While on a trip to Willamette Valley Vineyards in France, I tasted a wine that was aged for ten years, and I found that aged wines have a unique taste than newly produce wine. However, while consuming the wine, my mind started wondering how the end- to -end process flow works, what are the critical process controls, what are the priorities of operation managers, and finally how to manage the inventory.
First, I would like to share how the process flow works. Below is the end-to-end diagram that explains that process.
Many steps need to be completed in order to have an aged bottle of wine. My mind was wondering about all the steps because what I had recently learned in the class about network diagrams. For example, the vineyard, crusher, fermentation, and aging need to be completed first in order to have bottling and packaging operation. To find the critical path analysis, it is important to know how long it will take to complete each activity. In addition, it depends about the variety of grape, what kind of wine we need to produce and how long it needs to be aged before the final activity occurs. For example, with most Merlots, it could be aged between 2-12 years.
There are important critical process controls in the operational flow for achieving high quality of wine. Factors, such as crap quality, sorting, fermentation, aging, and filtration process all quality of wine. All these processes are controlled carefully as any deviation can lower the quality of the final product.
In addition, critical areas to focus on the superior customer response time or service are distributor, retail, and tasting rooms as direct sale. These were chosen because wine industries can receive instant feedback from the customers in order to provide exceptional customer service. By getting the customer feedback, wine businesses will be able to respond and react fast enough to correct or solve the issue. Also implementing an information system to streamline and automate data flow for business processes will improve performance and gain access to real time data.
Operation Management is another integral role in the process. Close attention to the areas of labor, equipment, raw material, and inventory must be paid to insure the success of the production operations. Focus on achieving the highest efficiency in production operation is very critical to wineries because of the highly competitive nature of the industry. Inventory control system is another area that requires a lot of attention because a huge stock of inventory needs to be held for aging. The quality of these inventories need to be closely monitored and highly managed in order to generate desired revenue and profit.
What kind of inventory method wineries are using? Is it worth paying more money for aged wine? Is wine getting better with age?