checkout. Employ sophisticated up-selling tools including "allocations" and "promotions" enticing customers to buy more wine.
Then assist with "featured products" and "promo codes" for special offers on products, events or bundles.
Affiliate Marketing ~ Expand Your Business
The GrapeGears Web site Shopping Cart is fully integrated with CRM, Products and Order Processing to manage all sales, grow wine clubs and maximize customer satisfaction.
The GrapeGears web site shop also manages “affiliated products” for example the shop may list an event, but when the customer clicks to buy, the bookings may be taken by a third party agency.
Products or web sites may be redirected to a single web shop, for instance; a separate web site for the winery bed & breakfast may redirect to that (product) within the winery web site shop.
In this way winery customers or club members may book the B&B online without entering all their personal or credit card data which is already contained within the GrapeGears CRM.
Order processing is the work-flow associated with the approval, picking, packing and delivery of products to a shipping carrier.
Good workflow is the right work delivered in the right sequence at the right time to the right people.
GrapeGears automates every phase of order processing, from the time the original order is received to when the shipment has been delivered to a satisfied customer.
What's in it for You?
GrapeGears produces more orders, faster, using less resources to more happy, satisfied customers.
- Significantly reduce order processing time, costs and errors.
- Improve order fulfillment efficiency allowing volume growth without corresponding cost growth.
- Eliminate risks of imbalanced inventory levels.
- Bring visibility into every order processed via real-time access, anywhere, anytime.
- Capture measurable data to enable focused marketing campaigns .
Why it Works
GrapeGears provides visibility over all orders regardless of customer type from order origin, through fulfillment.
GrapeGears reduces workflow by streamlining the process and managing inventory, credit card processing, compliance, tax, shipping fees and accounts receivable, all as background tasks.
GrapeGears enables multiple selling locations processing mobile, web site and POS orders automatically, streamlining many traditional processes into one.
GrapeGears eliminates the costly, time consuming task of uploading sales orders and inventory into the accounting system saving time while providing both sales and accounting staff the tools to collect outstanding accounts receivable.
GrapeGears also permits open choice of merchant service companies for credit card processing so you can continually negotiate their best rate.
How it Works
GrapeGears provides immediate updates whenever an order has been received, confirmed and shipped so all staff involved are equipped to optimize the customer experience.
Orders enter the business through various sales channels - distributors, wholesalers, brokers, club members, tasting room retail customers, wine club runs, brand ambassadors and web site shop.
GrapeGears automatically assigns "Order Types" based on their origin for example, Web, POS, or MCR orders.
Similarly, GrapeGears assigns an "Order Status" for example, Open, Accounts Receivable, Paid, Fulfilled, Cancelled, or Bad AR.
Additionally, GrapeGears assigns each order a unique "Order Number" to identify that specific order.
GrapeGears is a collaborative platform capable of automating multiple business processes for validation and reconciliation.
When necessary, GrapeGears can create a human readable version of the order enabling authorized users to add strategy, value and notes to every action they take in creating and completing any order.
When you can capture information about customers you are able to deliver relevant experiences across all channels.
Social Media Marketing
Use Social media marketing to create and share content on social media networks in order to achieve general marketing and branding goals.
GrapeGears social media connectors to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc., and can encourage participation and on-going customer engagement by providing "call-to-action" functionality.
Instigate social media marketing activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement and participation via social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all designed to attract the potential customer, create interest and then to deliver them to the business website shop and events calendar.
Direct Media Marketing
GrapeGears provides for engagement and communication with customers and wine club members using integrated direct marketing tools.
Use Direct marketing to communicate an offer, where the business communicates directly to a pre-selected customer group and provides a method for a direct response.
Instigate Direct marketing by communicating directly with customers through a variety of media, such as phone calls, text messages, emails, fliers, brochures and targeted online ads. Each communication contains a call to action that delivers customers to the website shop, events calendar or customer service team.
GrapeGears Brand Management
GrapeGears Media Library manages images used on web site and social media.
The Media Library organizes all the images and documents you use on your website and automatically generates html positioning code to locate the image just where you need it.
Images appear in the Media Library when you upload them to pages or posts, or can be added directly for safekeeping.
GrapeGears Email, Newsletter and Blog Templates and tools allow production collaboration between staff and manage the consistency of your brand image, automatically linking to the web site shop, blog and event calendar.
An entire library of standard email templates such as a "wine club welcome letter" or a "web site order acceptance email" are maintained within the GrapeGears system.
Because GrapeGears is a cloud-based application you can give a (security access controlled) login to third-party consultants, writers, etc., to create content for your posts or marketing materials.
GrapeGears provides three levels of release status, namely Draft, Pending and Published. Drafts may be created by staff or third-party consultants, then made Pending for internal review then Published to the web site and social media.
GrapeGears includes a "One Calendar for All!" Calendar making it easy to schedule meetings, manage events, reservations, ticket sales, RSVP, staff schedules, etc., to effectively engage with customers, on time.
Designed for authorized employees to use so that information about a customer or an event may be distributed internally to staff or published to the web site for customers to see.
We all use the GrapeGears Calendar
The business of selling wine and creating club members involves many participants, all of whom need to view the business schedule, anywhere, anytime.
The GrapeGears Calendar answers questions such as: What customers are coming in and when? Who will greet them? Which customers at this event are the most important to us? When and where are we meeting? Who has been invited? What events has this customer attended? When am I scheduled to work?
A Place for Everything . . .
A single business calendar that can be shared by all authorized employees, the GrapeGears Calendar allows the business to share events with customers via the web site calendar while managing tastings, meetings attendance and staff allocations all in one place.
Categories differentiate event types, customer access, meeting requirements, venues and attendees to make the information more meaningful to participants and enable marketing campaigns.
The GrapeGears Calendar is integrated with CRM so customer records may be assigned to various events to alert staff as to each customer’s details, preferences and value making customer engagement more meaningful.
The GrapeGears Calendar can publish updates to the web site calendar with upcoming events providing a platform for ticket sales, accommodation and table bookings.
Wine club members have authorized the business to ship them a selection of wine on a regular basis and bill their credit card on file. In return they receive privileges such as discounts on purchases, access to winery events, special offers, etc.
GrapeGears Club Membership
GrapeGears allows easy creation and management of an unlimited number of different wine clubs.
GrapeGears MCR System (Membership Club Release) allows automatic processing of any number of clubs all with individual selections of wine and related products.
GrapeGears simplifies the management of exceptions, identifies inventory requirements and performs rapid processing of the wine club billing and shipping fulfillment.
A Little More Detail
GrapeGears MCR provides a forecast of wine and product requirements for individual and total club runs and can also be used as a requirements indicator to determine future wine production needs.
GrapeGears MCR manages exceptions easily and quickly, runs “shipment” and “pickup” memberships simultaneously and permits “allocations” for select club members to modify their club shipments each time, subject to rules established around product availability.
GrapeGears MCR takes care of individual customer shipping preferences, multiple delivery points, skipped shipments and product requirements by location.
The Whole Nine Yards
GrapeGears can maintain an unlimited number of wine club varieties providing regular shipments of wine in accordance with each member’s specific requirements, for example:
- Unlimited Number of Different Clubs
- Manage Shipping Frequency monthly, quarterly annually, etc.
- Quantity - Unlimited number of regular bottles per shipment.
- Discount - Multi-layered discount structure based on Club / Customer / Product hierarchy.
- Bottle Format - 375ml / 750ml / 1.5L - whatever . . .
- Wine Variety - any combination of red and/or white wines or nominate specific varieties, etc.
- Special Exceptions - e.g., "always add two extra Pinot"
- Auxiliary Clubs - caters for special products, gifts or special customer types e.g., golfer
Regular Shipments can be configured as [x] bottles, [x] times / year.
Allocation Shipments can be configured as, [x] bottles, [x] times / year + plus customer's choice from an additional list of available wines with additions and substitutions designed to increase customer spend.
High Speed Order & Credit Card Processing
GrapeGears provides high speed club processing, creating one hundred new club orders per second and processing credit card transactions at the rate of one hundred per minute.
With GrapeGears, club members can maintain their own account information, update address, credit cards, etc., and change clubs themselves, subject to winery member access rules.
Unique Winery Inventory Issues
Wine is a product that is used daily in marketing efforts. Once opened, it is no longer a product available for sale.
With multiple tasting rooms, warehouses, winery locations and events, all needing wine to be opened and poured in support of the marketing effort, keeping track of wine inventory taxes any system.
Wine inventory is also maintained in multiple units of measure, for example: bottles, cases, pallets, gallons, alcohol content and vintage.
Direct-to-consumer marketing requires wine to be transported over distances but wine requires a controlled environment so many wineries maintain inventory in multiple locations, including third party warehouses.
All this wine inventory, in all these multiple locations, a product that is temperature sensitive and constantly used for samples requires a special inventory management system.
GrapeGears Inventory Solutions
GrapeGears Inventory management in the sales and marketing of wine is virtually automatic, easy for temporary staff to use effectively and difficult to abuse.
While easy-to-manage the GrapeGears inventory incorporates pours, gifts and marketing samples as well as web site shop, wine club and tasting room in real-time across any number of local or remote storage facilities.
The GrapeGears Inventory system is automated, operating behind-the-scenes across multiple locations allowing management of products and wine in bottles, cases and pallets in any number of bonded or tax-paid locations with a whole-of-life product overview
Reports based on real-time data can provide invaluable insights that drive better business decisions. A single, trusted view of business information can help decision makers at all levels of the business.
GrapeGears empowers your people with 24/7 access to the reporting and data analysis tools they need to make faster, more informed decisions.
GrapeGears can help you eliminate guesswork, monitor key metrics, and put actionable information at authorized employees fingertips, anywhere, anytime on any device.
Analytical Insights for Business Users
More than simply a business processing engine, GrapeGears connects to important business data to provide, instant, real-time analytical insights for business users.
GrapeGears provides business owners with end-to-end- process visibility ~ Revenue by Customer Type, Profitability by Product Group, etc.
GrapeGears provides management with vertical performance visibility ~ Revenue by Salesperson, by Customer type, by Product, Profitability by Period, etc.
GrapeGears provides horizontal operational business analytics for the business users who are actually responsible for day-to-day business decisions ~ Sales Tax by State or Zip, Accounts Receivable, Inventory, Gratuities, Credit Cards, Shipping, Staff Performance, Customer Data, etc.
Answer complicated questions in just a few clicks. GrapeGears technology users fast access to relevant data, as well as added intelligence unique to the data sets, especially useful when researching marketing possibilities.
The business needs standard reports for day-to-day management, whole-of-life reports for research and data exports for marketing projects.
Reports can be reviewed on-line by authorized employees as well as trusted advisors such as CPA, Compliance Consultants, Marketing Consultants, etc. Appropriate access restrictions can be applied to every user.
Extensive data exports can be created based on questions such as “show me my top fifty customers by revenue”. These can be exported into a spreadsheet for further analysis, to share with outside contractors or complete marketing projects.
Web Site Analytics
GrapeGears provides Web Activity reports to show any changes customers have made to their accounts on your website within a given period of time.
All such activity is also recorded on the individual customer's CRM record.
GrapeGears monitors contacts and reports on the ways customers were directed to your winery either via your web site or tasting rooms, divided into two tabs - Sources and Referrals.
The date range for either can be adjusted by using the date range calendars.
All notes made in your GrapeGears system can be text-searched and accessed.
To refine the search an Associations filter limit the results to notes associated to certain parts of your system, namely: Auxiliary Clubs, Brand Categories, Categories, Credit Memos, Customers, Events, MCRs, Memberships, Newsletters, Orders, Pages, Products, Shifts, Stock Transfers.
GrapeGears uses Google Analytics to track, measure and report on your website traffic to measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.
The wine market is rapidly evolving so GrapeGears continues to evolve. The evolution began with our own requirements. It continues as we develop the platform further.
GrapeGears actually allows you sell more wine by simplifying the process, lower your costs by getting more done with your current people and embrace growth using your existing story, staff and resources.
The sole purpose of GrapeGears is to deliver the best business practices of the future, developed by a winery, for wineries to use anywhere, anytime on any device.
Created by Us for Ourselves
As owners of a successful winery we made the decision to create GrapeGears for our own use.
The world of wine sales and marketing was evolving, mid-sized wineries were being acquired by large wine corporations forming conglomerates of wine brands and distribution channels.
If small, family owned wineries were to survive in this new world they would have to be agile, quick to recognize new marketing opportunities and able to adapt to meet those opportunities.
Design Mandates ~ Operational Values
Our original design mandates have now become operational values, namely:
- Incorporate solid business practices within each of the processes.
- Customer data protection is our number one priority.
- Use system intelligence to make it fast and simple to use.
- Make it available anywhere, anytime on any device
- No software licenses, versions, downloads, apps, etc.
- No backup systems or specific hardware to buy, etc.
- No technical staff, web developers, etc.
- Absolutely no reliance on third party software or integrations
- Minimize printed reports - winery owners can view business status right on their phone.
- Scalable - increase available resources in busy periods catering for business growth.
- No traditional limitations - numbers of users, clubs, products, etc.
- Employ system intelligence to control user access.
- Intuitive - easy to learn - if you can buy on Amazon, you can use GrapeGears.
- Maintain a secure environment from user keyboard throughout the entire system.
- Continue to evolve as the market demands - grow system functionality as needed.
- Offer it to others on a cost-effective basis.
GrapeGears uses cloud computing. When you search on Google, update your Facebook status on buy on Amazon, you’re using cloud computing.
Cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and requires no up-front hardware or software capital expenditure.
Cloud based systems are scalable with higher performance at a lower cost, the servers are off-premise and suppliers take care of them for you and automatically roll out regular software performance and security updates.
Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access anywhere, anytime on any PC, tablet or phone.
Security and Safety
With GrapeGears your valuable business data is constantly available, backed up and protected in real time on secure servers located in professionally managed data centers protected by industrial-strength firewall technology.
There is no hardware or software to buy or maintain and no traditional IT requirements.
GrapeGears is delivered via cloud computing, available on a 24 x 7 x 365 basis anywhere, anytime on any device.
The GrapeGears servers that store and manage data use Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security protocol for secure communication over our computer networks and the Internet.
This HTTPS provides authentication of our website and its web servers to authorized browser users.
Additionally, it provides bidirectional encryption of our communications, protecting against eavesdropping and any third party attempting to tamper with the contents of our communications.
GrapeGears maintains files for your customer's details including credit card tokens conforming to PCI compliance, GrapeGears does not carry credit card information within the GrapeGears system.
Improved Performance + Lower Cost
Improved performance - enjoy finding out what using multi-core hyper-threaded Intel processors across enterprise-class network equipment with Gigabit Ethernet really feels like.
GrapeGears delivers lightning-fast SSD storage because your customers only want to buy on a reliable, fast web site that is as secure as Amazon Servers.
We prefer to engage as a consultative third-party partner focused on helping you use our software to improve your direct-to-consumer sales and marketing performance.
Our professional team knows your business because they are focused on it every day.
We understand that it's your business. Our objective is to show you the tools we have developed to manage our business and how you might apply them to manage your business in the best possible way.
Our partnership engagement is generally conducted along the following five steps.
Step 1 - Assessment Meeting
- Meet with principals to understand and agree on the current status of the business
- Determine the next three years business objectives.
- Review current web site, club management, tasting room and back office order, inventory and fulfillment processes
- This assessment meeting can be conducted via phone conference.
- Determine the value proposition for moving to Step 2.
Step 2 - Solution Overview
- Presenting GrapeGears method to achieve your business objectives.
- This presentation meeting can be conducted via video conference.
- Decision point for continuing the relationship to Step 3.
Not just another software company, we are your neighbor, a successful winery running GrapeGears.
We don’t employ salespeople and we don’t pay commissions.
Our staff have all worked in the wine industry, in tasting rooms, wine club management and customer service.
They will work with you throughout the implementation, the transfer of your current customer data, the training of your people and then provide post-implementation support.
Step 3 - Implementation Review
- Review and accept GrapeGears agreement.
- Identify potential data conversion methods and decide on a method.
- Migrate existing content and re-host it on GrapeGears platform.
- Train your SuperUser and establish access levels for employees on the system
- Establish merchant services account.
- Set system parameters for shipping, tax, compliance and gratuity management.
- Complete standard system emails, notices etc.
- Establish training sessions and content for your key staff.
- Executive team.
- Marketing team.
- Wine club and customer service team.
- Tasting room team.
- Final meeting to ensure correct procedures are being implemented to achieve the goals and decide on a date for Step 4.
Step 4 - Go-Live
- Go-live is structured based upon the number of staff involved and usually covers in order: Tasting Room, Shipping and Fulfillment, Marketing and finally Wine Club.
- Throughout the Go-Live month one of our senior people will be assigned to assist your SuperUser support your end users.
Step 5 - Three Month Post-Implementation Review
- Review of your system usage with management and team leaders.
- Review performance against original business goals.
- This review meeting can be conducted via phone conference.
GrapeGears is headquartered in Northern California Wine Country with customer wineries located around the world, all supported by our team out of California because GrapeGears technology allows us to sit right beside you on your system regardless of the distance or time between us.
Initial training and ongoing system functional support is included with GrapeGears. GrapeGears support is delivered via the following:
Your GrapeGears SuperUser is a member of your management team.
We provide SuperUser training during the first month of implementation.
With access to all parts of your GrapeGears system your SuperUser will control your employee security access, maintain your procedures, support your employee users and interface with GrapeGears support.
GrapeGears On-Line Support Databases
On-line support and tutorials are available to each GrapeGears user directly from every GrapeGears screen and include:
- User Guide - A textual and graphic illustration of how to use each GrapeGears function.
- FAQ – Answers to frequently asked questions.
- Knowledge Base - A collection of best practices and training scenarios.
- Change Log - Changes, modifications, upgrades and notices.
GrapeGears "sandbox" Test System
A test or “sandbox” system containing your actual data from your live GrapeGears system is also accessible from every GrapeGears screen.
This test system can be used for testing and staff training on a copy of your business data without jeopardizing the actual business system.
Requested Additional Functionality
If you have specific questions not answered in the FAQ, simply reach out to us at email@example.com.
If you are requesting minor changes be made to your site allow ten to twenty business days.
If you are requesting development effort beyond minor changes we welcome your input. Our GrapeGears team is committed to providing the most valuable winery management software available so we publish our development process guidelines within your GrapeGears Knowledge Base.
These guidelines provide the structure and prioritization for development requests. Accepted requests are added to our list of projects, ranked by urgency.
GrapeGears offers numerous integration options for connection and data sharing with other systems.
The particular integration method is focused on three specific goals:
- Maximum Security and Data Integrity.
- Maximum Flexibility in Your Choice of other Systems or Business Partners.
- Best Business Practice.
GrapeGears System-to-System Integration
Application Program Interface (API)
The relationship that a winery maintains with its credit card clearing house or bank is one of trust, with high levels of data encryption on both transmissions. The transaction detail never varies so there is virtually no chance for errors or a security breach. GrapeGears uses an API interface for credit card processing because the transactions are:
- Two-way (submit and approve),
- Require high speed turn around (customer waiting) , and,
- Use data in small discrete packets (card number / name / expiry date / ccv).
Data Export (.csv file transfer)
The relationship that a winery maintains with third party shippers does not carry the same trust value as their bank and may require flexibility or the casual use of more than one shipper and more than one staff member. GrapeGears uses an CSV interface for outside shipping companies because the transaction are:
- Not time critical, and,
- Involve a lot of data which staff members may need to review or edit before transmitting.
Manual Input (Keyboard)
GrapeGears uses keyboard input where the data is limited and the actual destination application requires human intervention to complete or reconcile the data being processed.
Best Business Practice
GrapeGears was designed with end-to-end, best business practice as its core competence.
Best Business Practice refers to a set of procedures (business methods) that produce superior results.
The normal human condition is to maintain status quo, so existing staff will typically show preference for “how we used to do it”. Any high-level business process re-engineering perspective however, will often reveal there is better way for your business to actually achieve superior results.
While some staff members may argue that an automatic upload may save five minutes of clerical time and avoid inputting errors, it does not represent best business practice nor does it conform to Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles (GAPP).
The main function of an accounting system is to accurately arrange an organization's financial records into an orderly structure from which tax returns can be completed and investors can view the business progress in a traditional, structured manner.
Accounting systems are typically managed by a bookkeeper whose work is reviewed by a financial controller and audited by a CPA.
As a business develops its span of operation broadens, for example:
- Inventory is contained at multiple locations and is handled by multiple employees.
- Product sales and invoice volumes increase as does the associated accounts receivable collections process.
- Marketing efforts require more detailed information about customers purchasing habits while customer service personnel need more detail about customer transactions.
Automatically uploading of invoices from a POS or billing system into an accounting system means a “second system” has now been created duplicating the detailed sales and inventory data within the accounting system, causing need for more expensive financial personnel not directly relevant to business growth.
These functions are better managed by discrete computer systems such as GrapeGears, utilized by less costly employees and positioned closer to the point of actual customer contact.
Since GrapeGears manages all Inventory and Sales transactions (invoices, accounts receivable, etc.) there is no need for these to be duplicated within the accounting system.
The only information required for accounting purposes is period income, outstanding receivables value and inventory valuation, all of which are accomplished by simple journal entry, some daily or weekly or monthly and some annually.
GrapeGears & Accounting Systems
GrapeGears provides relevant sales data to any accounting system (e.g., QuickBooks, Xero, etc.) enforcing reconciliation of bank credit card receipts and cash sales of the period, a GAPP function required of the accounting staff.
Sales can be updated at any frequency, daily, weekly or monthly as determined by your financial leadership, facilitating fast and effective bank reconciliation in the accounting system, maximizing the cash position.
GrapeGears Business Intelligence
As the business evolves there is more and more data collected, however that data is useless hidden inside the accounting system.
Business data needs to be readily available in a useful form to those who are able to draw insights from it to create focused strategic marketing direction, appealing product development and improved customer service levels, all a result of informed decision making.
GrapeGears reveals sales by product, sales by customer and inventory status at every location, across any date range, past or present; broken down by Product Type, for example, Wine, Food, Products, etc.; defined between Wholesale Customers, Retail Customers and Wine Club Member purchases.
Inventory adjustments are performed in GrapeGears by the very people who manage the inventory, all within an inventory system designed specifically for the varied locations, methods and legal requirements of storing and moving wine, automatically capturing inventory movements between locations and sales, recording cost-of-goods-sold (COGS) and inventory depletion across any date range.
Grape Gears also manages Accounts Receivable and provides a monthly Business Summary creating a journal entry in the accounting system to record any write offs of uncollected AR.
Within the sphere of the accounting system the bookkeeper is a unique employee and a business totally reliant on one individual is a business at risk.
GrapeGears allows all employees to sell product, receive payment, manage inventory and generally keep the cash flow and controls of the business functional every day without any requirement from accounting personnel.
If replacing a bookkeeper takes months, as it may in a rural wine area, a business using GrapeGears survives seamlessly.
Upgrading the accounting system software or changing to another accounting platform entirely, is simplified by GrapeGears, which will continue to serve your sales and marketing function and update the new accounting system in the same easy, secure and fully functional way.
GrapeGears Development Requests
Because the GrapeGears team is committed to providing the most valuable winery management software available, it is important that we continually assess proposed developments and their possible incorporation within GrapeGears and prioritize those that deliver additional industry-necessary functions to clients.
We only review development requests from existing GrapeGears customers and once a project is accepted, we’ll develop the code, test it to make sure it meets our standards and develop documentation before we release the finished function.
Once released, all GrapeGears clients will benefit from the added functionality should they choose to use it.