Mark Huizink founded 2 Crows Brewing in 2017 with his wife Kelly and brewer Jeremy Taylor. The brewery, which is based in Nova Scotia, Canada, has since grown to produce an average of 2000 barrels per year. Their beers, which are brewed with a focus on quality and craftsmanship, are sold across Canada as well as in their Halifax, Nova Scotia taproom.
Thanks to investments from friends and a smart business plan, 2 Crows started growing right away after launch. But for founder Mark, who formerly worked as an accountant, the finances and inventory for the business were still too disorganized for his liking. “Running the brewery before we had Ekos was a bit of a nightmare,” he told us. “I was doing all the finances myself. It was chaotic. I was using a lot of spreadsheets. Inventory was the bane of my existence at the time.” They were able to keep everything organized, but it took far more man-power and time than it should have. Even using robust accounting software (QuickBooks) couldn’t solve their problems, because it didn’t have a clear way to recognize sales in volume as well as dollars. “I recognized that there was a problem,” Mark said. “We were talking to a few other brewery software companies that were going to cost us an arm and a leg and we didn’t have the funds for that. When Ekos came along, it allowed me to focus more on the big picture rather than having my head in the brew sheets.”
Since they started using Ekos in 2018, 2 Crows Brewing production has grown more than 20%. “Being able to pull information on sales and volume and waste almost on a live basis has been a real win for us,” Mark told us. “It’s cut out so many hours of work for us; it’s been huge.” In fact, Mark said, “If I had to revert back to the old software we were using before, I would probably have to hire another full-time person to help me manage things.” For 2 Crows, Ekos’s financial reporting and inventory tracking functions have saved them countless hours and streamlined their process. They also use those financial insights to quickly evaluate the ROI on new equipment and to identify areas of waste and inefficiency in the brewery. Mark told us that having immediate access to that information for decision-making purposes has been a game-changer. “As a business owner, you want to have accurate, up-to-date information as soon as possible. Before Ekos, I was weeks behind on bookkeeping, just because I couldn’t keep up.”
As for the future, the 2 Crows team hopes to expand distribution internationally. And as Mark told us, they have no plans to stop using Ekos to manage their inventory and finances. “Ekos is central to how we run our business today. I would never want to go back to the way things were before we used it.”
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