California winery achieves manufacturing cost reduction with IT solutionHigh quality information technology (IT) services can enable a business to succeed in numerous ways. Cannonball Wine recently adopted a system that helps it track its supplies, according to a published report.

The New York Times reports that the Heraldsburg, California-based winery is staffed with only five employees and is functioning as a "virtual" vineyard. According to owner Dennis Hill, the company does not own vineyards and processing facilities, which results in cost reductions and contributes to the company's emphasis on effective spend management.

Instead, it relies on larger companies to supply grapes, fermentation, aging, finishing, bottling and warehousing services. The strategic sourcing is paying off: Now, the company ships more than 35,000 cases of its Cabernet Saubignon and Merlot annually to wine stores and wholesalers across the U.S.

The virtual winery model is catching on California, Hill affirmed.

"It's a much smarter way to do it," Hill said. "We can focus our time and capital on overseeing production, building a brand and selling — instead of on real estate and other expensive assets."

What's more, the business handles its IT solutions on its own, with the occasional help from experts, keeping costs down. 
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