Beer

Outgrowing QuickBooks: Risky Business

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You’ve built your brewery using QuickBooks, but as your business grows you need systems that can keep up with and support new business opportunities and changing demands. tomcruise
A brewery management solution from VicinityBrew Software provides the insight and tools you need to increase sales, simplify business operations, and keep your people productive. There’s never been a better time to buy, with affordable, low monthly payments, and cloud-based deployment options. We can help your brewery solve business challenges, such as:

• Increasing sales and profitability with better business insight
• Keeping up with demand without adding headcount
• Managing multiple lines of business, currencies, or multi-site locations
• Simplifying and securing processes to reduce data entry and risk
• Scaling operations to support ongoing growth
Take time today to change your business for the better every day.

It doesn’t matter what size your business, little things become big issues without the right brewery management software. A business solution from VicinityBrew helps manage your financials, inventory, and brewery operations with the power to support your growth ambitions. With proven implementation tools and an intuitive user experience, you can be up and running quickly—in the cloud or on your servers—the choice is yours.

 

“From Passion to Profits, Taking your Brewery to the Next Level” Part One

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“From Passion to Profits, Taking your Brewery to the Next Level” Part 1

 

If you have spent any time within the craft industry you will find few things:

1. It is the most fraternal and friendly group of people one can ever hope work with.

2. Not all breweries are created equal. More specifically…no two breweries are alike, period.

3. Most breweries are more interested in making exceptional beer than worrying about business and technology challenges. Let’s face it, this is a passionate, artistic group of people who are driven by craftsmanship more than profits.

But as the passion for great beer develops into a real, grown up business, certain key business factors must be addressed. Factors like: “How are we going to keep up with our growing demand?” Eventually, a brewery will come to the realization that they have a need to put solid business practices into place around accounting, distribution, compliance, and production.

A big misunderstanding in the craft brewing industry is that ERP software will be too expensive, too time consuming, and too much upkeep. This is simply not true. Now more than ever, breweries of all sizes have ERP software options designed for their size and budgets. Therefore, let me share my perspective on the IT brewery landscape.

I generally breakdown the craft brewing market into three different segments. I keep my categories simple – Small, Medium, and large.

Small is 5k BBL to 20k BBL, Medium is 20k BBL to 80k BBL, and large is anything over 80K BBL.

Let’s start by looking at three key issues small breweries under 20KBBL may be facing…

  • Lack of an integrating Accounting, Operations and Distribution
  • Poor Inventory Control
  • Formula Management

Challenge: Integrating Accounting, Operations and Distribution

Solution: Find a Brewery Management ERP system that provides a centralized database, making all master files and transactions available in one place. This allows for analysis at the click of a mouse. Microsoft Dynamics® and VicinityBrew include user-friendly query tools that allow even novices to build their own ad-hoc inquiries. Inquiries can also be printed and exported to Excel and saved for on-demand access.

Speed up month-end closing! VicinityBrew and Microsoft Dynamics provide a real-time financial, distribution, manufacturing and inventory-control system. As transactions are processed organization-wide, they’re posted directly to the financial records. Month-end financial statements and supporting schedules are prepared and issued with little effort.

Challenge: Poor Inventory Control

Solution: Craft Brewer’s need a software system that gives you the ability to analyze ongoing material requirements using existing sales orders or forecasts. In VicinityBrew, When MRP is run, material requirements are stored by date and quickly accessible for review. The result: Future capital requirements of inventory are easily identified. VicinityBrew lets you review anticipated raw-material shortages based on a centralized production schedule. Shortages can be calculated by item and day, and can take into account both lead time and safety stock. You can routinely review this data and create purchase orders for items and quantities to specified suppliers

Challenge: Recipe and Formula Management

Solution: Get off excel spreadsheet! VicinityBrew tracks recipes in a central database by both formula and version, it’s a snap to find the correct formula based on user-defined search criteria. This reduces a database of 10,000 formulas to a manageable level. Plus, you can create a new version of a formula from an existing version—and these new versions can be marked inactive until the lab has approved them for production. Once a formula version has run its course, it can be archived and also marked for view-only access.

Because brew logs are created directly from the master formula, all material substitutions or operational changes are reflected in all subsequent batches of the formula. So no worries about whether you’re working with the most accurate formula version possible.

VicinityBrew generates product spec sheets directly from the production formulas, ensuring that production changes are automatically updated on the spec sheet. That means consistent information across the production chain—and no unpleasant surprises for your customer.

Check out these videos to see more information. Our next blog will discuss the operational challenges of Mid-level breweries from the 20k BBL to 80k BBL range.

“IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME….” Breaking Up with QuickBooks

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For most breweries, over time QuickBooks will not be robust enough, consequently your company is looking at replacing QuickBooks sooner or later. You may be seeing clues that it is time to move on at your brewery. An impending breakup becomes easily apparent when almost all reporting and scheduling is completed in a combination of Excel spreadsheets, whiteboards, and sticky notes. This leaves QuickBooks used for standard journal entries and check writing . None of these methods are even addressing the key component of your business operations that is occurring on the plant floor.

Does any of this sound familiar? Has your brewery outgrown QuickBooks and Excel? Craft Brewers need an ERP system that is easy to use, quick to deploy, and will grow with you as your brewery grows. QuickBooks is a reasonable solution until you reach about 5k BBL. When the inevitable happens, and your market share increases, your operations will grow. Once that growth takes off, distribution expands, scheduling becomes more complex, and compliance and auditing requirements increase. Your brewery will need a software system that will meet those needs.

Three Main Limitations of QuickBooks for Breweries:

  • Limited distribution capabilities
  • Little to no inventory control
  • Zero brewery specific functionality

SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE OUTGROWN QUICKBOOKS

  1. You are running most of your reports in Excel, not QuickBooks.
  2. You are spending too much time on manual entry of data into multiple systems.
  3. Your organization requires tighter audit controls and regulatory compliance for TTB and Excise tax reports.
  4. Your company needs lot traceability, yeast management, quality control and testing, R&D, and formula management.
  5. You need to connect data from outside systems such as VIP, BRAUMAT, Delta V and other process control system for breweries.
  6. It takes too long to get month-end financials.

So the good news is that if your company is experiencing any of these issues….your brewery is growing. And growth means profitability! But it also means that if you believe you have outgrown QuickBooks, you need to begin evaluating alternatives. The good news is…you have options.

Microsoft Dynamics GP with VicinityBrew offers a complete ERP solution written specifically for the unique business issues of the brewing industry.

Our next post will discuss the simple migration path from your legacy system to Microsoft Dynamics GP and VicinityBrew.

For even more information, check out these case studies:

http://www.pr.com/press-release/497002

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First Annual VicinityBrew Summit

Vicinity ManufacturingTM held their first annual VicinityBrew Summit on May 17th at the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center. VicinityBrew offers a comprehensive brewery management solution for Microsoft Dynamics® by integrating and automating critical data along production, finance, quality, scheduling and compliance. The Atlanta based software developer invited brewery clients, local brewers, and other software solution experts to participate in a round table discussion to address craft brewing industry needs and possibilities for the future. VicinityBrew brewery clients in attendance included Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, Flying Dog and Highland Brewing Company.

Click here to read more