Jason and Deb Harris’s journey into the world of wine began long before Stone & Key Cellars came to fruition. As the owners of Keystone Homebrew Supply, the couple has been helping winemakers create great wine since 1992. In the fall of 2013, however, they decided it was time to open up their own winery. Stone & Key Cellars is now an award-winning winery in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with two locations under their belt. The winery sources grapes from California, Washington, and Chile and now even makes cider. Plus, Stone & Key even offers the opportunity for customers to make a barrel of wine — from start to finish — with the winery’s team.
Stone & Key’s growth in recent years has been an exciting challenge for the winery’s team to take on. From powering growth to opening new locations and everything in between, Stone & Key needed a solution that would help them manage production, execute sales seamlessly, and communicate more effectively. Plus, winery management software would help the business compete in a modern wine marketplace.
Stone & Key’s internal processes are streamlined and efficient using Ekos for sales orders and cross-team collaboration. Terry McNamara, who originally bought homebrewing supplies from the Harrises at Keystone Homebrew Supply, is now the commercial sales director at Stone & Key Cellars. He says Ekos is helping their team save time with each transaction and avoid confusion between teams.
As commercial sales director, Terry got most customer orders via email. Before Ekos, he would send individual orders via email to the winery’s bookkeeper, who in turn created an invoice and then emailed it to the customer and the production team, who ultimately pulled the orders. Since there was no real visibility to inventory, at the time he placed the order, he frequently found out on delivery morning whether the customer’s order was really in stock. This disconnect between invoicing and inventory frequently caused delays on delivery mornings along with extra phone calls and emails to a potentially disappointed customer. Plus, relying on back-and-forth emails to create invoices used time that Terry and the bookkeeper could spend elsewhere.
Now when Terry receives orders, he can use Ekos to check inventory, create invoices himself, and let the customer know the charge within minutes. “Ekos streamlines my job a lot,” he said. Gone are the days of phone calls the day after an order is placed asking, “We’re out of the Cabernet, can you try something else?” With Ekos, the winery’s inventory management process is set up for success, helping him get orders right the first time.
Customer Experience Simplified
Customers who choose to pick up their orders enjoy the invoicing process via Ekos too. Before, they might not have known how much their order cost until they walked in the door at Stone & Key. Now, customers are aware of the amount due and have payment ready to go. It’s simple, Terry said. “I literally have not heard of one issue with invoicing through Ekos, and that’s from 40-50 active customers,” Terry said. “I honestly cannot think of one person who’s had anything negative to say about it. It’s easy, the invoice is right in their inbox and they can save it right in their email. It’s great.”
Stone and Key has experienced a lot of growth in recent years — tripling their business. With this exciting growth come more customers and more products and orders to keep track of. Luckily, Stone and Key’s team prepared for growth with winery management software to keep them organized and drive efficiencies. “There’s no question that our use of Ekos has helped us in handling our growth,” Terry said.
With two great winemakers on board, a top-notch production staff, an amazing driver, a solid management team, and great products to share with their customers, Terry is looking forward to Stone & Key’s future. “We’re making wonderful wine and cider, we’re much more efficient, and I’m excited for where I think this winery can go,” he said.