A touch of tech: Bringing the wine business into the 21st century | Business

An industry that ebbs and flows by the grace of Mother Nature, the wine business leans on the tenacity of winemakers, production crews and viticulturists to produce world-class wines. Wines driven by hours of dedication, calling for a systematic approach to business operations.

Though sophisticated and unparalleled in many ways, the wine industry has traditionally used spreadsheets and primitive planning tools to organize their daily operations.

Shawn Zizzo, president of VinoEz, wanted to change that.

He created a platform that brings the old-fashioned business into the modern era.

Solving business problems with technology, Zizzo created a planning and scheduling web application providing clients with a central hub for tracking, scheduling and planning harvest, blending, barrel work, bulk wine distribution and cellar operations.

“In 2004, I came into the valley consulting for Beringer. I had been in supply chain planning most of my career and was new to wine,” he said. “Once I learned more about the industry and understood the process, I was hooked.”

“Compared to other consumer projects,” he said, “I found the technology and planning tools were far behind. 16 years later, the industry is still not moving as fast as it should. Everything ties back to harvest, which drives all business decisions. There is so much administrative work businesses have to account for. Things become complex quickly. If we can provide tools to rise above the paperwork, I take pride in that.”

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