The Problem With Multiple Systems
We’re talking Google Docs, various web-based applications, online databases to manage sales, inventory and recipes and other various brewery software tools. These are cheap and easy like duct tape, but as universal as duct tape can be, you wouldn’t want it holding your business together.
Pros: Cheap, open source, universal, customizable
Cons: Cheap, open source, outsourced support, not brewery specific, limited functionality
Decisions about what to brew and when is often a gut feeling. Distilling on a whim can make it hard to plan and sell if there’s not exactly a demand for it. Proprietary knowledge can also refer to the secret recipes, information and special formulas that only your distillery or master distiller has access to in his or her head. What would happen to your distillery if they suddenly got really sick, left the company, or worse?
Pros: Priceless, creativity, flexible, "secret recipes"
Cons: No paper trail or records, not easily accessible, unstructured, unpredictable
Distilleries often refer to the legendary batch tracking methods known as “secret spreadsheets”. You can do a lot with spreadsheets, and some of them are complex, intertwined systems of linked cells and tabs that keep your distillery intact with all the information you need. It works, and it’ll keep working for the meantime, or until the Excel mastermind who built it moves on, you accidentally delete a row or formula, or you simply outgrow its capabilities. The inevitable limitations of spreadsheets are no secret.
Pros: Free, universal tool, ease of use, flexible, customizable, linkable
Cons: Lack of traceability, prone to data corruption/broken formulas, customization limitations, "secret spreadsheets" syndrome
Post-it notes, legal pads and even bar napkins – we’ve heard it all. Your distillers are most likely not masters of calligraphy either. If it’s important or needs to be passed on to someone else, hand-written notes aren’t the best way to go.
Pros: Free, available anytime, anywhere, portable
Cons: Lack of traceability, durability, readability, not easily transferable
It seems like new distillery software programs are popping up nearly every year. The daunting task for distilleries in need of something better than QuickBooks is finding a good balance between price and reputation. Software companies promise a cheap and “seamless integration” with QuickBooks along with everything else you need but often fail to deliver. The fact is that most distilleries settle for the QuickBooks Band-Aid without realizing that QuickBooks is the root of the problem. Any distillery solution that integrates with QuickBooks is simply sweeping the problems under the rug.
Pros: low cost, universal tool, ease of use, flexible, easily delete records
Cons: no batch traceability, prone to data corruption, not distillery specific, not GAAP compliant, less desirable for investors
An All-in-one Solution
OrchestratedSPIRITS is an all-in-one business management software solution that solves the common problems distilleries of all sizes face as a result of using convoluted spreadsheets, limited bookkeeping software, white boards, pen and paper and other makeshift “distillery software” tools.
Consolidates and centralizes information
Reduces unnecessary work
Eliminates dual entry
OrchestratedSPIRITS provides real-time Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), accurate future inventory projections, flexible production planning and insightful business reporting.