in-case you missed the sexy INTRO to this topic
Let’s digress for a moment and define the “Back-office.” – n. slang for location in brewery where the paperwork magic happens. (digression end)
So what goes on in the back office?
Hiring, firing, ordering, loitering, receiving, shipping, counting, Accounting, costing, payroll, utilizing, collaborating, reporting, tracking, paying, inventory and love.
There is great technology out there to help you with all these tasks. Typically, a startup brewery uses QuickBooks and Excel to handle most the back-office. This is great, because that is what I use as well. However, there comes a time when a brewery out-grows Excel, but NEVER QuickBooks. (yes my therapist tells me “never” and “always” are fighting words, but stay with me for a minute.) The graduation from Excel to a manufacturing software is vital to the growth of the brewery. Why? Because a good manufacturing software is going to keep the brew house Organized and Accountable.
Organized: You will be able to track the grains coming in up to your liquid gold leaving the premise. You will be able to manage reorder points and collaborate with distributors to determine what they want to pick up.
Accountable: You will be able to track/assign the progress of the brewhouse in a systematic manner as they get your liquid gold to market. Get your team accountable!
As for the specifics on software. I am proponent of QuickBooks and BeerRun. For the brewing processes that I have seen, it works. Its critical you understand your process before you allow a “salesman” to dictate them to you. I also like QuickBooks because there are many workarounds which can be implemented. Lastly, assuming you are using QuickBooks and want to keep the “back-office” person happy, don’t slap them with some super complex software to learn. Find someone to answer their questions and teach them how to use it to the max.
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