Thinking outside the still: Why distillery management software is a must-have for every distillery, at any stage of life.
Thoroughbred Spirits Group has distilling in their blood – generations of it, in fact. It’s a lineage that lends a solid foundation to Scott Shiller and the Thoroughbred team, giving them the experience and expertise to build an industry-leading consulting company. From financial modeling (feasibility), to liquid development and blending, to brand development and sales, to distillery design, Thoroughbred can help.
Thoroughbred has worked with over 30 distilleries and 60 brands to create processes and pathways to implement their visions – ultimately allowing each client to make their unique dream a reality. No matter what stage of their business a distillery is at, the team of industry professionals at Thoroughbred is an invaluable asset in moving forward.
“The core of it is that we help brand new startups as well as those looking to grow. We put all the pieces together for all the major aspects of the distillery. We really want to be a crucial contributor to the organization and that individual’s success. We’re working with all components of the business side and the personal side.”
Whether a distillery partner is just getting started or looking to take their production to the next level, software is always a line item on Thoroughbred’s checklist. Thoroughbred and FIVE x 5 Solutions know that supporting the people behind the brand ensures stability and longevity for a business, and for the craft distilling industry. Data is key to successful distillery management and sustainable growth, and software provides distilleries of all sizes with the best tools on the market to collect that data and keep it centralized, streamlined, and accessible.
“There are so many moving parts to a distillery, and the information the software captures is very powerful,” Scott explains. “Not only is it difficult to capture without a solution, but it is also hard to manipulate and rely on manual data entries in a simple spreadsheet.
Because the information is so critical, we always recommend software to our clients.” Additionally, he notes, software serves as a low-cost insurance policy to make sure a distillery is operating effectively and within legal regulations.
Features like excise reporting tools and proper calculations for proof gallons are no-brainers for FIVE x 5 and Thoroughbred clients alike, but Scott highlights another tool often overlooked in short-listing software features. “What I like most about [software] is inventory control and management because there is a ton of money often tied up in that, or there are efficiencies in that that you might not have visibility to otherwise. That’s built-in financial acumen as well.”
“A lot of our work currently is on helping (distillery) businesses understand where they are at and where they need to be to get to the next level. I think there has been greater interest in businesses looking to scale who know they are doing a lot of things, but don’t know how to differentiate themselves to be among the best. And then there are new startups who have quite a bit of capital and are business–savvy, looking to get going right out of the gate. They are coming ready to play, so it’s our job to keep them on track and steer them in the right direction.”
No matter in what lifecycle stage a distillery is, the value of software cannot be overlooked. Whether tracking inventory and production on day one of distilling, recalling three years of operational data during a TTB Audit, or exploring growth potential, the insight gained from the business’s data is what ultimately drives the business forward.
Scott sums it up succinctly: “There are many things I would caution our clients against, but software is not one of them.” Without the control that a solution gives you, managing a distillery is a daunting task that is filled with potential for inefficiencies and human error. Implementing distillery management software is one of the key decisions that can set a great distillery apart from the rest.