The 2014 CBC in Denver featured a brewery management software customer panel / presentation where our customers gladly discussed some of our most pressing questions about their experiences with OrchestratedBEER (OBeer). This panel brought light to why craft breweries select OrchestratedBEER and why they stay with the solution. OrchestratedBEER continues to be the craft beer industry’s leading solution for brewery management software with a nearly perfect scorecard of around 95.4% retention rate amongst users.

An audience of more than 160 packed into the convention center meeting room to hear employees from craft beer industry leaders like Founders, Avery, Lazy Magnolia and Indeed talk about how they utilize OrchestratedBEER brewery management software on a daily basis.  The capacity crowd was evidence of a definite interest and need for brewery software solutions like OBeer that extend beyond QuickBooks, spreadsheets and online “tools” that claim to be a solution for your problems. The curiosity and intrigue surrounding brewery-specific business management software has reached an all-time high.

OBeer Customer Panel

There’s a reason why breweries like Lazy Magnolia, Avery Brewing, Founders, Indeed and 130 other breweries have invested in OrchestratedBEER: Reputation.

OBeer Panelists include:

  • Jason Heysteck, Production & Planning, Founders Brewing Co.
  • Conner Helton, Asst. Controller, Avery Brewing Co.
  • Tom Wisenand, Co-founder, Indeed Brewing Co
  • Leslie Henderson, Owner/Brewmaster, Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co.

Check out some sample quotes from the panel below or watch the full 47-minute video, to hear it from real OrchestratedBEER users.

“Why did you choose OrchestratedBEER?”

[Conner, Avery]:

“We looked at a few different large accounting/ERP solutions, certainly a Microsoft Dynamics solution. For us the big reason why we went with it (OBeer) was for resource planning, greater fidelity in inventory, costing, overhead and as sales increased we needed a solution that was going to take us from not just 40,000 barrels but 400,000 barrels and be able to scale with us. We came from QuickBooks and when you get into big banking relationships, having a highly auditable piece of software that they can trust the numbers that are coming out of it is a big deal.”

[Leslie, Lazy Magnolia]:

“We understood what you were going for, you were building a solution for breweries – you saw the needs that we had and we knew you were going to customize something for brewers.  We had looked at other packages as well… what you were doing was putting something together not just for us but we could take advantage of all the needs that everyone was going to have and we saw all the things you created to make our brewery run. Is Dynamics going to do a BROP (Brewer’s Report of Operations) automatically for my data? I wasn’t so sure about that. You had a plan moving forward – constantly rolling out new functionality so that’s what really turned us on

[Tom, Indeed Brewing]

“There was a point where I was convinced I could run the whole brewery on spreadsheets that I built. Luckily we didn’t make that decision… We looked at QuickBooks and a few other things and thought well geez everybody else seems to switch to something else from QuickBooks when they get to this size and we should choose a solution that’s going to be able to grow with us.”

“What were the challenges before OBeer in terms of inventory, production & planning?”

[Jason, Founders]

“When we started using Orchestrated, it got all of the information in the brewery all in one place, versus, I have my ‘secret spreadsheet’ and you have your ‘secret spreadsheet’ and lord only knows what the packaging guys are doing…all these things have an impact on what we can produce. Getting used to the system takes time but it is very user friendly.”

OBeer Brewery customer panel

“How do you use OrchestratedBEER on a daily basis?”

[Conner, Avery]

“Before we had (OBeer) there was a myriad of Google docs, spreadsheets – I had no idea what was going on down there.  With OBeer I’m able to see where we’re at with planning the brew, what we actually brewed, what’s the variance, did we actually dump the tank, what was the reason, how much did it cost… we also use it daily for production planning. We’ll use the Scheduler in combination with the future inventory report to see where and when we’re going to be short on beer. Our brewers are getting rid of that big ugly Excel spreadsheet scheduler because it’s now live in a browser. Our guys can open up their iPhone, iPad or at their desk, wherever they are and it’s not living on Dropbox waiting to be deleted by some guy who got drunk one night and decided to fuck with the calendar –  yeah, those ‘vengeful brewers’…

“The available-to-promise report is also a really nice feature that we use daily that we can tell the customer: ‘yes, we will have this beer and it’s going to be ready for you on this particular day’…. we have that available, and it’s not committed. We just went live with the customer web portal so all our customers can place their orders through a web portal and that gets sent to our logistics team… They can review orders, make adjustments to it, place that in the system and that will create a demand. From that demand that beer eventually gets made and put on a truck and they can see when that beer was shipped out. They can see their invoices, pay their invoices online through credit card or ACH… those are different features within the system that we use every single day. We really bought into this thing wholeheartedly.”

[Tom, Indeed]

“We self-distribute a vast majority of our beer so we’re using (OBeer) to do all that. We have people calling in orders, emailing orders, we have sales guys out in the field that have small MAC laptops and we’ll go to accounts, take orders and set delivery dates which feeds back into my demand forecasting.”

[Leslie, Lazy Magnolia]

“I’ve put together some reports that show how well we’re doing in production on yield and efficiency. I can go through an inventory posting list and see how much green beer did I issue and how much bright beer did I get out? How much bright beer did I issue and how much packaged beer did I get out? And I can instantly report to my production team: ‘hey, you had a 98% yield today on bottles, how did you do that? There has to be some empty ones in cases…’  So we can quickly troubleshoot… I’ve had 110% efficiency or yields on kegs and that’s how you know there are some empty ones out there.  Also, I’m able to track how many of our kegs are with each distributor because I setup a deposit account when we send kegs to a distributor we charge them a deposit, the deposit plugs into that account…it’s tagged to the customer so I can quickly go through a time period, divide that number by my deposit amount and say ‘hey, I know that you have 1,021 kegs in inventory..’ so we can quickly do a keg audit… those are some very powerful ways that we kept our distributors and our production guys in line.”    

“How has OrchestratedBEER automated your brewery processes?”

[Leslie, Lazy Magnolia]

“QuickBooks doesn’t do inventory at all. (Prior to OrchestratedBEER) We had no idea what we had and there were so many different data entry points because the brewers would write something on a sheet of paper and if they changed a recipe there might be a little note or chicken scratches at the bottom… the person entering this into the spreadsheet is going to enter it into the wrong row and then we added a new item and it’s in a different size bag, how do we deal with that? We never really knew what we had and where it was. That was a nightmare but now with OrchestratedBEER we know exactly what it is, where it is in real time. Where it’s been used, how much we had and when we need to reorder. With the Brewer’s report of operations it used to be that horrible massive spreadsheet – lots of double checking and now it just pops out and I do about 5 minutes worth of validation and I can pay my taxes in about 5 minutes instead of spending half a day trying to track down data.”