Beer Production in 2012: Will it be Efficient or Not?

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I’m sure by now that many in the beer industry have had their fill of questions for 2012: What new beer brands will come out? Will craft beer really rule?  Will we successfully improve the efficiency process in our beer production? This time of the year, it seems like everyone wants to jump on the prediction bandwagon and speculate about how it’s going to go down in the new year.

We’re not even going to try to do our own set of predictions for the beer business since Beer Business Daily did such a great job of it. But I do want to expand on one particular prediction they list, namely: “A-B (Anheuser-Busch) will make attempts to repair relationships with their wholesaler network, while simultaneously pushing for efficiencies through more centralized control in supplying back-office systems in their wholesalers like payroll, mobility on the cloud, buying equipment centrally, etc.  In addition, A-B will accelerate efforts to source cash from wholesalers through pushing costs down to them (like truck decals, printing POS, and freight).”  I found the bolded part to be particularly interesting.

In other words – the pressure to be efficient is on for anyone who sells beverages.  Businesses do like to save money after all.  In the aforementioned instance, Anheuser-Busch is already recommending strong vertical systems to their distributors to help them manage the beer and non-beer stuff.

But for those of you who aren’t in a position to take advantage of the resources of a large brewer, or for those who have needs beyond what your large brewer provides, getting efficient and streamlining processes can be accomplished very effectively through automation.  Your competition is doing it – so you know what that means for you.

Take West Side Beers for example.  After some distributorship consolidation, this Michigan-based A-B house was left with multiple locations doing redundant and inefficient Accounts Payable tasks. They were able to centralize AP in one location, saving man-hours and making payment processing faster and more accurate with greater visibility for executives. They made these gains using a cost-effective document management system which integrated to their accounting system.

What are the processes in your business that could be more efficient? Are you seeing pressure to cut costs and streamline from your partners or your competition? Take this quick 4 question survey and let us know your thoughts.  You could win a BIG football party.

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