How Ekos Boosts Profit Margins for Canadian Craft Beverage Makers

In the competitive landscape of the Canadian craft beverage industry, running an efficient business is essential to boost profit margins and sustain long-term growth. In the beer market alone, more than 120 new breweries entered the industry last year—and that’s not counting similar percentage increases in cideries, distilleries, and elsewhere.

As the industry continues to evolve, savvy producers are turning to comprehensive software solutions to streamline their operations, reduce production and business costs, and boost their bottom line. Leveraging the power of integrated systems and data-driven insights allows these craft beverage makers to unlock new levels of efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

To achieve these goals, craft beverage producers are finding systems specifically designed to help them drive long-term, sustainable success. Generic management software for agnostic industries isn’t cutting it. Craft beverage software built by experts who understand breweries has become such an important component in the success equation in Canada and beyond.

Surfacing Needs in the Canadian Craft Beverage Industry 

On the surface, Canada is a hotspot for craft beverage makers. One major factor is the prevalence of a customer base that’s ready to experiment. And yet, potentially significant challenges remain. Late last year, the Canadian Brewery Association outlined a few of the most significant challenges that businesses looking to succeed in this arena will need to contend with:

  • A significant tax burden, in both cost and complexity, that can make it difficult for smaller beverage makers to maintain compliance and build a healthy profit margin
  • Regulatory challenges, ranging from labeling and traceability to market access and distribution, that bring with them administrative challenges independent of the actual production process
  • A crowded market that can quickly overwhelm small businesses who may not be able to clearly differentiate themselves from their competition

Of course, none of these challenges are impossible to overcome. With a practical approach to business efficiency and the right platform to support that strategy, beverage breweries of all sizes can streamline their operations, automate key processes, and harness the power of technology to their benefit.

6 Ways Software Solutions Can Boost Craft Beverage Profit Margins

Adopting comprehensive software solutions has become a critical factor in boosting profit margins for craft beverage makers. Consider the following six ways beverage producers can drive efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately improve their financial performance.

Benefit #1: Streamlining the Process of Beverage Production

First and most comprehensively, the right software offers full transparency into every aspect of your business. As a result, beverage makers can easily track their entire production process, from inventory all the way to kegs and bottles currently with distributors.

Related: 7 Benefits of Ekos, the Premier Canadian Brewing Software

In turn, a streamlined process comes with significant benefits on several levels. For example, better equipment scheduling allows beverage makers to maximize efficiencies, ensuring that every piece of the puzzle fits and no process ever has to wait for unavailable equipment. Virtual floorplans can mirror how the production facility is laid out, further enabling owners and managers to improve, optimize, and streamline.

The ability to view, track, and adjust in real time offers massive benefits to Canadian beverage businesses across the board. Every second saved is a potential benefit, delivering faster production speed and more profitability in the process.

Benefit #2: Minimizing Potential Inventory Waste

Inventory is perhaps the highest cost for most craft beverage makers. It’s a necessary cost; however, it can also quickly become wasteful as businesses either overestimate and buy too much to avoid stockouts or have to contend with unexpected delays precisely because of those same stockouts.

Industry-specific beverage software can prevent that concern from becoming a significant issue. Real-time monitoring enables brewers to know when items are running low and reorder them in time. Vendor databases, meanwhile, ensure that the right business contacts are always in place for that purchase to go through smoothly.

Dedicated beverage software offers further benefits by accounting for the unique inventory nuances in this field. It becomes easier to track raw ingredients, in-between stock like mash, and finished products separately. That categorization and comprehensive tracking not only increase efficiency but also prevent spoiling and waste in the process.

Benefit #3: Automating Key Processes Across the Board

Managing a brewery or other craft beverage business manually can be quite literally a handful. Add manual recordkeeping to the process, and it becomes almost impossible. That’s why the right platform, especially when it offers automation capabilities, can greatly benefit and optimize your beverage production processes.

Some of the above benefits of streamlining and inventory management also double as excellent examples of automation possibilities:

  • Inventory reordering can be automated at a certain threshold, ensuring that you always have enough ingredients to maintain a healthy balance.
  • Automated reports can help with compliance, ensuring that figures like traceability requirements don’t take hours to pull at each period and instead dynamically appear when needed.
  • Automated production scheduling enables managers to easily flow from one step to the next, minimizing the manual planning and spreadsheets that have become such a staple in the industry.

Consulting firm McKinsey estimates that about one-third of small businesses already automate at least one of their key processes. A beverage production platform can help your brewery join the fray and reduce the manual load your staff would otherwise face on a daily basis.

Benefit #4: Integrating Key Operational and Financial Systems

Of course, even the best platform can’t be fully comprehensive. Chances are your craft beverage business still needs accounting sheets, sales software, and other technology. The key then is to integrate your existing technology into the software platform, building one system that becomes the homebase of all your business data.

Consider, for instance, the benefits of integrating your POS and accounting system with your beverage software solution:

  • By integrating your POS system, you can connect inventory and sales data. That allows you to connect any forecast you attempt to make directly to your ordering process, reducing the chances of ordering the wrong quantity.
  • By integrating your accounting system, you can connect real business value directly to your production process. As a result, any efficiency can be estimated based on the savings it might produce.

Related: 8 Ways to Transform a Brewery with the Right Inventory Software

Any of these integrations can go a long way toward creating a truly sales- and profit-optimized system. Your production software can become a single source of truth, specifically designed to run, measure, and optimize all of your operations.

Benefit #5: Harnessing the Power of Business Data

Craft beverage makers who effectively implement new software will be able to harness the full power of their business data partly because of the integration between systems. Comprehensive reports provide insights into the entire business, enabling a stronger idea of precisely what’s happening and where improvements can be made at any time.

Even better, that data can turn into business intelligence designed not just to understand the current state but to forecast the future as well. Better sales, production, and inventory forecasts enable smarter decision-making designed to drive profitability and increase the margin.

Benefit #6: Minimizing the Strain of Regulatory Needs

Finally, and especially for Canadian beverage makers, the right software can make a significant difference in reducing the strain that regulations can otherwise put on them. 

Consider, for example, the traceability regulations that were put in place in 2020. They require breweries to trace ingredients back to suppliers and finished products to the customer for greater transparency, which can be immensely difficult to accomplish manually. On the other hand, the right software enables custom reports specifically designed to store, format, and deliver exactly what’s needed to satisfy those requirements.

Of course, other regulatory needs must be considered, including beverages other than beer, such as wine and spirits. A beverage technology platform designed for the Canadian market can offer delivered reports and the ability to customize those reports, helping to streamline the process and enabling owners and managers to focus on the core business instead.

Leverage the Power of Canadian Craft Beverage Software

With the right tools and strategies in place, Canadian craft beverage makers can position themselves for sustainable growth and long-term success in the marketplace. A successful strategy includes finding a software platform dedicated to industry-specific goals. The right software solution is designed to help breweries, cideries, and distilleries in Canada succeed in this competitive industry.

That’s where Ekos comes into play. Designed for craft beverage businesses, its features revolve around streamlining the business side so you can focus on your passion. Better yet, its comprehensive suite of tools, from inventory management to production scheduling, automation, and reporting, are designed to build better efficiencies and ultimately boost profit margins in the process.Trusted by beverage makers on six continents, Ekos is designed for success. Our software platform can benefit your business and keep you ahead of the game in the Canadian market. Start improving your craft beverage profit margins by booking a demo today.

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“After using various different brewery software, we came to Ekos for an all-in-one product. We are able to plan, schedule, manage inventory and our day-to-day tasks without the need for external spreadsheets.”

– Ivan Dedek, brewmaster

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