Running a brewery or cidery is hard work — managing staff, sourcing ingredients, creating a best-in-class product, running a taproom, and coordinating sales — just to name a few. But this year has presented more challenges like COVID-19, changing consumer expectations, and increased market saturation. With the uncertainty and chaos, these three realities are still abundantly clear:
- When owners know and understand their business’s key metrics, they’re more likely to succeed. Smart business owners push to make decisions based on data and obsess over having complete visibility into their business.
- Technology and software play a key role across all areas of the business — from inventory tracking and production management to communication, accounting, and sales management.
- Having multiple sales channels is imperative. For example, finding ways to sell outside the taproom has proven imperative during the COVID-19 crisis. Owners who keep up with changes in consumer behavior and adjust accordingly, even when times are good, will have the advantage.
We see the value in technology but wanted to better understand how the industry is embracing new solutions. To learn more, Ekos analyzed the tech stacks of 1,500 breweries and cideries across accounting, point-of-sale (POS), ecommerce, customer relationship management (CRM), internal communication, and overall business management. Our analysis reinforced some things we already knew but also illuminated new challenges and opportunities for craft producers who want to not only survive, but thrive.