Wine, Spirits and Alcohol - End-to-End Production and Supply Chain Management

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S4GV has been particularly successful in addressing the needs of different actors in the Spirits & Alcohol industry and specifically with wine: we have recently signed a deal to fully manage the grapevine grafting operations for a customer in the USA. We've also managed for years the warehousing operations of Soutirage, a very high-end premium wine reseller; Chad Meyer, Soutirage CEO, says: "Our focus is on advising, building and maintaining collections for private clients, with average bottle prices in the hundreds of dollars. At Soutirage, every bottle counts. We demand unparalleled granular visibility into our supply chain and our own warehousing. Thanks to S4GV's RFID automation, tamper-evident labels and 3PL, our inventory is maintained at 100% accuracy on a daily basis. A full cycle count takes just a few hours, so we can focus more time on relationships."

It is therefore with great motivation that we have built an environment specifically designed to cover the needs for high-end grafts and wine producers, providing full end-to-end traceability and certifying to customers with sky-high expectations that all has been done thoughout the chain to guarantee the highest standards of quality.

Manage the grapevine grafts process

flyer vineyardsFrom the mother plant all the way to the final tray, the S4GV Platform enables our customers to manage the day-to-day operations of the grafting process and to guarantee full traceability of the plants sold:

  • Perform quality controls during all stages of the process, keeping the QA results in the system for future reference.
  • Create grafts out of traced canes, buds and rootstocks
  • Manage bundles of grafts and control their movements.
  • Track the various transfer bins and boxes while grafts are moved from the grafting area to the storage rooms.
  • Perform a selection of the best grafts and transplant them into greenhouses or open fields and manage these are controlled warehouses.

This means that at point in time there is full visibility on the complete history of a plant e.g. when it was grafted and from which components, how long it staid in the storage room and at what temperature/himidity, what percentage of plants were trashed (and why), how long a graft remained planted in the greenhouse, etc.

Optimize operations in the warehouse

flyer wine warehousingBenefit from S4GV's tailor-made RFID stickers to manage the complete bottles' supply chain. These stickers can be used independently or integrated into the main bottle's label and will display a superior printing quality; they are also made to indicate that they're "void" if someone tries to unstick them, therefore guaranteeing that the bottle is original.

And being based on RFID, the sticker delivers major advantages compared to standard barcodes:

  • Read from a distance: our tags can be read from a distance of up to 2 meters. This means major productivity improvements compared to other technologies such as NFC that is "near field" (2 cm).
  • No need for line of sight: read the contents of your closed boxes without opening them.
  • Read all at once: all tags under the reader's perimeter will respond in one reading operation.

You can therefore optimize all your warehousing operations:

  • Improve the accuracy of the incoming/outgoing shipments once they're ready-to-ship in closed boxes or pallets, confirm that the orders are properly fulfilled (no more, no less) and that the right load is going into the right truck.
  • Perform fast inventories and keep a near-100% precision at all time, by simply walking into the warehouse with an active reader. No need to stop operations or allocate dedicated resources to perform your inventories.
  • Reduce the put-away and picking times by using S4GV's positioning algorithm: just put your bottles in the first location available without worrying about the vintage, the producer, the target customer or destination, etc. The S4GV Platform will keep track of all the bottles and will guide the operators at picking time directly via an application embedded in the reader.

The S4GV Platform also includes 3PL capabilities, making it possible to manage bottle belonging to customers into the warehouse and charge the customer accordingly.

Control storage and transportation conditions

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Wine is particularly sensitive to temperature and humidity, somehow to light as well and... to shocks (the risk being related to physicall breaking the bottles). For premium bottles, it is important to provide tangible proof that at no point in time the bottle has been mishandled; the drinking experience must be 100% impeccable with no risk of damaged goods or impacted quality. And this applies to storage and transportation throughout the supply chain, all the way to the final consumer.

Vine plants also need to go through specific temperature-controlled environments after grafting to guarantee proper "jointure" and optimized maturity.

Now, one thing is delegating these quality measurements to the various actors downstream (e.g. transportation providers); another thing is being able to prove to your final customer that the entire cycle has been kept under control and make this information available for each bottle being drunk. The S4GV Platform comes pre-integrated with a set of tracking device offering real-time positioning and measures/alert of temperature, humidty, light intensity and acceleration (shock); this information is kept in the system and is availble to all authorized users and can be used to (1) further improve the control on the supply chain, (2) identify the eventual mishandling and related actors and (3) guarantee the overall quality of the product.

Avoid counterfeiting and detect grey market

fingerprint hiddencodeTop players in the Spirits & Alcohol industry have a very strong brand and today's competition is not always... fair. Customers may therefore purchase bottles that are not original or that have been counterfeited; it may also happen that some boxes or pallets exit the planned supply chain and re-enter the market in unexpected or unwanted locations. S4GV can support brands to protect their products throughout the cycle:

  • Secured RFID stickers and labels provide unique identification of a bottle of box.
  • Fingerprinting can guarantee that the bottle indeed belongs to a specific original batch.
  • Hidden encoding can support the producer in tracking unwanted grey market deviations.

Extend sales to the e-commerce channel

ecommerceExtending sales to the e-commerce channel is often painful as it requires major efforts in synchronizing information from multiple systems dealing with product information, stocks, prices, availability, orders then linking all environments to real operations for order fulfillment and actual shipping to the customers. By relying on the S4GV Platform, the entire logistics information is available from a single point of control; the S4GV environment is also integrated with a leading e-commerce provider, making the communication between all modules completely transparent: orders, customers, payments, etc. are all automatically synchronized so that your e-commerce front- and your logistics back-office have the same exact information.

This also means that a wine producer - expert in creating the best possible product - can easily open up a new Internet sales channel without requiring majors investments or having to re-organize the day-to-day operations.

Full certified integrity across the entire supply chain

By putting it all together, the S4GV Platform can guarantee to top-quality Spirits & Alcohol producers that their products have been handled in the best way possible; it is then straightforward to extend this level of information to the final consumer, thereby certifying to them the full confidence of the integrity of the high-end product they've purchased.