Modern inventory management software has proved to be revolutionary in many types of businesses, and the beer industry is no exception. Inventory management systems can help with many facets of beer production, from planning through to quality control and sales analysis. Below are some of the best ways an inventory management system can benefit a beer brewing company.
Production planning is a complex process for many brewing companies; especially those that want to try new recipes. With craft beer becoming increasingly popular, many companies want to try different recipes with different ingredients. Inventory management software makes managing this simple. New ingredients can be tracked at the touch of a button. All raw materials can be tracked from when they are ordered to when they are assigned to a particular production schedule. In this way, managers can adjust production to find the ideal recipe for each flavor, and then vary output levels to make more of the beers that become most popular.
Because the raw materials needed for brewing beer such as hops and grain are greatly impacted by environmental factors, it is critical for a beer brewer to stay on top of the supply of these inputs. Some firms decide to contract years into the future, while others prefer to order on shorter time frames for greater flexibility. Whatever strategy is chosen, inventory management software can be a substantial aid in ordering inventory. Sales trends and production capacity can be analyzed with software to determine to best amount of raw materials to lock in through a long-term contract. If orders are made more reactively, the real-time data on inventory and output levels will help managers make the most informed choice possible. This data will help the business cope with factors like demand seasonality which can make it difficult to forecast accurate inventory levels.
When brewing beer, a product that is made by combining a few key ingredients, it is vital that the precise combination is achieved for every single batch. It is difficult to achieve this with simple spreadsheet systems that constantly require manual updating. Using inventory management software allows for high accuracy, which minimizes waste, and therefore reduces costs and gives the highest ‘grain-to-glass yield’. When there are problematic batches, with Unleashed these can be tracked from raw materials to finished beer so managers can immediately find out what went wrong and where.
There comes a point in time for many up-and-coming brewing companies where their product becomes popular, sales continue to rise, and the company makes exciting new expansive orders to take their business to the next level. It is at this stage that managing production based on simple systems and guesswork becomes too difficult. If you feel your business is nearing this stage, it is probably the right time to make an investment in inventory management software at the same time. The real-time visibility of your entire inventory will allow you to keep careful control of operations at such a volatile state in your business’s life.
The above are some of the primary ways that inventory management software can aid in the beer brewing process. By switching to use modern inventory management software like Unleashed, which can be trialed for free for 14 days, you will discover the full range of benefits it can have for your business.
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.