—ShipCompliant, the company that helps wineries comply with a maze of regulations when they ship wines directly to customers in the 40 states where wine shipping is legal, will unveil a new service at the DIRECT 2014 conference Thursday in Napa. The new technology, AutoFile, allows wineries now filing as many as 800 reports and tax payments per year to various state agencies to completely automate this time-consuming process.
ShipCompliant CEO Jason Eckenroth said in advance of the conference that he expects AutoFile to save wineries hundreds of man-hours annually and thousands of dollars in expenses associated with complying with state-shipping regulations that apply to the $1.6 billion annual sales channel.
AutoFile will eliminate the need for wineries to manually print, process, organize and mail hundreds of reports and sales tax filings to state regulatory bodies across the country.
Eckenroth said wineries adopting the service will now review monthly any filings and tax payments required by states, approve them, and AutoFile will do the rest. The winery will have total visibility of the process and as much control of details as it wants.
“When they get the monthly report, and if they are good with it, it will go. The payments will be made and the forms filed. If they want to look at it further—or delay a report or a payment—they can. They will have full control,” Eckenroth said.
The AutoFile service starts at $150 per month for existing ShipCompliant customers with basic volume levels. Costs increase based on increased volume of reports. Customers new to ShipCompliant would pay at least $300 for the combined compliance and AutoFile services, depending on their volume.
Eckenroth said that AutoFile has been in the company’s vision for many years, and he thinks that it could be a game changer for some wineries. The Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision of 2005 prompted most states to open up to direct wine shipments from out of state, but at the same time it made the regulatory burden on wineries many times more costly and time consuming.
Eckenroth said that the many state regulatory changes since then, and AutoFile’s ability to cope with them, could bring a new surge in sales by wineries. “When you take away the compliance hassles, and even handle the reports and payments for wineries, then that invites some of the best minds in the business to use their capabilities and talents for more productive pursuits.”
For more information see shipcompliant.com