In the ancient days of the distillation of mineral spirits, the process itself was looked upon as high technology. The craft itself came to life from alchemy. One of the earliest forms of chemistry, distillation has developed many varieties of spirits that are popular in specific regions of the world. This international practice of making spirits is a passion for crafters and a source of fun and good times for consumers.
The changing of the times has brought new technologies and advancements to make the process of running a craft distillery more efficient. Here, we will outline some of these technologies and explain why they are quickly becoming crucial elements to distillery operation.
Distilling to Scale
The distillation process has multiple stages with a specific process and timing associated with it. Operating a distillery is a delicate ballet of knowing when to proceed to each phase and when a stage is completed. Batch recipes will differ for each spirit type and product, the timing and process will subsequently differ as well. Each of these things is based on choices made by the head distiller and can have drastic effects on the profile of the spirits. This is essentially what makes distilling both an art form and a science.
While distilling doesn’t require any advanced technology, neglecting to incorporate technology in commercial distillery processes will prove to be a grave mistake when attempting to keep up with supply and scale your business. This is where distillery management software comes into play.
Distillery management software is used to help your distillery function smoothly throughout the distillation process. The typical business management software, ERP or MRP is simply not effective when it comes to the nuanced manufacturing procedures involved in crafting spirits.
A good distillery management software will allow you to:
- Customize product flows and batches
- Track batches with automated calculations
- Acquire a detailed cost per batch analysis
- Factor in the cost of labor, materials, and energy
- Manage inventory of raw materials, WIP, and finished goods
- Monitor equipment processes
- Handle required government reporting
Managing warehousing and inventory at a distillery is an operation of its own. In addition to handling bonded and nonbonded sections of your facility, organizing pick and ship, There are various phases involved in the storage of spirits. In the average warehouse, shelving and organizing the product is the crux of the operation. However, in distillation, some spirits have to be stored in stages. Before some spirits can be bottled and put in cases, they must first be aged in barrels.
A good warehouse management software will handle the tracking of inventory throughout the product lifecycle. Software designed to track inventory during every phase of aging and storage.
You should expect a distillery warehouse management software to include:
- Cloud-based supply chain management
- Production management and planning
- Barrel warehousing
- Inventory and asset tracking
- Distillation yields
- Bills of lading
- Order fulfillment and packaging slip generation
If you're looking to improve the efficiency and production of your craft distillery, the use of technology services like these is essential. Just as tech has been incorporated in the expansion of practically every other industry, craft spirits producers now have access to tech that is specifically designed to meet their needs and allow for the operation to scale at exponential levels. How will you incorporate technology in your distillery?