Outside Magazine Names ShipCompliant One of America’s Best Places to Work in 2014

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Software Company Ranks #70 on National List for Workplace Excellence

ShipCompliant, the industry leader in compliance and tax automation for the beverage alcohol industry, has been selected as one of OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work 2014. Each year, OUTSIDE recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. These companies encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious, and prioritize giving back to the community. The entire list of winners appears online at www.outsideonline.com/dreamjobs.

“The credit lies with ShipCompliant’s team on this award. It is a group united by common core values and driven by our purpose to create great solutions for our customers.” said Jason Eckenroth, ShipCompliant’s CEO. “As a customer-funded business, we’ve had no choice but to focus on our ability to attract, hire and retain the very best people. The values articulated in Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work criteria were a natural fit for ShipCompliant.”

To find the best places to work in the United States, OUTSIDE conducted a rigorous eight-month vetting process in partnership with the Best Companies Group to assess the policies, practices, and demographics of hundreds of companies, and went straight to the employees to hear about factors like corporate culture, role satisfaction, work environment and overall employee engagement. The Best Places to Work list represents the cream of the crop: companies who cultivate a collaborative workplace, enable their employees to enjoy the great outdoors and take pride in their roles in the community and the environment.

“If you’re considering a career change or searching for your dream job, OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work list is the first place to look,” said OUTSIDE Executive Editor Michael Roberts. “These companies set the standard for workplaces that really value their employees and offer an experience that’s fulfilling inside and outside the office.”

ShipCompliant has also been named to the INC 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies in 2011, 2013, and 2014; Mercury 100 Fastest Growing Startups 2008-2013; and the 2011 Colorado Companies to Watch. In 2009, the company was named an IQ Innovation Award Winner, an honor that recognizes companies creating the most innovative new products or services.

Since its founding, ShipCompliant has been committed to providing legendary support for its clients facing challenges in the not-always-sexy world of tax and product compliance. The company’s core values are centered on authentic empathy, a passion for possibilities, being accountable for outcomes, and building in leverage to create exponential impact.

Located in the outdoors mecca of Boulder, Co., ShipCompliant currently employs 42 full-time employees and has plans to grow in the coming year. To view and apply for open positions, please visit ShipCompliant’s Careers page: www.shipcompliant.com/careers.

OUTSIDE published the full list of Best Places to Work on October 2. For more information, please visit www.bestplacestoworkoutside.com.

Media Contacts:
ShipCompliant Contact: Analiese Brown, 303-996-2358, analiese@shipcompliant.com
OUTSIDE Contact: Maya Meredith, 212-255-0945, maya@rosengrouppr.com

3 Reasons To Get Excited About The 2014 ShipCompliant Wholesale Gathering

It’s less than one month away from our first ever Wholesale Gathering in White Plains, NY. We are packing up and hitting the road to provide an opportunity to get people in the wholesale industry together on October 16th. Learn how other people in the industry are using ShipCompliant, and compare best practices to get a competitive advantage.

Here are the top three things you can look forward to in White Plains!

  1. A panel discussion on the unification of the Federal and State approval process
    Imagine a system where you could register and pay for your labels at the federal and state levels with just a few clicks. We’ll debate the short term feasibility and discuss possible solutions to solving the current headaches associated with getting products to market quickly and efficiently. Hear from an expert panel, including Deb Ringo from Diageo, Jeanie Cecil from Brown Forman, Robert Lehrman from Lehrman Beverage Law, and Jeff Carroll from ShipCompliant. The panelists will provide their perspective and tee up the discussion for a participatory session.
  2. Make your voice heard and build out the ideal technology roadmap
    Have you ever had a great idea for ShipCompliant Wholesale? What about an idea that would help your team, but you aren’t quite sure how to get it to decision makers? This session will be a great opportunity for clients and prospects alike to build out their wish-list of technology features directly with product managers and influencers. You can play a part in the next roll out of our industry.
  3. Short & sweet new technology presentations
    Technology businesses are catching on that the alcohol beverage industry and the data that goes along with it makes for a powerful business plan. In White Plains you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the latest technology via short presentations with ample time for Q & A. Look forward to learning more technology trends such as our industry alliance with GoSpotCheck, and our latest product, LabelVision.

Special offer for ShipCompliant Blog subscribers: Save 10% on your Wholesale Gathering registration with discount code SC10.

Sending our thoughts to California

All of us at ShipCompliant are very sorry to hear about the earthquake over the weekend that impacted our friends in Napa and Sonoma. While we are grateful to hear that none of our friends in the area are injured, we are saddened by the property damage, loss of inventory, and overall disruption to the operations the earthquake has caused.

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If you are not in Napa and would like to help those affected by the earthquake, you can donate to the Red Cross. Click here to donate directly to the Napa County Chapter. Additionally, we encourage wine drinkers to drink Napa wines (#drinknapa) to help make up for the costs of loss in inventory.

If you are in Napa and would like to help out, check out the Wine Industry Insights help forum where you can both ask for assistance and offer your assistance. Monitor news related to the Napa earthquake on WineBusiness.com. Additionally, a complete list of resources for the Napa community is available from Napa Valley Vintners.

Lastly, yesterday TTB recognized that the devastation caused by the earthquake may have affected the operations of certain taxpayers. TTB will consider waiving late filing, payment, or deposit penalties on a case-by-case basis. Read full details of the announcement here.

Stay safe everyone!

Indiana Now Requires Encrypted File Transfer for Alcohol Reports

No one disputes that applying new technology to the process of complying with state liquor regulations is long overdue. However, the new eFile requirements for Indiana excise taxes and shipping reports demonstrates that instituting new digital processes can be challenging. GenericFeatureBubble_compliance

The New Law

Beginning with the October filings (due in November), Indiana will require alcohol excise taxes to file reports and submit tax payments electronically. This applies to Direct-To-Consumer as well as wholesale reporting.

  • If you are reporting more than 50 transactions in a reporting period, you must do so via XML file format. If you are reporting less than 50 transactions, you can request to enter each transaction via the Indiana Department of Revenue transaction-by-transaction data entry.
  • Form 726 is now ALC-DWS: Direct Wine Seller’s Excise Tax Return
  • Forms ABP1-B and ABP1-WLare now ALC-PS: Primary Source Suppliers Monthly Report
  • Beginning August 15, 2014, taxpayers must register with INtax and have a 10-digit tax identification (TID) number with a three digit location. You will not need to reregister if you already have a TID.
  • Taxpayers must send PGP-encrypted files when filing.
  • In order to eFile, taxpayers must successfully upload at least two test files without errors. Once two files have been uploaded taxpayers will be able to perform a bulk file upload.
  • More details available on Indiana’s website.
  • ShipCompliant clients will have their tax payments calculated and reports generated in the appropriate XML format. Test uploads will also be available.

 

AutoFile and the ShipCompliant Fix

If this all sounds somewhat complicated, then you have correctly understood the implications of the new eFiling process in Indiana. AutoFile is a great solution for those wineries who would like to have the new reporting process handled automatically. AutoFile will handle all of the testing, encryption, and file transfer requirements on behalf of subscribers, with robust accounting tools and visibility into reports and payments. While we applaud the state of Indiana for updating their reporting process for a digital age, ShipCompliant’s mission is to ease the burden of compliance for all of our clients. In this case, the best way to do just that is to sign up for AutoFile. Plus, your first month of reporting is on us!

Alcohol Beverage Companies Will See 20/20 with LabelVision

The most comprehensive and efficient tool ever created to monitor newly approved for protecting your trademark and proprietary wine names, easily avoiding brand and product name conflicts, researching packaging trends, and brainstorming package design just hit the market. News of such a robust product is particularly exciting because both the novice and the experienced alcohol beverage professional will find value. It doesn’t matter what your day job is  – you will want to use LabelVision. Trends and trademarks change quickly in the alcohol beverage space. Often times we find it hard to get ahead of the curve and may not even know where to start when it comes to finding an original name for a competitive product. Innovations are incredibly popular right now. How can you be sure your innovation is timely and sets you apart?

You’ve heard of expensive trademark and copyright lawsuits before. In Boulder, a local brewery had to switch their brewery name over such a lawsuit. They had all their beer brewed, signs in the brewery were hung, and the labels were approved, all to change their name after years in the business. Infringing on a trademark isn’t on anyone’s to do list – yet how does it happen so often? Now, it doesn’t have to happen. From here on out, you can proactively protect your trademarks quickly and easily.

With LabelVision you will perform competitive analysis with beautiful and intuitive design in mind. Specify a certain date range, product type, company and more in one spot. LabelVision uses sophisticated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) so you can search for practically anything on an approved COLA. For example, you can use the words “gluten” or “carbonated” to search. Any label with either of these words will be returned because entire COLAs have been indexed into your new search database. If you nail down a search worth saving, you can do so for easy access in the future. Better yet – you can setup email notifications right when you start using LabelVision. An email notification is helpful (and these days necessary) for proactively protecting your intellectual property. You can export saved search results into an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis. Let’s say you’d like to take a look at industry trends. We serve up a catered report of wine, spirits, and beer and malt trends by calculating and counting COLA approvals.

If you are in alcohol beverage law, the search tools within LabelVision will be all the more powerful. Instead of spending hours searching for a group of approved COLAs, you will spend minutes. Your clients are safe with LabelVision’s email notifications in place. If another company steps on your client’s toes – you will be the first to know, not the last.

We’d like you to be among the first to try LabelVision. You’ll see the benefits in no time. What’s your beverage of choice? I bet you can find the label in less than 5 seconds. Did you know there are more than 25 approved zombie labels? Take a look! ShipCompliant will offer early bird pricing for a limited time, so make sure to get all of your questions answered now. ShipCompliant clients can take a look at LabelVision right in their account, under the analytics tab. If you are new to ShipCompliant, we’d like to find the right fit for you. Contact our sales team by emailing sales@shipcompliant.com or calling (303)-996-1745. In the meantime do checkout our free version of LabelVision. You’ll be able to search the last year of the most recently approved labels. Happy searching!


 

Is Massachusetts the Most Important Change Since Granholm?

The opening of Massachusetts for direct shipping is perhaps the most important change to the direct shipping market since the Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision in 2005. We estimate that within three years of opening for direct shipments on January 1, 2015, Massachusetts will easily vault into the top ten states by shipping revenue and represent over $60 million in additional revenue for wineries that ship.

Let us explain.

The value of opening up any given state for direct wine shippers is, we find, related to three primary factors:

1. The state’s population
2. The state’s proximity to an important wine producing state/region
3. Per capita consumption of the state

Massachusetts’ Population
Massachusetts has a population of approximately 6.6 million people, just above the national average of 6 million people per state. It is similar in population size to Tennessee, Indiana, Arizona and Washington State. While not a hugely populated state, it is by no means sparsely populated.

Massachusetts’ Proximity to a Wine Region
Massachusetts has a very small wine industry. However, it borders New York, an important wine producing state and wine tourism venue. This bodes well not just for New York wineries, but it suggests that Massachusetts wine lovers will benefit from easy access to wines they have recently discovered on day trips and weekend excursions.

Per Capita Wine Consumption in Massachusetts
Only five states have a higher per capita wine consumption rate than Massachusetts. At 29 bottles of wine consumed per person annually, Bay Staters consume wine at more than a 50% greater rate than the average state. They like their wine.

Given these factors, and looking at how similar states, in terms of consumption and location, rank in the direct-to-consumer shipping channel, we believe that Massachusetts wine lovers will have wine shipped to them at a significantly higher rate than the average state.

For the overall winery-to-consumer shipping market, 0.213 bottles of wine per capita were shipped in 2013. However, the top 10 winery-to-consumer shipping states averaged 0.276 bottles per capita. We have every reason to believe that Massachusetts will hew closely to this average within three years after the state opens for shipments. In fact, we are confident is saying that by 2018, three years after Massachusetts finally opens for direct shipping, it will generate more than $73 million in wine shipments and rank #7 for value of shipments among all legal states. Sales for DTC By 2023, the value of the Massachusetts direct shipping market will be over $100 million per year.

A number of people and organizations have worked very hard to open up Massachusetts for direct shipping and to give Massachusetts consumers the simple right to buy the domestic wines they desire, especially Coalition for Free Trade, Free the Grapes!, and Wine Institute. Many years, much lobbying, lawsuits, more lobbying, working the media and harnessing the power of the consumer finally brought it about. It’s not only long in coming and a sweet victory for everyone, but also a very profitable victory for wineries across the country.