United States

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates first worldwide on Microsoft e-commerce

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Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the third-largest premium wine company in the U.S., will deploy the first e-commerce site in the world to utilize the new Microsoft Dynamics for Retail e-commerce solution. Microsoft has released an Azure-based e-commerce platform that is designed to work with the popular Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail application, enabling a 100% Microsoft end-to-end omnichannel solution. Col Solare, one of Ste. Michelle’s premium brands (www.colsolare.com) will be the first on the new platform. The company will transition its remaining portfolio of brands later in the year.

RSM, the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the mid-market, was selected to implement the end-to-end system. RSM was selected for its breadth of expertise and capability to deliver on multiple channels using a rapid approach.

“RSM’s capabilities in delivering retail solutions for brick and mortar, call center and digital make them uniquely capable for this project. Because of RSM’s retail focused Rapid Verification Model, the project was implemented in just 19 weeks,” says Joe Gregg, Chief Information Officer for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

The Rapid Verification Model for retail has been developed internally by RSM. It includes a rapid configuration of the system and allows RSM’s clients to focus on strategic capabilities during the implementation. 

“Our RVM methodology provides the basic blocking and tackling of retail right out of the gate so that our clients can focus on capabilities that give them an edge. Clients using RVM have implementation cycles that are measured in weeks instead of months,” says Lindsay Carpen, Partner at RSM. 

The Microsoft e-commerce solution offers content management as a work stream that enables the digital brand manager with the tools needed to maintain the content of the site. This is a big change from Ste. Michelle’s old system where content was in line with the application code.

The Microsoft solution for Commerce is unique in the mid-market. Developer’s build modules using industry standard tools and languages that are the building blocks for the site. Pages can then be assembled from modules and content plugged in by the client’s digital marketing team.

“Providing a framework for managing the site that does not require a developer every time a change is needed is a game changer for us,” says Matt Luis, Director of Digital at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

When fully deployed, the Ste. Michelle solution will offer a unique wine club capability by allowing members to have visibility to and work with their club subscriptions across all channels. Guests will be able to sign up at the tasting room, through the call center or online. The functionality will also be available for members to add to their orders or swap out for other options at each wine club run.

“Microsoft’s realized vision for omnichannel retail allows us to build this wine club functionality once and have it work in all channels at the same time.  Having this capability reduces friction and enables Ste. Michelle to offer the best experience to our guests,” says Joe Gregg, Chief Information Officer for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

Just as important as the wine club, Ste. Michelle has tasting rooms that host guests from all over the U.S. and the world. Providing a top tier guest experience is important for the brand experience offered by all fourteen brands in Ste. Michelle’s portfolio. RSM and Microsoft delivered a single platform solution that provides experiences unique to each brand. The ability to manage multiple brands in a single platform within a single legal entity is no small feat. 

“RSM has enabled us to blend the technology into the tasting room branding experience.  With the new look and feel and Omni-channel features, including a tight integration to Ship Compliant, we are able to assist our guests with shipping all over the country, right from the tasting room floor,” says Melanie Baker, Senior Director of Direct-to-Consumer Operations for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, located outside of Seattle, Washington, has a distinguished history that dates back to 1934. The company pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington State while wines under the Ste. Michelle label were first introduced in 1967. Today, SMWE owns more than 3,900 vineyard acres across Washington, Oregon and California with key sites certified with the LIVE, Salmon Safe or Napa Green designations. SMWE’s ‘String of Pearls’ wine portfolio represents owned or imported brands, all demonstrating the producers’ unwavering commitment to creating distinctive, high quality wines from authentic estate vineyards. Chateau Ste. Michelle, its cornerstone winery, enjoys winemaking partnerships with some of the world’s most distinguished vintners. Col Solare is an alliance with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori, Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel’s Ernst Loosen and Tenet is a collaboration with Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie of France. SMWE’s charitable giving program, which supports some 400 non-profit organizations annually, has provided more than $3 million for scholarships for high-achieving, low-income students at Washington universities. The company also was the principal fundraiser for Washington State University’s viticulture and enology institution, the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center.

Ste. Michelle’s Washington portfolio includes: Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Col Solare, Northstar, Spring Valley Vineyard, MERF, INTRINSIC, Seven Falls and Michelle sparkling wines. In California, the company owns Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (with Italy’s Antinori family), Conn Creek (Napa Valley) and Patz & Hall (Sonoma). Ste. Michelle also owns Erath Winery, in Dundee, Oregon. The company became the exclusive U.S. importer in 2006 for the renowned Marchesi Antinori wines of Italy and Chile’s Haras de Pirque wines, for Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of France in 2009, and for New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate in 2010. For more information, please visit www.smwe.com.

About Microsoft
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About RSM US LLP
RSM’s purpose is to deliver the power of being understood to our clients, colleagues and communities through world-class audit, tax and consulting services focused on middle market businesses. The clients we serve are the engine of global commerce and economic growth, and we are focused on developing leading professionals and services to meet their evolving needs in today’s ever-changing business environment.

RSM US LLP is the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 41,000 people in 116 countries. For more information, visit rsmus.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and/or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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