There are a multitude of complicated issues when it comes to running a brewery. We’ve compiled a list of the top 4 reasons breweries consider OrchestratedBEER to help streamline processes to make the tedious back-end tasks a bit easier.
Problem: Excel Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets are a business staple but they can only go so far. The number one problem we hear about spreadsheets is that there’s so much time invested in making them work properly for the brewery that if a formula broke or someone accidentally saves over it you would be in bad shape.
Most breweries use spreadsheets to track inventory with linked sheets. You’re one misstep away from disaster. You can build the perfect spreadsheet database for your brewery but you still have to manually input all the data and update it regularly. There’s also the common pitfall of relying on spreadsheets as the gospel truth on which all your decisions are made. A writer for Inc.com wrote a thought-provoking article entitled “The Curse of Microsoft Excel”. In five simple paragraphs he presents his case that businesses too often rely on spreadsheets for support and the foundation of the business rather than as an analysis tool.
“They (businesses) use them for support–rather than for analysis and guidance-;in exactly the same way that a late night drunk relies on a lamppost. Welcome to the world of made-up metrics.” Well said, Mr. Tullman.
Spread sheets are great reporting and analysis tools. Don’t be tempted to build your entire business on it.
Solution: Real-time Inventory Tracking
As you progress through the various steps of the production process, raw materials and semi-finished goods are being depleted or transferred for you automatically in the background. You benefit with real-time inventory levels by tank, location or warehouse and you don’t have to worry about keeping those elaborate spreadsheets intact. You can generate accurate, real-time inventory reports to see inventory levels of any item at any time of the day. Recipes are also a critical part of the inventory management process. Read the blog on How to Manage Beer Recipes using Brewery Software to see how ingredients are tracked and download the webinar recording below to see the concepts illustrated.
Whiteboards are good for doodling and jotting down ideas or lists, heck, we use whiteboards in our work rooms, conference rooms and throughout the office all the time to quickly and easily visualize an idea or concept. Whiteboards shouldn’t really be anything more than an idea board. A lot of people, however, actually put their whole production schedule on a white board. All it takes is one person to literally rub it the wrong way to wipe your schedule away. It’s great for visibility but what if you need to transfer that information or knowledge to someone else?
Solution: Digital Drag & Drop Production Scheduler
Take all that past and present information from your whiteboards and calendars and make it available for everyone who needs it. The production scheduler looks like a Gmail calendar with color coded batches that correspond to each production run. You can drag a batch to another day and it will automatically update the data accordingly.
Problem: QuickBooks/bookkeeping software
QuickBooks is always a touchy subject around breweries because everyone uses it, yet everyone knows it’s not a long-term solution. We’re not the only one saying it either. QuickBooks is perfect if you’re a small retail store selling hats and t-shirts or even a “simple” manufacturing business assembling widgets. The problem is that breweries manufacture items classified under food and beverages, which brings a whole other lot of traceability complications and accountability issues.
QuickBooks wasn’t designed to handle batch manufacturing, so many people try to manipulate the system to make it do things it wasn’t designed to do. It’s like buying a metal tank and customizing it into a fermenter. It’ll work for a while before it eventually breaks down. You wouldn’t take shortcuts with your beer would you? Why would you consider shortcuts in your business?
If you want all the dirty details about QuickBooks and its shortfalls, check out our blog: QuickBooks for breweries: Good or Bad? Also check out all our testimonials from breweries now using OrchestratedBEER who quickly found that QuickBooks is not a good long-term accounting solution.
Solution: Automated Accounting
OrchestratedBEER creates the accounting transactions automatically in the background as you move through the production process. It eliminates most of the manual entry work you would normally do in QuickBooks or other book keeping software. To learn more about the accounting process download the “Brewery Accounting Simplified” video below
Problem: Hand-written notes
Let’s face it – some of us weren’t blessed with the best hand writing. Suddenly, that “S” looks like an “8” and your batches are all messed up because someone couldn’t read your brewer’s hand writing. The information from hand-written notes and brew logs must be transpired into another tool whether it be Excel, Word, QuickBooks, Access database etc. It’s time to go digital.
Solution: Digital Brew Sheets
We’ve taken the same familiar paper forms used in your brew house and made it digital so there’s no mistaking what those hieroglyphics actually mean.
Keep digital records of your batches like QC data, log temp, gravity, etc, so there’s never any question about the accuracy of your brew data.
If you’d like to learn more about OrchestratedBEER, or still have questions, check out the helpful resources below to get started: