Craft Brewers Conference 2022 has come to a close, and while many of us participated last year in Denver, the pre-pandemic energy and excitement truly returned this year in Minneapolis. Like in past years, there were plenty of opportunities to try the newest NH Hazy hop combination and notice how West Coast IPAs are on the rebound. But more than ever before, the prevailing theme of the conference was how brewers can master their supply chains to run more efficiently. In 2022, the burden of inflationary pressures and an inconsistent supply chain necessitated that brewers think differently as they plan for the future. These challenges and related solutions were present in several of the key operational trends at the Craft Brewers Conference.
Trend #1 – Eliminating Stockouts
Stockouts can be devastating to a growing brand. Customers interested in a product are unable to buy, resulting in lower revenue as well as consumer dissatisfaction. Without the ability to buy your product, customers will seek out other product options, causing you to lose out to other brands. The team at GP Analytics is using data to simplify the supply chain with the right product allocation. By measuring the sales data, they can accurately forecast future demand and automatically communicate the results to wholesalers, eliminating the stockout before it happens.
Trend #2 – Brewers Battling Keg Loss
The Brewers Association estimates that 5% of a brewer’s kegs will be lost each year. Steel is even more expensive and the impact on the bottom line can be dramatic. In the past, brewers have relied on barcode tracking and deposits to help curb keg loss. Katch Assets has taken keg tracking to an entirely new level with their Internet of things powered location intelligence. A beacon is secured to each keg, utilizing event triggers to send messages via a worldwide infrastructure. In addition to securing kegs from loss, brewers also receive key information on cycle time and temperature performance.
Trend #3 – Making Data-Driven Decisions
While brewing remains an art, business and operational sides of breweries have fully embraced that better performance can be achieved through science. Over the course of the week, we had several conversations with individuals that collected data but had no way to extract actionable insights. From taproom POS to inventory to flow meters, users needed a way to visualize their data. With Informer brewers can simplify the process of accessing, cleansing, blending, and analyzing data. Informer combines data into a single platform with an intuitive, web-based interface so that users can make data driven decisions.