Supply Chain Management and Inventory: The Supply and Demand of Beer

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With the craft beer boom reaching increasing heights and the international demand on hops almost quadrupling in the last decade, many breweries are turning to inventory management to help get the most out of their ingredients and brewing processes. Sometimes starting out as more a labor of love than a business idea, many craft breweries now find themselves at the center of a sprawling and demanding operation where the dangers of spoiled stock, incomplete orders and lost capital lurk in every corner. Fortunately, inventory management software is helping to provide some solutions to the looming supply chain dilemmas now facing these adventurous breweries.

Good inventory management solutions offer breweries control and optimization over the whole supply chain. Every node and channel can be made visible and adjustable, in real-time and with meaningful control.

Getting the product into a crowded market is a challenge even for larger businesses. Breweries need to know they’re optimizing their production processes as much as possible. No business wants to bleed from the inside. If there are orders then there must be process, and that’s exactly where inventory management steps in to help breweries maximize their operation, whatever the size or scale.

Managing stock and ingredients

Brewers know how they manage their perishable stock and their ingredients has a huge impact on both the quality of the end product and the overall profitability of their operation. From the time of purchase, their ingredients are on a timeframe – get used or go to waste.

Inventory management software – and in particular, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms such as Unleashed – are offering affordable, mobile and real-time solutions to the day-to-day problems of running a brewery. Ingredients can be tracked to the smallest measurement and expiry dates can be monitored down to the last second.

It’s imperative for breweries, competing in a fast-paced and ever-expanding industry, to know that no ingredients are unduly wasted and no crucial orders are missed due to inefficient management. Inventory management software provides the framework for breweries to control – in real-time – every piece and part of their inventory.

Mobile and always ready

One of the benefits for breweries using the best SaaS solutions is the vast potential of mobile access. Many SaaS services can be accessed from any internet-enabled device, which makes keeping track of ingredients and stock easier and far more accurate, which is especially useful for field sales staff.

While the brewery supply chain, especially for craft brewers, may not be as complex as a large manufacturing business, it still requires a lot of attention and tweaking. Good SaaS inventory management systems offer visibility, automation and control over every part of the supply chain.

Taking care of business

Whether a brewery’s end product goes to bars, supermarkets or out the cellar-door brewpub, inventory management software can track all ingredients from grain to glass. From the point of brew to the point of sale, everything can be meaningfully tracked and traced, meaning that every batch is guided from raw ingredient right into the hands of the customer.

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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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