The digital twin has arrived, even in industries that are not normally associated with high-tech tools — like wine making.
Producing a fine wine takes craftmanship and experience. These days, though, having the right technology and data at hand can help too. One producer that has gone digital is Germany’s Markgräflich Badisches Weinhaus, a joint venture between traditional winemaker Haus Baden and Rotkäppchen-Mumm, Germany’s largest producer of sparkling wines.
The two are bringing innovative software to the art of wine making to redefine wine-growing in the region and tell consumers more about how each wine was produced.
More and more midsize companies are following the trend and are now adopting the latest technology to stay competitive. In 2017, four out five companies in Germany’s Mittelstand used software that runs in the cloud. And one in five midsize companies deployed enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from the cloud.
But what matters is that data exchange is fast among different software solutions. Markgräflich Badisches Weinhaus is one midsize company whose business is benefiting from cloud solutions. Using specially adapted software, it applies the latest technology to wine making.
Until now, the two companies in the joint venture each had its own separate ERP systems. To work as one, though, they needed a solution they could both use.
The ERP system the Markgraf von Baden winery had been using could not connect with Rotkäppchen-Mumm’s SAP Business Suite and would not have met the latest regulatory requirements, introduced at the start of the year.
The answer was vineaByD, an SAP-approved solution package built by SAP partner sine qua non and based on SAP Business ByDesign. It can be implemented rapidly and is tailored to the specific needs of the wine industry. The standardized features in SAP Business ByDesign means it dovetails with Rotkäppchen-Mumm’s software.
Now the IT systems of the two joint venture partners are fully connected, both parties can access all the data they require and still act autonomously when they need to. This project also shows how the latest technologies enable joint ventures to work together but also act independently.
“New technologies don’t just benefit individual businesses. When companies team up, both partners benefit from the capabilities of today’s business software,” says Rainer Zinow, senior vice president of Product Management for SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign. “Our partners know how best to adapt SAP solutions to the needs of their customers so that the software is the right fit for their businesses.”
From Vine to Glass
Leaf humidity, temperature, and precipitation are important information in wine-making and for the future of the respective vintage. Now, wine growers can call up this data on their tablets at any time.
With real-time data from across their vineyards, wine makers can produce a particularly high-quality product
In the vineyard, the Internet of Things (IoT) — meaning sensors and other hardware such as weather stations — gathers data on conditions such as soil conditions, its fertility, and how ripe the grapes are, and beams it to the SAP cloud, where it is analyzed. Having real-time data from across their vineyards gives wine makers a measure of the quality of the grapes at any given moment so that they can choose the perfect time to harvest them. That way, and with all the data from the wine cellar as well, they can produce a particularly high-quality product.
IoT, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP Business ByDesign are all connected so that procuring supplies, shipping the final product, and the financial side are all integrated into the business processes.
“Our holistic solution enables Markgräflich Badisches Weinhaus to monitor the process along the entire value chain,” says Ralph Moog, director of sine qua non. “Our client knows that retaining customers is essential these days. SAP Business ByDesign was an ideal foundation for meeting the client’s needs. Our modifications gave them a competitive edge so that they could market their products successfully.”
Putting Customers at the Center
Customers want to know more about the products they buy — such as their origins and how they were made — and their understanding of quality has improved. Identifying and providing what they want is more important than ever. Here too, technology offers significant benefits: Having more data about its wines means that Markgräflich Badisches Weinhaus can pass on that information to its customers.
Using the Connected Bottle app, due to launch in 2019, customers will be able to learn about every stage in a wine’s journey from the vine to the glass, just by scanning a code on the bottle. How many hours of sunshine did the grapes have? Where did they grow? On slate or quartz? The system has also changed how producers and customers communicate. Customers can use the app to report that a particular white wine pairs well with grilled salmon and is also the ideal accompaniment to a selection of French cheese.
Industry solutions, such as vindeaByD, which was designed for winegrowers, show how diverse a product portfolio SAP-certified partners offer. Digital solutions have enabled a wine producer, whose roots go back to the twelfth century and that even today draws on the records monks left behind from that time, to bring that legacy into the present. Indeed, one of its newest wines is called 1112.