If you’re a start-up brewery, or maybe even a large, successful brewery with a great reputation, chances are you have some sort of management system and a set of standard processes in place to keep your back office running like a well-oiled machine. And if you don’t, or you think your brewery is not performing as efficiently as you’d like it to, then consider this a metaphorical “check engine” light on your dashboard – a friendly reminder to take a look under the hood of your brewery and check for any signs of information leakage, inefficiencies or potential problems in the future.

Part 1 of our 3 part webinar series discussed the “6 Signs of Needing Brewery Software”. For Part 2 we’ll discuss 4 ways you can remove stagnant processes and bottlenecks in your operation, and increase efficiencies with the help of brewery software.

1. Single software system for all to interact

-Multiple systems lead to dual entry and questionable information:

The path to a well-oiled machine starts with streamlining your processes in the background. But before you can even begin to streamline your brewery’s processes, you must first centralize your information. When using multiple systems, you run the risk of “information leakage”, or inconsistencies as information is transferred between your software. How much time are your employees spending entering the same data twice into different systems? Reduce the risk of human error and avoid dual entry by consolidating your systems.

-Leaks lead to inefficiencies:

If you have cracks in your engine block or exhaust pipe, you’re probably losing power and maybe even hurting your gas mileage. The same is true with your brewery. Seal those leaks and tighten things up if you want the most efficient, economical use of resources.

2. Knowledge must be publicized at the department level

-Knowledge maintained by individuals leads to bottlenecks in your process flow.

Before you can become a centralized brewery at the macro level, you need to publicize knowledge within each department on a micro level. For example, your brewmaster knows everything there is to know about your beer. That information is typically stored in a spreadsheet, notes, or even worse – in their head. Publicizing that knowledge will empower your entire production team to function while your brewmaster is on vacation because they all have access to the information they need. No spreadsheets, no notes, no proprietary head knowledge.

3. Information must be kept centralized

-Information kept segregated leads to information silos and couriersinformation silo

After you have publicized your knowledge base at the departmental level, you can begin to centralize information and become cross departmental. An information silo is information held solely by a single individual in charge of his or her department.

For example, Joe in sales has to go to Bill in production if he wants to know when your IPA will be available to sell. Bill is an information silo for production because he holds key information required for Joe’s sales department to function properly. Joe is a courier of this information as he runs back and forth between departments to get information he needs. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to keep all this information in a centralized place? Eliminating these brewery speed bumps by centralizing information is crucial to becoming a cross-departmental brewery.

4. Automate your process flow

-Interrupted process flow leads to inefficiencies

The previous example of Joe running back and forth between sales and production is also a prime example of an interruption in your brewery process flow. Your process flow is interrupted any time a department relies on information from another department. The transitions between the different processes in your brewery need to be automated in order to avoid unnecessary delays in production or sales.