Cloud-based software is extremely accessible from wherever you happen to be, as long as you have an Internet connection. This is useful for things such as travel when the head brewers could be sent to trade shows or regions where there are new hops blends to investigate. In this instance, it would still be possible for tabs to be kept on the running of things back home to ensure everything is ticking along without fault. Along with remote access is the ability to access files from multiple locations, which is extremely useful if there are multiple breweries under the one brand, or if the files need to be accessed by administrative, managerial and production staff concurrently. Another example of when it is useful to have remote accessibility is when things need to be checked on outside of business hours. As can be imagined, the brew does not stick to a 9 to 5 schedule and as such, it may be necessary to work on company tasks during the wee hours.
Cost effective breweries
Cloud-based software is a cost-effective way of trialing different options and implementing the preferred choice. Cloud-based software is offered on a subscription basis which not only makes it cheaper in the short-run but also means the onus of updating the software is on the provider rather than you. This help to save you money as you do not have to purchase updates, and it also goes one step further as there is no need for a company IT department given all installation and troubleshooting is also taken care of by the provider.
Confidence in real-time data
Cloud-based software affords automation of the breweries’ production processes, which means that any data that is obtained is indeed real-time and accurate. When raw materials for example, are forwarded through the brewery and go into a brew, this is recorded. Likewise, when any beer is ordered wholesale or sold, this is automatically recorded at the point-of-sale so that trends can be analyzed. The information obtained from sales trends and from the rate of use of raw ingredients is very useful indeed in trying to stay one-step ahead of the customers’ tastes and ensure innovative brews are constantly developed. The data also ensures the ordering of raw ingredients can be more accurate and tapered to actual demand.
Ordering and warehousing
Cloud-based software with its real-time data feature aids accurate ordering, receipting and storage of raw ingredients. Particularly for a product such as beer, having the correct amount of raw ingredients is essential – if ingredients run short mid-brew, the whole batch could be compromised. Likewise, it is essential not to over-order ingredients as they have a shelf-life and will be compromised if they are sitting too long without being used. Inventory management software, such as Unleashed, also helps with tracking ingredients through the warehouse. It is essential to have good storage techniques and accurately know how much and where raw ingredients are stored in order to ensure they are used in a reasonable time-frame prior to expiry. The alternative where stored product is not tracked and known about, is expired product that becomes useless and must be discarded. As can be imagined, this is an unnecessary loss of revenue.
If you have never considered inventory software or the benefits of having an updated, cloud-based package instead of what you have been previously doing, then please consider it now. For breweries, having accessible, accurate data from which to base ordering and brewing decisions far outweighs the minimal difficulty in the beginning to implement and learn a new system.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.