365WineTrade Technology Talks Episode 5: Avalara Offers a Perfect Pairing
On our latest episode of 365WineTrade Technology Talks, we not only had a special guest, we introduced a new co-host and segment of our show. I’m happy to announce that Western Computer’s Jackie O’Brien will be joining me for the ride on future podcasts, and she started us off with our new segment: Through the Grapevine where we highlight some relevant wine and spirits industry news. After that, Jeff Carroll, General Manager, Beverage & Alcohol from Avalara takes the stage.
Did you know the price of glass has risen as much as 20 percent in the U.S.? That’s what Jackie reveals during our Through the Grapevine segment. It makes us think again about boxed wine—something that has historically been viewed as cheap but what has truly come a long way in the last several years.
Jeff shares that the concerns around packaging are very real in today’s wine and spirits industry—especially as consumers are keener on buying items that are environmentally friendly and made out of sustainable products. As higher-end wine makers switch from glass to boxes, he believes others will follow suit and that this is an exciting time for new innovation in the beverage world.
Speaking of innovation, Jeff’s company Avalara is all about tax compliance software, and he shared with us how Avalara specifically helps businesses in wine and spirits. Avalara helps licensees and marketplaces that are dealing with beverage alcohol products with compliance in what is, of course, a highly regulated industry. By helping them calculate the right amount of tax and perform other services, beverage alcohol businesses can simplify their tax and compliance processes. Avalara also has native integration to Western Computer’s 365WineTrade so users get the best of both solutions. Might we say it’s a perfect pairing!
One of the biggest ways Avalara helps beverage alcohol businesses is with filing returns. It’s nearly impossible for many businesses to do themselves given the complexity of the industry. Jeff has seen a strong push toward automation for many companies that are realizing it’s a big waste of time for them to manually file returns.
There are some more general trends Jeff is seeing in the wine and spirits industry. E-commerce for one. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed states to modernize laws that potentially allow for delivery of alcohol and direct-to-consumer shipments—affecting the entire structure of the industry. The change in how digitalized the purchase of alcohol becomes will impact both wholesale and direct-to-consumer. Models such as Drizly where you can purchase alcohol from local vendors are changing the game. We are surely going to see regulatory changes as a result of those shifts as well, but you’ll have to tune into the podcast to get Jeff’s full opinion on what’s next!
As always, I’d love to get your feedback on the podcast and any topics you’d like to hear us discuss 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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