Success Story: Martine’s Wines Importer & Wholesaler

Martine’s Wines Streamlines Compliance with Sovos ShipCompliant

Martine's Wines Importer & Wholesaler

Located right outside California’s wine country in Novato, Martine’s Wines started out as a wine importing company in 1979, with just a handful of brands. Today, the company distributes in more than 40 states, and boasts a highly sought after portfolio, distinguished with both old and new world wines. Getting these wines shipped into different states compliantly and efficiently is crucial to their success and ongoing operations.

The Challenge

The need for a centralized database to streamline compliance

“I first contacted ShipCompliant in 2013 because Martine’s Wines was facing a major compliance project,” says Kate Laughlin, Vice President at Martine’s Wines. After changing ownership, Martine’s Wines found themselves in need of over 500 new COLAs, new licenses in 40 states, and new state-by-state brand and product registrations. Martine’s Wines was in search of effective software programs to streamline compliance and bring structure and efficiency to the department.

With several decades of operations under their belt, compliance had been through the hands of many different employees over the years. This led to a tangle of compliance files and documentation. There was no reliable system to indicate when a state license might need a renewal, to notify which products had been registered to which distributors in each state, or to inform on requirements for state licenses and shipping laws, which are often in flux.

Martine’s Wines knew a more efficient and modern solution had to exist for tackling compliance.

The Solution

ShipCompliant 3-Tier and Market Ready provided a centralized database, efficient compliance practices, and more

  • Centralized database for their business

  • Shortened time to market for new products

  • Empowered to focus on core business

“With product registration processes and regulations varying so widely among states, ShipCompliant has an intelligent and flexible yet foolproof tool for taking the user through the necessary registration steps,” mentions Kate. “The process is visual and logically designed. It is as simple as indicating which products to register in which states and ShipCompliant instantly populates forms and cover letters, pulls COLAs from the TTB database and collates the documents into one complete package.”

“With ShipCompliant 3-Tier and Market Ready, anyone at Martine’s Wines can find out within seconds which state licenses need renewal or which products have recently been registered,” says Kate. This has allowed Martine’s Wines to implement a more proactive approach towards compliance, instead of a reactive one.

“The more we put the software to work for us, the more the value of our ShipCompliant account increases, as it provides a useful historical record of our compliance,” says Kate. Compliance can be more than confusing. “If we ever get stuck, ShipCompliant’s customer service answers the phone and takes on the problem immediately. When we have suggestions for bettering their product, they listen and implement,” explains Kate.

ShipCompliant did more than just automate the compliance side of the business

ShipCompliant provided more than just efficient compliance. Along with registration tools, ShipCompliant boasts a sophisticated cloud-based ‘filing cabinet’ and a state and federal law library that can answer compliance questions. “Having these compliance-related resources at my fingertips gives us better peace of mind that our business is following the rules because anything can be looked up in a matter of seconds,” says Kate.

Martine’s Wines had unexpected benefits from their new ShipCompliant operations, including being a better partner to their state distributors. “With ShipCompliant, we are better positioned to work efficiently with our distributors and get products to market in compliance and without delay” says Kate.

Now, Martine’s Wines can focus on their core business of selling wine and developing relationships, instead of time-consuming compliance. With regulatory compliance, license management, and automated registrations, Martine’s Wines has visibility into their business and can operate with confidence, efficiency, and peace of mind.