Key tips for breweries to manage their beer supply chain

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Free Guide: Supply Chain Management for SMEs - 13 Pages of expert advice on software options for SMEs
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Understanding your brewery’s supply chain is important for modern brewers. Your beer supply chain encompasses raw ingredients, packaging and any other items you bring into your system to use when creating your products. Your supply chain ends when your beer is in the hands of your retailer or consumer.

Keeping your beer supply chain flowing is just as difficult as creating the perfect brew. You must coordinate the purchase of raw materials, avoid spoilage and cross contamination, and manage cleaning, storage and space issues in order to create create an efficient brewing operation. Here we look at factors that help you better manage your beer supply chain.

Negotiate alternatives as a contingency plan

A lot of breweries supply demands are agricultural, meaning the impact of threats outside of your control, such as the weather can affect the availability or cost of your ingredients. To manage these risks brewers should search for alternative suppliers, but make certain they are paying attention to quality, service, technical support and the ease of doing business. Do this now in order to be prepared for the unexpected.

Safety stock

One way of keeping ahead of the supply chain shortage game is to order supplies in higher quantities, which could ultimately reduce your overall costs. Monitoring and preventing spoilage of course is important, but if space is not an issue, it is certainly always better to carry safety stock.

Brewery software

A way to keep on top of beer supply chain risks is to use great brewery software. Breweries benefit from brewery management software as it helps maximise grain-to-glass yield. The right cloud solution for your brewery also helps you manage all of your processes in a single centralised system and gives you access to accurate reports that help you make the right decisions at the right time. Between the brewing process, batch tracking, recipe assembly and real time inventory management, there are an array of benefits that breweries can take advantage of from cloud brewery software. Great brewery inventory management in particular improves efficiency and directly impacts your brewery’s bottom line. The right brewery management software helps you:

  • Manage the entire brewing process from start to finish
  • Keep a close eye on the expiry date of raw ingredients with batch tracking
  • Avoid cross contamination with recipe assembly
  • Access real-time analytics and integrate with other cloud-based software

With cloud inventory software, you can track all of your raw materials into finished goods; check your inventory reports to see how much hops you have left, and receive an alert when it is time to reorder ingredients. Importantly, you’ll also have access to easy-to-read data showing how much your beer is actually costing you, your profit margins, lead times from suppliers, wastage and much more – including exactly how many bottles of beers can be made with the raw materials on hand.

More about the author:

Melanie - Unleashed Software
Melanie

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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