Need Better Canadian Brewery Software? Here’s What to Know

The need for effective and efficient brewing processes has become apparent as the Canadian brewery industry becomes more competitive than ever. As outdated production and inventory tracking methods begin to hamper your efficiency, the right brewing software can make all the difference.

Canada is home to more than 1,000 craft breweries, and that number grows every year—despite the fact that beer sales volume is declining at a similarly steady pace. Only brewers who continue to look for ways to improve their operations will reliably succeed in this increasingly competitive environment, and the right software can become a significant part of that equation.

The challenges you’ll face as you look to improve efficiencies are not always obvious. But once you find them, you can more reliably identify where brewery software can help you succeed. From there, making the right choice becomes a straightforward process that can help you succeed in the long run.

The Hidden Challenges of Outdated Brewing Processes and Tracking

Despite the thriving Canadian craft beer industry, many breweries are still relying on outdated methods and tools to manage their operations. Even those moving to software often choose generic options that don’t account for their industry or geographic location. As a result, these solutions don’t offer everything a brewery needs to operate efficiently.

Examples of outdated methods of operations management often include the following:

  • Spreadsheets to track inventory
  • Manual reporting for compliance needs
  • Handwritten notes on production processes and recipes
  • Individual processes that are treated separately without a direct connection or central source of data

Using these manual solutions, unfortunately, can have potentially significant drawbacks. It makes daily operations more time and resource-consuming, preventing brewers from focusing on improvements, customer service, and growing their businesses. It can also hamper consistency, with processes occurring slightly differently each time, thus making it difficult to produce a reliable supply of high-quality beer.

These challenges aren’t always obvious. Especially if you’ve always done things the same way, you might feel that the hours it takes each week to put together a report are just a necessary part of running the business. It’s not until you move to an integrated brewery solution optimized for the Canadian market that the previous challenges become more obvious.

6 Things to Know About the Right Canadian Brewery Software

Make no mistake: the right software solution can revolutionize your business. By recognizing the hidden challenges that may be holding you back and embracing the power of modern software solutions, you can unlock new levels of efficiency, profitability, and growth.

Related: 7 Benefits You’ll See With More Effective Brewery Inventory Control

Of course, finding the right brewery solution is the first step. The following six key points illustrate what you need to know about the features of the right software and how these features can help you optimize your operations over time.

1. Brewery-Specific Software Is a Must

For many types of businesses, the standard solution for operations software is an industry-agnostic enterprise resource management (ERP) for anything from inventory to production flows. But for breweries, that approach is becoming increasingly problematic. In the world of craft beverages, only businesses that implement a solution specific to the brewing industry can fully leverage its benefits, including:

  • The ability to manage inventory on three levels, all with different nuances: ingredients, packaging, and finished goods.
  • The ability to track kegs currently stationed with partnering bars and restaurants to prevent spoilage and ensure quality.
  • The ability to optimize production flows specific to brewing beer, including optimizing the use of production equipment at all times.
  • The ability to build, execute, and refine consistent recipes for different flavors of beer within a central database for reference.
  • The ability to account for different revenue flows that could impact your profitability, including your brewpub, restaurant partners, online sales, and more.

As brewery-specific software picks up in popularity, businesses that aren’t able to leverage these nuanced features risk falling behind. Those who implement it, on the other hand, can build a competitive advantage out of better quality control, lower chances of stockouts, and continually optimized operations.

2. Inventory Control and Management Can Make or Break Your Software

Managing a brewery is, first and foremost, about brewing great beer. But it’s also about reliably satisfying your customers, and neither is possible without good inventory management. 

The good news: when you find the right brewery software, streamlined inventory management is exactly what you’ll get. You can control the levels of all of your individual items, from raw ingredients to finished bottles. You’ll also be able to easily and automatically reorder items to prevent stockouts and ensure a consistent production flow.

Getting there requires software that can accomplish all of those goals. Prioritize inventory management in your quest to improve your operations, and you’ll reap significant rewards in the long term.

3. Software Options that Automate Your Processes Can Save Significant Resources

Manual processes in your brewery operations are a thing of the past. Small businesses across many industries are gaining access to technology that automates their core processes, saving significant time and resources. The brewery industry is no exception.

Automation can take many forms. Automatic reorders of low-stock items are only the beginning. Reports, both for compliance and insights into your business, can also be built for optimization, as can data syncing between different systems. 

That level of automation can go a long way toward building efficiencies. By finding brewery management software that can do it, you’ll find significant savings in terms of resources.

4. The Right Software Can Help With Canadian Brewing Regulations

As the Canadian brewing industry continues to grow, regulations are becoming more complex. Traceability rules, excise duty payments, and packaging restrictions are only some of the many regulations breweries now have to follow to remain in compliance and avoid costly fines or active threats to their businesses.

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

Don’t discount the potential of the right software to help with these requirements. Those automated reports mentioned above? You can build them specifically to align with governmental reporting requirements or even find pre-built templates that do the same. The less time you spend on having to build these reports, the more you can spend actually working on and improving your business.

5. Integrations Can Take Your Brewing Software Beyond Its Limits

Search long enough, and every software solution will come to its limitations. A platform focused on inventory and operations management likely won’t also offer every feature you need for your accounting or sales systems. That’s why integrations with other systems, while not always among the first priorities for breweries looking to build their technology stack, can actually become crucial.

For example, you might be using QuickBooks for your accounting needs. Through integration with your brewery platform, financial data can flow easily from one system to the other, providing a more comprehensive real-time picture of all of your finances.

Integration also reduces duplication of data and potential errors, as each software can serve as the single source of truth for its core competency while sharing information with the other.

6. Leverage Reporting Capabilities for Better Oversight and Improvements

Finally, the reporting and forecasting abilities of brewery software can become a core benefit to how you run your business. Especially when your reports are automated, you’ll be able to know at any point how every aspect of your business is performing, where different batches are in the production process at all times, how your COGS and profitability are changing, and more.

Just as importantly, the right software can take your historical data and use it to build forecasts. With a glimpse into a potential future, your software can enable better planning, from purchasing inventory to ramping up production at the right time.

Making the Right Choice in Your Canadian Brewing Software

With all of these key aspects working for your brewery, Canadian brewing software has the potential to make a significant impact across every part of your business. From managing your inventory to reporting on sales data, you can use it to build efficiencies, save resources, and gain a competitive advantage over breweries that don’t take advantage of modern technology.

Optimizing your business is possible as long as you find the right brewing software. We’ve already outlined the importance of finding industry-specific options, but the other features listed in this guide cannot be assumed either. Take an active role in evaluating your options based on whether they can accomplish your goals and help your business thrive and grow.

With the right technology in place, your brewery can focus on what it does best: crafting exceptional beer and building lasting relationships with your customers. Book a demo with Ekos today and learn how our brewery software can help you succeed in the Canadian market as you stay ahead of your competition through optimized brewery management.

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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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