In recent years, technology has been developing at growing pace, with ‘smart’, cloud-based or generally technologically advanced solutions for almost everything.
And as these developments have increased, so too has the need for specific pieces of technology, that understand the intricacies of the drinks industry rather than using a ‘one size fits all approach.’ Just as we’ve seen the benefits of tailored and personalised approaches to different types of consumer in-store, we’re also seeing the benefits of technology tailored directly to our own industry.
One example of technology that is catching up to the industry is that of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which integrates the management of core business processes to help companies run more efficiently overall.
Good Drinks Australia is one example of a drinks business that has recently began using ERP, after avoiding it for a while, according to its Head of Commercial, Phil McClintock.
“We had an extensive decision making process. It’s a fairly daunting task, to jump off into an ERP, and history is riddled with people who regretted it, so we spent a fair bit of time looking at it,” McClintock said.
Good Drinks ended up choosing the cloud-based Crafted ERP by Doozy Solutions, which is built on the NetSuite platform. It originally began in the US to fill a gap in the market specifically for craft breweries, and has since expanded to service all kinds of drinks businesses across multiple international locations.
Australia has been a key area of expansion of the Crafted ERP for Doozy, as noted by Will Goodbourn, Professional Services Director ANZ at Doozy Solutions Crafted ERP.
“Our original head office is in the US, and we’ve actually been operating in Australia for a few years, but through partners. Around 18 months ago we opened the dedicated Australian business and we’ve been growing that business and really putting a lot of resources behind it,” he said.
During this time, Crafted ERP has been gaining more customers in Australia, as local businesses begin to explore the upgraded technologies of today more broadly, especially those that also tap into industry expertise.
Goodbourn said it’s always been a focus for Doozy to deliver specific benefits for the drinks industry with Crafted ERP, ever since it began with a focus on craft breweries. What that means is that in one cloud-based platform, it brings together the management of things like production, recipes, supply chains, inventory, warehousing and more, alongside the management of operations with accounting, finance, marketing, sales, compliance and more.
“That really brings a lot of benefits, in terms of being to follow things like demand planning through a whole cycle, and trace inventory from the very beginning when it’s purchased, through the production process to when it’s actually packaged… the end to end capacity really brings some great and unique advantages,” Goodbourn said.
McClintock said the specific end to end connection to the industry is part of the reason Good Drinks actually went with the system in the first place, because: “the industry is only getting more competitive, and you need to seek out that competitive advantage whenever you can.”
The immediate advantage that Good Drinks found was increased visibility which boosted its decision making abilities, by using technology in new ways. McClintock it’s a key part of any business to be able to make this transition at the optimal moment.
“I think there’s a stage in the maturity of a business in which they need to transition. If you jump too early, you may be tied up in administrative ropes, but when you’re dealing with major customers, you need to gain insight from that,” McClintock said.
Goodbourn added that the future of these capabilities for the industry is cloud-based, and it’s no longer something that businesses should be scared of. Not being tied down to hosted software means that cloud-based ERP systems can be agile as the business pivots and grows, even on a rapid scale.
“Good Drinks for example has just put on a venue recently, which is a different ‘company’ within their company. That process for us was switching a few buttons on and helping with the rollout of that – it was a small project from our perspective. But when you’re talking about software that you actually have to install, that becomes a very different question,” Goodbourn said.
“I think when you’ve got rapid growth in industries, that true cloud is going to become omnipresent.”
As the drinks industry continues to diversify in its operations, Goodbourn said Doozy is experiencing a greater range of businesses opting for Crafted ERP in Australia. This allows the system to continue to be developed, another key benefit of cloud-based technology.
Goodbourn said: “It’s something that we’ve really been expanding out of the Australian business and international business, breaking into companies that are selling liquor in a different way or have different models… we’ve got all kinds at the moment, and we always try to fold that back into the product so we can bring those advantages to the rest of our customer base.”