My Library and Courses
Last Update: Friday October 30, 2020

Key Idea: Use Technology to Beat Competitors

Opici Wine Group moves 2 million cases of wine through its modern warehouse every year.

Key Question:

A: 

Excellent user-friendly processes can trump a charming personality. Many very small companies depend upon the charisma of their leaders. However, no amount of charm can make up for the fact that you might not be able to give customers reports or quick service because your systems are slow or out of date.

Q:  Why is technology so important today?

A:  Because information is power. The more you have the better you can serve customers and stay ahead of your competitors. Vice President of Sales, Patrick Botten, is proud of Opici's stategy to be a leader in the use of technology. It may even be the reason that Opici was able to recruit Pat.

Q:: Why do so many small business owners avoid being the first to use a new technology?

A: It is expensive and risky to be first. The Opici family is committed to the long haul so they don't take money out of the business when they know they need to try some new technology. There is always money to risk on ideas that may increase sales and or reduce the costs of operations. It is also interesting that they do not look to other wine distributors only for ideas. They look at all types of distribution companies for information that will help them improve.

Think about it

Are you ahead of your competitors when it comes to the use of technology? What do you need to do to become a leader in this area?

Clip from: Opici Wine Group's Three Generations

Glen Rock, New Jersey:  One never knows when power, love, and money intersect within a family, how it'll play out. When company founders, Rose and Hubert Opici, thought the next generation was ready to run the company, they retired to Florida.  They were a bit too optimistic. Though from within the family, their new leadership had power and money but not the love that was Rose and Hubert's special ingredient that had nurtured this business into being for over three decades. Luckily, Rose and Hubert were paying attention. They came out of retirement, removed their bad apple, and restored health and vitality to the business.  
 
The hard lessons learned from that experience steeled the family for the tasks ahead. Their daughter, Linda, became president and they began recruiting strong veteran industry talent. Then to prepare their grandchildren, Dina and Don are getting on the job training from the bottom up.
 
Learn how a business is built by celebrating life around an evening dinner with family, customers and suppliers. It is a very basic business formula: Know your customers and suppliers well. Get to understand them, like them, and trust them, and the business follows.

This company opened for business in 1933 and you will hear the third generation talking about taking Opici into its second century of operation. 

Go to all the Key Ideas & Videos of this episode...

Opici Wine Group

Linda Opici, President

25 DeBoer Drive
Glen Rock, NJ 07452
2016891200

Visit our web site: http://opici.com

Office: 2016891200

Business Classification:
Distributors

Year Founded: 1933

Use Technology to Beat Competitors

HATTIE: From this 200,000 square feet warehouse, 35-40 trucks are loaded every night with 7-12,000 cases. Everything is bar-coded and laser scanned. In the daytime 10-12 containers are received.

LINDA: We're looking at the future, we're looking at growth. We moved into this warehouse three years ago. And we thought that it would keep us sufficiently housed for at least five years. And here we are in our new addition of 35,000 square feet. Close to heaven.

HATTIE: Patrick Botten is Vice President of operations.

PATRICK: It's very much a logistics business - incoming and outgoing. (Voiceover)

Employee: All right, you want to place an order?

PATRICK: We have an ability to be able to take projects, work them through, and get the team working on it. So that we see every part of it and we discuss many of the parts of the project so that we can keep moving them forward. And of course, the company has never been afraid of technology.

Based upon its size, we have started with many of the products and the technologies that are used within the industry today - we started here. Presently we are using a touchtone phone system with audio response. Our salespeople call their orders in remotely, directly into our computer system. We also supplement that with our customer service department which deals with our customers on an everyday basis. And handling any of the problems that the sales people encounter while they are in the trade.

HATTIE: As a salesperson, I call in and I talk to the computer?

PATRICK: Yes you do. And the computer gives you a response out. Whether the goods are in stock, out of stock. Whether a customer can be shipped - and whether they are going to get delivery tomorrow.

Not a member yet? Learn!  Be empowered! Join us!