I was thrilled to be able to bring two members of the 365WineTrade team onto our latest episode of 365WineTrade Tech Talks: Jacklyn O’Brien and Linda Collins. They bring two completely different perspectives on the wine industry to the team, yet both have seen similar challenges facing winemakers and distributors today. In the podcast, we discuss some typical roadblocks for wine companies aiming to expand, and we get a peek into Linda’s experience helping run a family-based, boutique winery in Central California.
Despite the setbacks of COVID-19, many wineries and distributors are seeing growth. Jacklyn noted that she’s encountering common themes in the challenges folks in the wine industry are experiencing as they grow in the wake of the pandemic. Compliance and reporting is a big one. Wineries that start expanding their sales across multiple state lines now have to contend with different standards, deadlines, rates, and regulations. 365WineTrade automates many of the manual processes associated with compliance and reporting specifically for the wine business.
My second guest, Linda Collins, president of Western Computer and the 365WineTrade brand, discussed a bit about her experience in the wine industry and how it has lent itself to creating technology solutions for wine businesses. Linda echoed Jacklyn’s recent encounters with customers who express that reporting is one of the biggest hurdles for expansion. There are unique requirements for the wine industry when it comes to taxation and allocations, but winemakers and distributors also need access to real-time data with easy-to-use dashboards and reporting mechanisms. These challenges spurred Linda to spearhead the launch of 365WineTrade.
But it’s not just professional experience that inspired Linda to offer technology to the wine industry. She shared that her parents own a winery in Paso Robles, California called Hidden Oak. What started as a post-retirement hobby has grown into a successful, award-winning wine label. The family-run vineyard brings together everyone’s talents.
Linda has also been a witness to the exponential growth of the Paso Robles region over the last couple of decades. “Back in the 1990s, there just a handful of wineries. Maybe about 75 - 100. The last time I counted, there were well over 400 wineries,” she said. With parents in the trade, Linda shared more about how special the region remains even with so much growth. Visitors to Paso Robles wineries meet the real winemakers and have their pick of boutique experiences anywhere in the region. Catch more of her stories in the podcast.
I’d love to get your feedback about the podcast and any specific topics you’d like to hear about in upcoming episodes. Contact us to share your thoughts and keep tuning in for the latest in wine technology and trends. You can listen to all our podcasts here or on your favorite podcast platform.
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