4 Reasons to Avoid Brewery Software

From dreaded operational changes, to multiple sources of the truth, learn why brewery software may not work for you.

Why would a brewery software company suggest reasons to avoid brewery software? We won’t be the first to tell you that brewery software isn’t for everyone. If things aren’t running smoothly now on the business side, adding software won’t magically improve operations overnight.

Three questions:

  • Are you improving operations as you grow?
  • Is the brewery running as efficiently as it should be?
  • Do you have the transparency to stay relevant in this maturing craft beer market?

If you answered yes to all of those questions, you probably don’t need brewery software after all. If you’re still curious, here are 4 more in-depth questions to ask yourself.

Is your Brewery willing to Adapt and Implement Best Practices?

Operational changes can be a painful experience, regardless of brewery size or the software you choose. Previous experiences influence future decisions and create a subconscious resistance to change. Eventually, this hinders your brewery from adopting what’s best for the business in order to survive long-term.

If there is a lack of buy-in with employees to make necessary changes, then implementing any kind of brewery software isn’t going to be worth the investment.

Adopting best business practices in your brewery requires dedicating time, effort, and in some cases, “Oceans of Patience.” It will require balancing your business and your craft. After all, it’s not just all about the beer anymore.

Artie of Barley Forge Brewing says: “Knowing your own numbers, knowing where you’re trending, knowing where your beer is going, knowing what people like and don’t like… and keeping up with the industry” is key to better understanding your operations.

Do You View Your Brewery as a Business?

If your brewery’s sole purpose is to brew beer, employ a few people, and have a few taps around town, then brewery software probably isn’t for you. It’s a different story if you have any desire to grow, distribute, or want to know how every penny is spent.

Running a successful brewery in today’s ever-changing landscape is often more than just scaling up production. There’s the restaurant piece, events space, distribution, merch sales, contract brewing – the list goes on and on.

For Dry Dock Brewing, informed decision-making is a growing piece of the beer equation:

“We got so comfortable with the beer it was just selling itself, but now you really have to be a competitive player and really have some good business analytics.”

So, if your brewery identifies as a business but doesn’t have the systems to make informed decisions, then you might need something more than generic business tools to help you manage it all.

Do you have a strategic plan?

Can you keep up and anticipate future needs? Does your brewery have a 5-year strategic plan?

There’s a difference between being proactive to industry changes and reactive to what’s hot right now. If you’re content with your long-term planning, then brewery software may not be the best fit.

Planning raw material purchases by handling your hop contracts in one place is a great start towards keeping your inventory up to date.

“Plan Ahead,” says Gwen Carmack, CFO at Columbus Brewing. “It helps so much to have a plan of where you want to go and get the tools in place to get you there.”

Do you Have Multiple Sources of the Truth?

How will you integrate all your new brewery tools and applications with everything else you’re using, especially accounting?

If clipboards, spreadsheets, whiteboards and web tools are working for you, then don’t change anything.

However, if you’re tired of constantly syncing between systems without getting the accurate information you need, it’s worth some short-term pain to implement long-term gains.

End Game: A Single Source of the Truth

The key to sustainable growth is your brewery’s ability to make real-time business decisions based upon a single source of the truth. If transactions are synced to third-party accounting software and not tied to your production, how will you know what your production variances are? Will dumped batches be automatically updated in inventory and reflected on your TTB Report?

What if your brewery was empowered to not just make better decisions, but make the best decisions? “When we sit together now in a meeting, everyone has access to the same reports and the same way of looking at things” says Scott Vaccaro, Founder of Captain Lawrence Brewing.

Asking these questions is the key to making decisions about brewery software and the long-term vision for your brewery.

About OrchestratedBEER

OrchestratedBEER empowers breweries to make the best business decisions using an all-in-one solution, providing a single source of the truth.

Your contracts, orders, brewing, cost of goods sold, accounting, and reporting all live within the same system providing grain to glass traceability.

With OBeer’s CBC Exclusive lower price point and 3 free users, you’ll be able to empower your brewery to make the best decisions, from a single source of the truth.

Visit us at Booth #2424 at CBC in Nashville or stop by our speaking session. If you can’t make it to CBC, or attend a live demo to see how OBeer can help “Conduct Your Craft” through a real, all-in-one solution.

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