How much does ERP Brewery Management Software cost?
One of the most common questions we get from people is about our pricing. It usually sounds like something along the lines of: "I'm a small brewery. How much is this thing and can I afford it?" It's a very legitimate question that probably has many of you wondering why our website features a significant amount of web content, videos, brochures and webinars, but no published pricing information to make it easy for everyone. The answer isn't so cut and dry because there are many different factors and 3 different brewery software product options available depending on the size, need and budget of the inquiring brewery.
The response to the affordability question is that you definitely can't afford NOT to invest in OrchestratedBEER, which doesn't rely on spreadsheets, whiteboards and bookkeeping software. With all the investments already made in your equipment, tanks, hoses, lines, gauges and/or brewery automation equipment, you can't afford to run it all on a convoluted system of linked spreadsheets and off-the-shelf bookkeeping software.
We know small breweries are on a shoestring budget, but there's only so much functionality included in those spreadsheets. The rest of the functionality gaps are handled manually by your brewer, controller, operations manager or yourself. Think of the labor costs associated with manually managing those processes and not to mention the opportunity costs of spending your time brewing great beer for your consumers. There will come a point in a brewery's lifespan when you either outgrow simple software and can't maintain efficiency, or you're desperate for advanced analytics that pinpoint the problems that spreadsheet can't. With the brewery industry being fruitful, this point may come sooner than you anticipate, so you need to be ready.
Some things you should know about brewery management software:
Before we talk about what to look for, we must first understand what brewery management software is. Brewery management software is software that manages the business side of a brewery. Not parts of a brewery, but the entire brewery. In order to manage an entire brewery, the brewery management software must manage all of the different processes that take place in a brewery such as sales, supply chain, production, quality control, inventory, accounting, planning, and reporting. Only Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software provides a single software solution to manage all of the different processes in an enterprise. OrchestratedBEER is an ERP software solution that provides all of the necessary functionality to manage your entire brewery.
- It's not just software
The most common misconception about brewery management software is that it's just a software installation. ERP brewery management software is not just a software installation to fix a problem. ERP brewery management software is an installation of best business practices that utilizes software to achieve efficiencies and improve your bottom line.
- Compare apples to apples
Not all brewery software systems are created equal. Sounds like a no brainer, right? But seriously, make sure you're comparing apples to apples when you begin searching for a system to replace your spreadsheets and bootstrap brewery management system. There are systems out there that claim to be brewery management software but only provide funtionality to manage a certain aspect of the brewery, like planning. These software tools may accomplish particular tasks but aren't considered a true ERP system, as they do not provide functionality for the entire brewery enterprise. ERP brewery management software is not an off-the-shelf solution that's just a step up from spreadsheets. It's not even similar to enterprise versions of QuickBooks or Peachtree. It's a complete automated system to run every aspect of your brewery while streamlining your process flow, so you can focus on brewing beer, not entering data.
- An all-in-one system
Avoid systems that claim to be "brewery management software" and require you to integrate with the same accounting and bookkeeping software that is part of your problem in the first place. A true ERP system has everything you need in one centralized place. A true ERP system is also its own closed system and contains its own general ledger (accounting). Accounting should be part of the ERP brewery management software because of all of the checks & balances that go into ensuring the accuracy of accounting. If individuals or 3rd party software applications are creating those accounting transactions from outside of the accounting or bookkeeping software, there is a higher risk of inaccuracy and lack of data validation. Read QuickBooks for Breweries: Good or Bad?
It's important to be knowledgable about the hidden costs of ERP systems that provide functionality through "bolt-ons". Just because it's an ERP system, doesn't mean that it is a system for a brewery enterpise. Typically ERP systems that are not specific to craft breweries will seek 3rd party "bolt-ons" to provide the additional functionality that is required for a brewery. The problem with this is that now you are dealing with multiple companies involved in the pieced solution. What happens when you need to upgrade or make changes?
ERP brewery management software (OrchestratedBEER) is designed to completely replace the systems you're currently using at your brewery. Keep in mind when considering your software budget that you are replacing 4-5 different pieces of software. Don't let this scare you into thinking that there's no way a startup or small brewery can afford such a system. We have a number of startups and small breweries that have invested in software before they even start brewing. It's difficult to justify the investment at first if you haven't done the research or understand the value of brewery management software.
- ERP is an investment, not an expense
ERP brewery management software is not an off the shelf software system and may require some configuration and minor setup. ERP systems are an investment that will provide a solid ROI in the long run. Spreadsheets, bookkeeping software, and whiteboards are short-term solutions to a long-term problem that is often labor intensive, convoluted and inneficient.
- It's not just for the big guys anymore
ERP brewery management software hasn't always been affordable for startups and small breweries. Before we launched our latest OnDemand cloud offering, brewery management software required a larger upfront investment as well as some sort of hosting platform or in-house server. OnDemand has been made affordable for the smallest breweries, including startup breweries, by offering a turnkey solution in a subscription-based offering in the cloud. Each product has its benefits, but OnDemand is the best option for startups and small breweries operating on a shoestring budget.
- You're never too big or too small
We have 3 different offerings for breweries of all sizes, from startup to large regional brewery. As mentioned earlier, we have startups that invested in the solution before production even began because they understand the value of putting systems in place from the beginning. The same software is available in a more customizable version which has advanced functionalities specific for large craft breweries that scales up to 1,000 employees, called OrchestratedBEER Enterprise. OrchestratedBEER Standard is designed for midsized craft breweries who have standard needs but may grow to have more enterprise needs in the future, called .