How to implement Lean Flow in the Wine Industry

To create and make excellent wines every step in the wine making process
needs to be controlled. FlowVision has specific expertise in the wine industry
and a proven track record of optimizing the wine making processes while
improving quality from harvest all the way through bottling.

Year to year the harvest can vary – weather, time of harvest, moisture, and soil make up are among the many things that cannot be controlled; however, once the grapes have been harvested the variation in the winemaking process needs to stop. Consistent, well documented wine making processes ensure the wine making process has fewer variables.

Once the wine is in barrels we work with wineries to improve how work is done in the barrel rooms using our mathematical approach. We know that there are important steps in aging wine that cannot be eliminated or changed; we work to understand those parameters and then implement a plan to improve efficiency and drive measurable results.

FlowVision’s ION software gives wineries complete visibility into their supply chain and allows them to carry the optimum amount of dry goods and manage their cash flow all according to demand. As uncontrollable circumstances affect blends and harvest times ION shows wineries how those changes impact bottling, fill rates, and inventory.

Holding inventory in various stages for years hoping that customer demand doesn’t shift is a challenging requirement of wineries. Mismatching customer demand can force a winery to: sell a vintage or blend through an unprofitable channel such as the airlines, offer significant discounts to distributors, or in worst case scenarios throw wine out. While we know there is no way to eliminate aging, ION dynamically calculates the latest possible time to blend and bottle wines while still assuring quality through adequate bottle rest. This approach preserves optionality and allows wineries to make informed decisions and adapt to customer demand later than they would have been able to before implementing ION.

Different varietals need different bottle shapes and most wineries like to produce both large and small format bottles. FlowVision works with the winery team to identify points where changeover times for bottling machines can be reduced and changeover processes can be improved upon. This reduction in time allows for wineries to be more dynamic in when they bottle certain varietals and the amount they have to bottle in a single run. This helps them improve overall quality while reducing finished goods inventory.

Large Northern
California Winery

See how a large winery was able to significantly reduce waste and optimize their inventory to better target customer tastes

Turning Vision into Reality