“Looking into the future” of wine with James Miles and the IMW

Last week, Liv-ex’s Chairman and Managing Director, James Miles, took part in a webinar organised by the Institute of Masters of Wine titled “Looking into the future – how technology will change the wine world”. He stressed that although our industry has traditionally not been an early adopter of technology, it would be unwise to ignore the benefits of good innovation and cross-industry learnings.

James suggested that increased connectivity is changing the face of the wine world by creating opportunities to grow revenues and decrease costs. He explained that the evolution from social to semantic web – from person-to-person to machine-to-machine interaction – “will remove a lot of friction from the supply chain”.

This automation not only reduces the risk of human error and allows retailers to expand their offering and stockholders to expand their reach, but also puts the customer in control of the transaction. Due to a standardisation of data, the wine industry is well positioned to benefit from this trend like many other sectors before it.

James highlighted the two innovations driving this trend: APIs (software that allows machines/apps to share data and instructions cheaply and reliably) and LWIN (Liv-ex’s unique wine name identifier that allows computers to share a common language). Standardisation is key for machines to communicate and exchange information automatically. LWIN is free forever.

He said that the current global crisis will only speed up the migration of business online. He concluded that “technology should never be the key focus. It is all about balance”.

Other participants included Pam Dillon, CEO of Wine Ring, who discussed digital automation of operations, Vivino’s CEO Heini Zachariassen, talking about AI predictive technology, and Maxime Debure, CEO of WineFunding, on how technology can help finance wine businesses and increase customer loyalty.

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