By Jim Brumm
The largest wine industry survey in the industry in three years, launched earlier this summer, has extended its deadline for responders until August 15. The 2013 Moss Adams Wine Industry Financial Benchmarking Survey is aimed at gathering market, operational and financial data from wineries, vineyards and negociants to determine and evaluate current wine industry standards and benchmarks. The goal: to assist the industry in developing better planning strategies and decision making.
Bill Rodda, Vice President of AmericanAg Credit, one of the survey’s sponsors, said:
The idea of the survey is to provide reliable benchmarking numbers, both financial and operational. How does your business compare to others in your peer group? What is your overhead per case compared to the industry at large? People want to know if they’re running fat or lean and one way to find that out is by comparing their company’s numbers to other, similar companies. This survey provides that information.”
Information is being gathered from California, Oregon, and Washington. Participants in the survey will have their company’s information folded into the greater body of data across three states and a wide spectrum of similar businesses to provide a snapshot of what peers are doing across the board. Participants not only receive a free copy of the report, they will have access to it before it is released to the industry at large —a $495 value.
New, Streamlined Survey
This year’s survey has been streamlined and simplified over the 2009 survey and participants will be asked to follow one of four tracks, depending on their type of business: Winery only, winery and vineyard, vineyard only, and negociant. In addition, to the shorten the time required to complete the survey, participants will be given a list of exactly what information will be gathered. The survey will build on the results published by Moss Adams in 2009 and provide information on a range of topics including general industry trends, sales, production and viticultural data, along with operating and financial metrics, by region.
Power in Numbers
The more businesses that participate, the more relevant and applicable the information in the survey will be. The information can be used as a detailed snapshot for vineyard and winery owners to compare their operation against those of their peers. “We aggregate and report on important operating and financial information,” said Rick Boland of Moss Adams LLP. “This information allows the wineries to benchmark themselves against others in the industry.”
Help Plan Your Company’s Future
According to Rick Boland, the information provided in the survey can be valuable when making decisions for the future. “The survey can help provide answers when deciding what to grow, how much you can expect to sell it for, what wine you choose to produce, what price you set, how you discount, and how many people visit your tasting room, wine club memberships, and more,” he said. “On the financial side it shows what your financials say relative to what others have submitted—gross margins, profitability, debt. It allows businesses to pinpoint areas that need more attention.”
Bill Rodda agreed: “Let’s say you have a fifteen-thousand case winery, and you want to expand to twenty-five thousand cases,” he said. “With the information in the survey you can look at the numbers at fifteen and twenty-five and see the increased expenses you’ll incur on a per-case basis—expense per dollar of revenue. Is it worth it? This is very valuable in making strategic decisions. Sometimes selling more does not translate into more net income. The survey provides critical information for decisions such as these.”
But Rodda also points out that to get a “good look” at the industry—for the information to be of greatest value—you need as much information as possible across a broad spectrum of businesses. This is why it’s so important for your winery or vineyard to participate in the survey.
All Information is Confidential
According to a FAQ sheet released by Moss Adams LLP, all information gathered in the survey, which will be released in October, 2013, is confidential; only the aggregate numbers are released to the industry. The data and identities of participants are accessible only by authorized Moss Adams LLP survey staff. Data will only be aggregated in groupings that have a sufficient number of participants to ensure that the information of any one participant is not disclosed.
Win a Catered Lunch for You and Your Team
Finally, in addition to receiving a free copy of the survey, participants who complete the survey by August 15 will be entered to win a catered lunch— up to a $500 value. Start your survey at www.mossadams.com/winesurvey. Once registered, you will receive an email with your unique survey link and instructions. You can contact Rick Boland of Moss Adams for more information and help to complete the survey.