From Grain to Glass: Cloud Inventory Management for Brewers

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Although brewing is a business, brewers often find that tasks like inventory management struggle to compete for time when there are new beers to invent, brew and bring to market. Yet getting inventory right is crucial to maximizing grain-to-glass yield and boosting a brewery’s profitability. Implementing best-in-breed, cloud inventory management software like Unleashed can bring inventory into line, while also freeing up valuable time so that brewers can spend more time creating beer. Let’s look at some of the key ways inventory management software can benefit your brewery.

Accurate Ingredient Data

One of the key benefits of a comprehensive cloud-based inventory management system is that your data is always accurate and is updated in real-time. Instead of periodically collating data from paper-based brew logs, brewery staff can easily record raw materials in the inventory management software as they use them in the brewing process. Production managers and other staff can always see what raw materials are on hand and can make informed ordering decisions rather than going on guesswork. This means that the brewery does not end up buying too much of a particular ingredient, while also eliminating the risk of running out and having to halt production. Always-accurate inventory data is useful in any inventory heavy business but it is especially useful in a business that uses perishable raw materials, and whose product has a best before date. Being able to closely monitor and control inventory means that breweries can reduce wastage of raw ingredients.

Full Batch Visibility

Another great feature of inventory management software for breweries is full visibility of every ingredient for every batch. Batch tracking in inventory management allows you to track each different product quickly and with ease. For example, if you have a compromised ingredient, then your inventory management software will be able to swiftly identify the batch with Unleashed. This means that you can act more quickly to contact affected customers. Ingredients, bottles, kegs and barrels can all be tracked throughout the brewing and sales process – from procurement right through to distribution.

Brewery Cost Transparency

The grain-to-glass visibility created by inventory management software also means that your brewery’s costs become much more transparent. Powerful tools such as Unleashed’s Bill of Materials give you a complete cost breakdown for all ingredients, so that you can understand the true cost of each beer you produce – whether this is on a per bottle, per case or per barrel basis. By identifying which ingredients are contributing to changes in the cost of a brew, brewery managers and staff are able to identify key drivers of cost and profitability, and adjust recipes or purchasing decisions to suit. This level of precision might not be required in a microbrewery, but as a brewery’s operations expand there is little room for guesswork – keeping a closer eye on costs becomes crucial to profitability.

Save on Software Costs

By implementing a cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service inventory management product, you avoid having to make an expensive, upfront software purchase, instead paying a smaller regular fee to use the software. This has important financial and tax implications, but more importantly it means that even a smaller brewery can implement the very best inventory management software. Moreover, being a cloud-based inventory management product, Unleashed is scalable and will grow alongside your brewery and your business.

Whether your brewery operates on a boutique level or has multiple production locations, inventory management software can make your brewing more efficient and profitable, freeing up valuable time and money so that you can spend more time making beer!

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

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.

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