This West Sacramento brewery was growing fast. As both their production capacity and their popularity grew, it became clear that continuing to manage their inventory, production, sales, and accounting processes with spreadsheets wasn’t going to cut it anymore. Implementing Ekos allowed the on-the-go co-owners to check in on production and sales from anywhere whenever they needed to. The sales and keg tracking capabilities of Ekos helped them manage their self-distribution operation seamlessly and keep track of their growing fleet of kegs. As the business grew, Bike Dog’s co-owner, Sage Smith, was able to quit his day job and commit to the brewery full time, fueling further expansion. Bike Dog Brewing was founded as a small 3 bbl nanobrewery in 2013 by friends who had a passion for bikes, dogs, and beer. The entire business is built on the belief that good people deserve good beer (we couldn’t agree more). In 2016, the Bike Dog team bought a brewhaus with a 15 bbl system, and that’s when everything changed.
Like many brewery startups, Bike Dog Brewing first went the spreadsheets route to manage their inventory, production, sales, and accounting processes. But as their capacity grew, they began to self-distribute their products and opened an additional taproom in downtown Sacramento. It became clear quickly that spreadsheets were no longer adequate for their needs. When they were first starting out, the co-owners were still working their day jobs — making it difficult to manage the brewery from afar. Sharing spreadsheets among team members was cumbersome, and trying to keep up with their local self-distribution customers was a nightmare. Plus, the team was having problems keeping track of kegs they sold to third-party distributors, and they wanted a way to keep tabs on them so they could get them back in a timely manner. Lost kegs mean lost dollars, after all.
Since Bike Dog’s team started working with Ekos in 2016, they have improved processes in every aspect of their operation. Nearly every team member — from brewers to salespeople and owners — uses Ekos to manage their day-to-day tasks. Co-owner Sage Smith, co-owner at Bike Dog, summed it up like this: “I couldn’t run my business without Ekos. Like any good tool, everyone [at Bike Dog] is using it, and we’re not looking to use anything else.” Bike Dog’s team has experienced many benefits of using Ekos, including:
- The cloud-based system, which allows them to access information on the go. The owners love to look at finished goods, shipments, and customer information in Ekos to check in on daily activity, and the sales and production teams are often in Ekos doing everything from updating inventory to making deliveries. Because Ekos is cloud-based they are able to do it from their laptops, tablets or phones on the go.
- The ability to track their 600-700 kegs and identify when they go missing with Ekos’s keg tracking feature, which allows for mobile scanning of kegs and stores information about the product and batch as well as how long it’s been at a customer location.
- The QuickBooks integration, which syncs all inventory and sales data to their QuickBooks account without any additional entry. This is a key priority for Bike Dog Brewery’s owners as they manage their fast-growing operation. The need for having all their key business information in one central location will be even more necessary in the future — Bike Dog’s team plans to broaden their reach via an expanded distribution. And in addition to the two taprooms they already have, the owners plan to add another taproom to offer their products to an even wider audience on-site. The ability to manage inventory and sales from multiple locations in Ekos will help them easily scale their business and continue to be successful year after year.