With so many distillery management software companies out there to choose from, it's difficult to know which one is the right one for your system. We put together a couple things to look for when making the decision.
Software Made for Distilleries
This is the biggie right here. It cannot be stressed enough that the specific needs of a distillery can’t be met by generalized software. There are many industry specific needs that your distillery software must be able to handle. Make sure the company you choose does some form of TTB reporting. The more automated the reporting system is, the better off you'll be every month. Also look for batch processing options like recipe builders or product flows that allow you to map out the entire process of a batch from combining raw materials all the way to packaging.
Some generalized software like Quickbooks or Xero are great for managing some aspects of your company. If these platforms are integral to your processes, look for a software that seamlessly integrates with one or both. The goal of whatever distillery management software you choose should be continued innovation and simplicity for the user.
This is a harder road to navigate than most people realize. In the tech industry, a startup with half a dozen people who were some of the big brains at a big, cutting edge company are going to have more practical experience and innovative ideas than some larger companies that have been around for a long time. Size is also relative. Six passionate geniuses working on something new and innovative will make a better product than a hundred drones keeping up the status quo of a middling platform.
Look at who founded and currently runs the software company. What is their career track record and how involved are they in the creation and development of the software? You could also head to the ADI forums or the r/distilling subreddit for some peer reviews.
Continued In-House Support
Distillery software cannot be static. It's not a create and walk away type of SaaS. Laws and regulations are constantly changing, reports must be correct, batches must populate the right counts. If there's a hiccup in any of these things, you need reliable customer support.
Some software companies will try to cut corners by outsourcing their customer support to overseas companies. It’s cheaper for them, but not nearly as good for you and your distillery. The quality of support services can greatly diminish when outsourced. Their hours of operations are different from those in the States, and there is no telling what else they have been outsourced to handle. An overseas company could be juggling the tech support of several companies. The person on the other end of the phone may also cover automotive diagnostic software, and a bakery specific platform.
In-house support means that the IT people you speak with only work with that one program. They will be far more knowledgeable than any outsourced support staff. Between the inevitable changes and new people needing to be trained, your company will need that support.
Choosing the right distillery management software is a tough choice with so many options on the market. Without spending a ton of time doing demos with every company, it can be challenging to find the things that set them apart. Make sure to look for advanced reporting features, product flows, and in-house support, along with any other features that are important to your brand.
OnBatch embraces the entrepreneurs and pioneers that take risks, have passion, and believe in their spirits. Distillers are our GPS for innovation and the soul of our software. We are constantly looking for ways to be more of what our clients need.