Billing for tank and barrel storage, hire and hosting

vintrace allows you to bill your clients for a number of storage and hosting scenarios. With the flexibility vintrace provides, you can mix and match these scenarios to meet the needs of your price schedules.

Before reading on, it is assumed you’ve already read and understood the configuring section of the Client billing guide. Here is a matrix of the different charge types for storage, hire and hosting and their applications.

Storage charge Hire charge Barrel hosting
Per volume (gal or L) per period Yes No No
Per vessel fixed charge per period No Yes Yes
Bill for empty vessels No No Yes
Monthly utility to use Wine storage Wine storage Hosting charges

Quick Check List

  1. Decide whether you want to bill per day or per month
  2. Configure appropriate tank and barrel categories to group tanks and barrels together
  3. Decide whether you bill based on volume, per vessel in use or for hosting barrels (both empty and full)
  4. Setup your Charge items linking them to the appropriate Tank or Barrel category under the Storage Links tab
  5. Add your Charge items to price lists
  6. On a regular basis run Tools – Billing – Wine storage charges (volume and per vessel in use charges) and/or Tools – Billing – Vessel hosting charges (hosting charges)

Deciding on per Month or per Day billing rates

vintrace provides the capability to capture storage billing on a daily basis so you never miss out on revenue should a wine leave the premises part way through a month. If this is your preferred option and you currently work off a rate per month you can simply convert that rate into a daily price to list in your price schedule.

However, if you wanted to retain your per month billing rates, vintrace has support for this as well. At this stage you will need to request this option be enabled by our Support Desk by emailing support@vintrace.com with the request. Using this option allows you to enter the monthly rate into your price schedule instead of the daily rate mentioned above and requires you to run the Wine storage charges report for a monthly date range rather than any arbitrary period.

vintrace will calculate applicable storage rates using a pro-rata formula for wines held only for part of a month.

Important note about Tank and Barrel Categories and their use in relation to billing

For the tanks and barrels that you will be charging for, it’s important to group those tanks and barrels by using Tank and Barrel categories. These are configured under Winery Setup – Vessels. Once configured these provide a link between a group of vessels of the same type and a charge item for your billing. Without this grouping you would have to configure a charge item for every tank and barrel and that’s not very practical.

For tanks you may setup these based on size so a Tank Category called “1000gal Tanks” would link to all your tanks of that size.

For barrels a similar approach applies. You could configure a Barrel Category called French Oak because you decide you charge for that at a higher rate than American Oak and so link each of those two categories to the respective barrels. The Support Desk is here to establish this initial linkage for you so don’t hesitate to contact us.

For added simplicity in the context of raising charges for your clients, you can think of these categories as grouping your vessels into different prices in order to bill. That is, if we have one rate for all our 1000 gallon tanks and a different rate for all our 2000 gallon tanks then it makes sense to have two different Tank categories. 

The takeaway from this is to remember Tank and Barrel categories need to be set up in order to link a billable charge item to a group of barrels or tanks. The barrels and tanks themselves have a category field on them so set this under Winery Setup – Vessels (Tanks or Barrels).

Storage (usage) billing – Volume per period

Billing based on the volume held within a tank or barrel either on a daily or monthly basis. For example, California winery ACME wines charges its customers a flat rate of $.10 per gallon per month for wine held in 1000 gallon tanks.

The first step is to ensure we have Tank category configured as described in the section above. Then we want to create a new Charge item under Winery Setup – Client Billing – Items

We give this a Code that will show up as a line item on the invoice and we set the Charge type to Volumetric. Next select the Storage links tab

For storage-based billing using volume as the multiplier (remember $.10 per gallon per month), you need to select the Tank Category from the Storage Usage Categories check list. This creates the link between this new charge item and the group of tanks linked to the selected Tank Category.

Once you save your item, you can then add it to a price list as usual.

This same approach works for barrels as well, where you charge for the volume actually in the barrel rather than a fixed fee for the barrel itself.

Important note: these charges will be captured for you when you run the utility under Tools – Billing – Wine storage charges

Hire billing – Fixed fee per vessel per period

This section covers billing using a fixed rate per tank or barrel and on a daily or monthly basis for tanks in use. It’s important to make the distinction that this charge type relates to vessels in use for a particular period. If you need to bill for empty barrels or tanks then you’ll need to look at the hosting charges section.

Tip: You would typically use this option for barrels that you own rather than barrels the client owns. For client-owned barrels with fixed rate billing, it would be better to use the Barrel hosting charges option below.

Using our California winery ACME wines as an example, they bill a fixed rate of $8 per barrel per month for barrels in use during that time. First make sure you have a Barrel category configured (as described above) to group those barrels together. If your price schedule is as simple as a flat fee for all barrels in use then you’d only need one category for all your barrels. But in reality reasons why you’d have multiple categories may include wanting to charge more for different characteristics e.g. size Hogshead versus Barrique, age: New oak vs Old Oak and perhaps oak type: French vs America. In this example we’ll use one called Hogsheads because we like to charge extra for it.

Create new price item - barrel category fixed chgs

Note: ensure the Charge type is set to Fixed. Next we’ll link the new item on the Storage Links tab. In this example as we’re billing based on a Fixed amount so we need to select the applicable category ‘Barrique’ from the Storage Hire Categories check list.

You can now add this new item to your price list and enter the fixed amount you want to charge per barrels in use.

Important note: these charges will be captured for you when you run the utility under Tools – Billing – Wine storage charges. Do this on a monthly basis before raising your invoices.

Barrel Hosting charges

Barrel hosting charges apply where you host client barrels onsite and you want to bill them for the storage of those barrels whether or not they are empty or full.

If you are billing for hosting charges in addition to one of the two methods above you wouldn’t need to add a new Barrel category as you could simply select that under the Vessel Storage Categories for the new charge items that you add. Alternatively if you only bill this way for client barrels you’ll need to setup a category and link that to the barrels. Something simple like ‘Client barrel hosting’ would suffice in that case.

Importantly ensure the Charge type for this item is set to Per barrel.

For this example, we’re billing for Storage (volume per period) as well as a Hosting fee; we’ll re-use our existing Barrique Barrel category.
At this point you can add this item to your price list entering the amount you want to charge per barrel (whether empty or full).
For barrel hosting charges there is another step you need to make sure your tracking the time a barrel is onsite and being hosted by you. You can set this information against a barrel under Winery Setup – Vessels – Barrel. Select the Tracking details tab
Barrels that have no ‘Out Time’ are considered active. Also barrels with an ‘Out Time’ are considered inactive. When barrels are changed from being either active or inactive a dialog will appear asking for the date the barrel arrived/left the site.Hitting save will apply all changes. There are checks to ensure no incomplete Tracking Details exist, if so an error dialog will alert you.
Important note: these charges will be captured for you when you run the utility under Tools – Billing – Barrel hosting charges. Do this on a monthly basis before raising your invoices.
Running the Storage charge generator (for wine storage or hosting charges)
You can capture storage charges for any period of time although most wineries tend to capture these monthly or quarterly. We allow you to input your own dates using the Storage charge generator. This is available under Tools – Billing – Wine Storage or Hosting charges.
Important tip:if you wish to calculate your charges based on a Monthly rather than a Daily rate you will need to run this utility for the 1st to the end of the month on a regular basis. Please ensure you have the monthly rate option enabled by contacting the Support Desk.
New Wine Storage Charges Generator
Using this tool you can find bulk wines that were in stock during the selected period and, importantly, were in a tank or barrel that had a billable category set. vintrace will only charge for storage on wines that have been in a tank or barrel with a billable category and where that wine is part of a wine batch with a linked service order. It’s important that you spend some time configuring your system correctly in order to capture the right charge information when you do your storage run.
  • Opening date – this is the start of the period you want to capture storage charges for. Set this so it corresponds to the end period of your last storage run.
  • Closing date – this is the closing date for the period you want to capture storage charges for. You may leave this open ended but in practice it is wise to set an actual date.
  • Service order – if you want to only find wines for a specific client’s Service order then set this option
  • Specific batch – identify just a single wine batch if you wanted to capture storage charges for that batch only
  • Report by batch owner – shows only those wines where the entire batch of wine is owned by the selected client, otherwise if mixed ownership wines (within the same tank) exist they will be included separately within the results
  • Owners – this field allows you to filter the storage charges based on any number of your clients. It’s good practice to run the storage charge generator for each client in turn so you have an opportunity to review their charges on screen before saving.
When satisfied with your option selections click Determine charges.After using Determine charges you can make addition line notes in the Notes field or even adjust the calculation. To remove a charge all together use the  option.Click Save and the charges will be added to the appropriate Service orders.
Summary

As you can see from the different scenarios above the key is to ensure you have your Tank and Barrel categories configured correctly (and linked to your individual tanks/barrels) before selecting the right category from the Storage tab in the setup for your charge items.

As a quick reference guide just remember:

Storage billing: Volume per period = link your charge item to a category in the Storage Usage Categories check list

Hire billing: Fixed fee per vessel per period = link your charge item to a category in the Storage Hire Categories check list

Barrel Hosting charges = link your charge item to a category in the Vessel Storage Categories check list

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