Behemoth Brewing Company joined Unleashed when a lack of inventory control started causing serious stock problems.
Since adopting Unleashed inventory management software, Behemoth has evolved into one of the biggest brewing companies in New Zealand. And as Co-CEO Hannah Childs says, getting a handle on stock control has allowed the business to thrive.
“Behemoth has grown 12 times bigger since we started using Unleashed. We could not have managed without it.”
Gaining complete visibility over brewery stock
Behemoth Brewing Company was founded in 2013 by Andrew Childs, an ex-lawyer who enjoyed making his own brew.
The company has found much success in the last decade. Co-CEO Hannah attributes this to the sense of fun and community embedded in the brand – helped by their memorable mascot, Churly.
“Beer is something that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It’s all about enjoyment … that community feel. Meeting up with your mates, getting people to talk to each other.”
The Behemoth team have created over 350 unique beers to date, with new brews releasing every week. As Hannah explains, the business has been growing steadily since its inception.
“We [went] from a one-man band to a team of eight. And then, in less than a year, we had about 50 employees.”
But with growth came complexity.
Sales were great for business, but poorly tracked inventory was beginning to create other issues.
“I would say we borderline didn’t,” Hannah responds when asked how Behemoth managed stock before Unleashed. “We would do a monthly count and send it to our accountant, then they’d do an adjustment. It was very primitive.”
This method fogged their lenses when it came to stock locations and quantities. The risk of overselling and understocking was at its highest.
“We didn’t know if stock was going into marketing, being sold … it was really hard to track those sort of things. The part that wasn’t accounted for; we had to guess where that went.”
An accurate, more efficient system for managing inventory quickly went from a nice-to-have to an essential investment.
“Since adopting Unleashed, we’ve seen a lot more transparency in our stock on hand. Knowing what inventory you have and where it’s located is vital to our business.”
Doubling down with BI Vision
Behemoth also saw the value in Unleashed’s business intelligence and reporting tool, BI Vision. Hannah says it’s made reporting “much more streamlined, quicker, and easier.”
“Before we had BI Vision, we were tracking business performance manually through spreadsheets and then creating reports from scratch.”
With the BI dashboard, Behemoth gained access to instant reports and total clarity around how their business was performing at any given time.
“We use [BI Vision] to see which salespeople have sold what, which SKUs are the most successful, and industry breakdowns – how much we sell to supermarkets versus traditional liquor versus hospitality.”
Greater inventory flexibility results in more efficient manufacturing
After implementing Unleashed’s inventory management software, the Auckland-based brewing company finally felt they’d gotten a lid on their stock control.
With multiple storage facilities and business models (manufacturing, retail, and wholesale) to manage, Behemoth were happy with the broad selection of advanced features in Unleashed.
“Unleashed allows us to [manage stock] in different warehouses, which really helps with customs control and excises,” Hannah explains. “And it gives us flexibility: we’re able to transfer between manufacturing and our hospitality venues.”
Fast-growing companies require agile software solutions. Hannah says the manufacturing capabilities, such as assembly kitting, have helped Behemoth optimise efficiency across the entire brewing process.
“Since onboarding and using Unleashed [we’ve seen] measurable improvements throughout the years. In inventory management, yes, but even more so in our manufacturing. Manufacturing has been our biggest improvement.”
“Being able to know that [when] we’re creating a beer we need cans, we need labels, we need lids, and it has to be in a box [has been a huge benefit].”
“We create two or three new beers a week. So having bill of materials is really useful. For all aspects it saves us more time.”
She adds that Unleashed creates a reliable system for identifying the root cause whenever something goes awry in the factory. “You can always go back to Unleashed and identify what went wrong in the case of human error.”
“If we have, say, too many boxes, and want to know [why] we can quickly check in Unleashed and say, ‘Oh, that’s why: none went into this [assembly].”
“It’s all connected. If you go to sell something an alert comes up that says, ‘You don’t have enough of this.’ It’s very easy to then check the status of those missing parts.”
Everything you need for accurate stock control, in one place
“Unleashed makes life easier by connecting everything all in one spot. It’s a single source of truth.”
A centralised system is crucial for ensuring all of Behemoth’s inventory and sales data is aligned. Hannah says Unleashed has made operations more succinct and streamlined since implementing the software.
“Whether you’re trying to look up a single item, how much stock is sitting in a specific warehouse, if you have sufficient ingredients in stock when you need to manufacture a product, are those ingredients on order … it’s all there”
Stock taking can be a chore for any organisation, especially when it brings the entire business to a standstill. Thanks to Unleashed, Hannah says, stocktakes have never been better.
“We don’t have to bring the whole company to a halt to do a stocktake. You can actually freeze the system and take a snapshot in time, unfreeze it, and allow everyone to go about their business while you reconcile the count. Different departments can do their own thing while that’s going on.”
Staying on top of cash flow in turbulent times
“[Managing cash flow] is single-handedly the hardest part of running a business, especially a growing business. Being able to hold less inventory really helps.”
That’s something many product business owners will likely to relate to, following extensive supply chain disruptions in the last few years.
“Supply chain disruptions and longer lead times are part of every business’s nightmare at the moment, and we’re no exception to that.”
“We’ve had to stockpile cans and cardboard. We’ve even had to get a whole new facility just to store excess packaging stock. At one point we had enough cans for an entire year. It’s a constant battle.”
Holding extra stock isn’t ideal for any business. But, according to Hannah, Unleashed has made it easier to overcome supply chain challenges.
“Unleashed has definitely been a useful tool in managing inventory issues. Excess stock means more to manage. Being able to know where that is and transfer it to where it’s needed has been really helpful.”
When asked for advice she’d give other business owners trying to protect their cash flow, Hannah says:
“Keep your inventory as tight as you possibly can and build really great relationships with your suppliers – they can be your greatest asset, especially in hard times like [the Covid-19 pandemic] that we’ve just seen.”