Since this is a super interest of mine, I am going to break it down into two posts: 1) Technology is a Tool and 2) Technology Suggestions for the Back-Office:
A burning question that kept surfacing at the conference was, “what software are you using?” When I start working with a brewery I always preface my technology rant with one of our belief statements:
While it is important to know how to operate a flow meter (or any of your equipment); it is equally as important to know how your technology works. I am going to stick with the flow meter example to make my point.
What is the result of a flow meter that is not calibrated properly, installed correctly, and periodically tested? The flow meter will not produce accurate readings, rendering it useless. Same goes for your accounting technology and processes. They need careful selection, proper installation, and training. This will ensure the brewhouse operations are being accurately translated into numbers.
Another point I usually visit when working with breweries is: where do you want to be in 5 years? This plays a tremendous role in software selection. Here are some questions to ponder regarding growth:
Would you rather be organized at an annual production of 2000 BBL or 20,000 BBL?
Is it easier to get brewhouse staff buy-in at an annual production 2000 BBL or 20,000 BBL?
Do you want to be designing processes at an annual production of 20,000 BBL
Last note to brewer owners. All this may seem like a task you don’t want to add to your plate. Well guess what, you shouldn’t. Your priority should be the quality of the beer and you can outsource this stuff to a badass firm who “gets it” or assign it internally ONCE the proper systems are in place.
Check out part DUCE on this topic