Agustin Huneeus, president of a $50 million winery in Rutherford, Calif., noticed that when he went to a fancy restaurant to dine, he rarely found one of his own Franciscan Estate Selections wines on the wine list. "Where on earth is my product being sold?" he wondered.

To take control of where his product went, Huneeus had to contact 50 distributors, find out which stores, restaurants, hotels, and nightclubs they were selling to, track those sales, and then offer them guidance on how best to change their strategies. He and his son, vice president of sales Agustin Francisco Huneeus Jr., ended up buying Trade Account Management, a proprietary system developed by MKF Systems (707-963-9222) that was customized to work with GoldMine (GoldMine Software, 800-654-3526), an off-the-shelf contact management program. Trade Account Management includes a central database on a Micron file server; GoldMine is tied into the system and loaded on salespeople's laptops.

Here's how it works: Distributors send their reports to the database electronically. Trade Account Management breaks out the sales numbers and dates from each distributor's accounts and arranges them by region, state, zip code, and type of wine. Huneeus can then mine the system for intelligence, such as how his Chardonnays sold in 1992 or how his Cabernets did in the Midwest. GoldMine, on the other hand, houses the demographic information. By dialing into the Micron file server, salespeople can retrieve or send updated demographic information whenever they need to.

Plans are now under way to integrate contact management functions into the Trade Account Management software, eliminating the need for two programs.