Matthew Mann
March 11, 2010 | Compliance | Matthew Mann

REthink Compliance: Changing the “Whether”

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it!”

— attributed to Mark Twain.

Wine shipping compliance is much the same way, with most wineries grumbling about whether it is worth taking on the hassles compliance can bring. The question is whether they want to do anything about it.

Much noise is made about compliance issues in the wine business. There is a tug-of-war in state legislatures debating direct shipment bills about what it means, how it should be accomplished, and in the minds of the opponents of such bills, whether wineries shipping into their state will stay compliant (see the recent battles in Maryland). There is also a tug-of-war within individual wineries over the allocation of resources in tight economic times and whether attention should (or can) be given to compliance issues. Compliance is rarely viewed as an opportunity opening doors to new markets and frequently viewed as a barrier to competing within those markets. It’s considered confusing, time-consuming and boring (even I have to give a nod to that last one). Until now.

In January we launched an updated version of our REthink Compliance web tool as a service to our IBG eCommerce clients at no addtional charge. REthink Compliance provides complete consumer direct wine shipment compliance reporting and, as an integrated compliance solution with our REthink Engine technology, sales order compliance checks at the point of transaction. All with quite literally a few clicks of your mouse. The website is at www.rethinkcompliance.com and is newly redesigned with an attractive look and more topical information on wine compliance and shipping issues, including updates on changes to state law, agency contacts and resources for acquiring permits and licenses.

  • Compliance Reports - Powered by eCompli, REthink Compliance will generate complete, accurate compliance reports using the sales data automatically passed from the REthink Engine directly to REthink Compliance. No order file uploads required! Just login and view whichever reports you need. Even reports for periods with zero activity are generated to make staying compliant in every state you ship easy.
  • Compliance Checks - The new REthink Compliance also can check orders for compliance status at the point-of-transaction from the REthink Engine. Check for permit status, volume limitations, dry areas, or prohibited states before you ship to ensure each shipment meets the requirements for each state.

For years I’ve said that compliance is important. Many of the dramatic changes to direct shipping laws in the five years since Granholm are directly related to whether wineries are willing to follow the rules, report and pay state taxes, and stay compliant. Doing so convinces non-shipping states to open their borders to direct shipments because it allays their fears of unauthorized shipments and unremitted taxes. That opens new markets and creates new customer opportunities. Now, IBG eCommerce clients have a new tool at no additional charge to solve their direct shipment compliance issues: quickly, inexpensively and with minimal effort.

Change the “whether” in handling compliance. Contact your Account Manager to learn how easy it is to set up your account in REthink Compliance.


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