How Do You Distill Success with Inventory Management?

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By Stephen Jones, Unleashed UK Territory Manager

Distilleries are Booming

The festive period in 2017 saw sales rise by £104m compared with the previous year, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. In the 12 weeks to the end of December, over 16 million bottles of gin, worth £413m, were sold!

There was a rapid growth in UK distilleries and the increasing number of gin brands arriving on the market last year. There are now 315 distilleries in the UK, more than double that five years ago.

Distillery Challenges

Setting up a distillery is like most businesses. After developing the product and getting some customers, distilleries will want accounting software to keep track of cash flow into and out of the business. However, many neglect to properly manage their inventory.

It’s common for distilleries to manage their inventory and stock on spreadsheets in the early days. Given the rapid growth rate of distilleries in recent years, their spreadsheets begin to falter and errors start appearing. Plus they end up doubling up on work – doing everything once in your spreadsheet and another into the accounts. That’s more time taken away from product development!

Outgrowing Your Spreadsheets

Here at Unleashed, distilleries regularly ask us for help in managing their operations online. “Will your system help rid us of our spreadsheet nightmares?” is the common cry. It might not be the spreadsheet giving you problems, but rather your business has grown too much to still be using spreadsheets.

Basic inputting of information in spreadsheets is relatively easy and requires little else but basic computer skills. However, the likelihood of ongoing inputting mistakes and human error is huge. The more manual a process is, the more likely the chance of errors. And while this can seem like a largely benign problem, left unchecked, it can spell disaster for your business’ most urgent and important processes.

If you’re having to use complex formulas to get accurate data like the cost of your goods, or product margins, you might find yourself having to create more spreadsheets or adjusting existing spreadsheets. Inventory management software is easy to use and does all these complex calculations for you. With the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing, many platforms are now as easy to use as a smartphone or tablet app. All you have to do is run a report!

What Can Unleashed Do?

Of course, distillery-specific software exists but it’s costly, and in my experience, not easy to use. I find many distillery-specific software designed for the big players in mind.

At Unleashed, we provide a platform that works for a variety of industries, from breweries to toffee manufacturers! With simple tools to help an operations team manage the purchasing, production and sale of inventory online, Unleashed Software is an easy to use tool to manage inventory efficiently.

Many small or start-up businesses will choose to use spreadsheets but as they begin to grow too big for spreadsheets, investing in online inventory management software will save them from stressful spreadsheet situations in the future. Thanks to the rise of cloud-based platforms, many current inventory management solutions are affordable, even for very small businesses.

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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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