Budgeting for Brewery Software with Audra Gaiziunas
In this digital world software plays a big role in running a small business. Breweries are still creating a “handcrafted” product but increasingly relay on software and technology to run the day to day, minute-to-minute aspects of the business.
Criveller has been manufacturing breweries since the 1970s. During this time, Criveller has built a large number of microbreweries and brewpubs throughout America, Europe and around the world.
There a lot to think about when it comes to picking the right software for your business and trialing it out. All About Beer editor John Holl spoke to Audra Gaiziunas the Owner of Brewed For Her Ledger, an Asheville NC-based consultancy focused on providing financial guidance and leadership to the craft beverage community.
She is currently the CFO of Crooked Stave, has served as CEO of Bhramari Brewing Company 2016-2020, is an owner in Asheville-based beverage company DSSOLVR, and has worked
with 300+ brewery clients over the past decade.
John Holl: When it comes to picking the right software, what should breweries be thinking about?
Audra Gaiziunas: They need to consider the three main facets for their operational infrastructure: the financial management piece, the inventory management piece, and the point-of-sale piece. They’re typically three different data repositories, because it’s cost prohibitive for most breweries to get a true Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, an all in one type of solution. A lot of these cost in the $30,000 range to implement.
At the very minimum, you should have an inventory management component, a financial management component and a point-of-sale component. On average, for a small brewery that’s going to be cost $500 to $750 a month in total.
John Holl: When picking software, how important is data recording?
Audra Gaiziunas: It’s critical. if you’re using data, say for a POS, and you are taproom focused, you really need to have strong reporting on the back end. This reporting is going to give you answers that you need, like average guests tab per hour, how many tickets did you sell for a particular event, can I run what the total tab was during the time block of the event? And then look at the incremental difference versus a normal day total without the events?
John Holl: How soon should a brewery in planning be thinking about its software needs?
Audra Gaiziunas: Spend time planning out your software needs early, months before you open. Don’t just purchase the software and think it’s going to be your end all be all solution. You’re going to have to take some time to map it out to mirror your business model.
It has to be set up in such a way that it provides the information that you need when you need it, to minimize the amount of workarounds you’re going to have to create.
So a poorly planned solution or one that uses very little planning is going to result in a lot of workarounds, and you’re going to get frustrated with the software.
You have to spend the time planning out the back end, building the menu in the point of sale, developing the chart of accounts, and mapping the links from the point of sale and inventory management buckets to the various accounts in your financial management software before you implement it.