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    March 3, 2022

    How Keg Inventory Tracking Systems Can Help Brewers with Empties Management

    When was the last time you lost a keg? It was probably recently given industry trends. If you wait long enough, you might see it pop up for sale on a local marketplace.  

    Over the past few years, kegs have become a popular trend for home décor. Even a brief glance at Pinterest or Instagram will reveal dozens of photos of kegs converted into seating, grills, birdbaths, or planters.  

    Unfortunately, the demand for kegs as décor has led to a rise in thefts. In 2019, U.S. breweries lost as much as $35 million from lost kegs, according to the Brewer’s Association. Some of these cases are innocent – restaurants or pubs misunderstanding their obligation to return empty kegs. In other instances, large-scale thefts (losing more than 70 kegs at a time) cost breweries upwards of $20,000 for each occurrence.  

    No matter how a keg goes missing, brewers shoulder the replacement costs. Minimize these additional costs with an Empties Management component built into Enavation Cloud: Drink-IT by NORRIQ. With this Cloud ERP offering, you can see where your materials are at every stage of production, including the location of your empty kegs.  

    Keeping Track of Keg Inventory  

    Manual inventory tracking is tedious, prone to inaccuracies and often doesn’t provide answers when keg numbers don’t match records. The most difficult time to track kegs is when they are empty and outside of your possession.  

    A Cloud-based ERP system can solve this problem by tracking materials and inventory levels in real-time. You can always see where your kegs are in your production line, at a restaurant, or in a truck on the way back to your brewery.  

    Drink-IT by NORRIQ’s Empties Management app gives you control of managing empties at customer locations.  

    • Monitor the location of all your empties and deposit balances for each customer (whether they are charged a deposit fee or not) with a built-in tracking system.  
    • Print an empty goods statement to attach to an invoice or delivery note, ensuring clear and consistent communication.  
    • Quickly pull up a balance overview for each vendor to check on the status of your empty goods and see the charges that were automatically applied and calculated. 

    Using the Internet of Things (IoT) to Improve Traceability 

    Using IoT means you can incorporate any physical item connected to the internet or a similar digital network. Several IoT items can improve your ability to track supplies and materials. 

    • Weight Sensors IoT weight sensors come in various sizes and capabilities and can help you keep track of your inventory. For instance, a restaurant could install an IoT weight sensor beneath a keg to see how much beer is left inside. By connecting your systems to theirs, you can monitor consumption and track how many kegs your customer uses over a period of time.  
    • Smart Labels Cloud-powered smart labels keep track of your kegs. For example, your team can scan labels before and after filling a keg to update your ERP system on production status and available materials. These labels can also provide tracking via blockchain integration so you can pinpoint where your merchandise is during its journey to and from your customer.  
    • Apps for Delivery Drivers – Apps for delivery drivers scan IoT smart labels when picking up or dropping off kegs. 

    Enavation Cloud: Drink-IT by NORRIQ uses IoT technology to enhance your tracking capabilities from raw materials to finished goods. Additionally, if some of your kegs are misplaced or stolen, the combination of smart labels and inventory management apps, such as Empties Management, will help you quickly locate and recover your assets. 

    End-Product Tracing and Recalls 

    Tracking kegs is vital for maximizing profits and improving loss prevention. ERP systems for beverage producers provide valuable insight into that and other aspects of your business, such as raw materials tracking, beverage consumption at point-of-use locations, and batch recall and traceability (if needed). 

    Your ERP system will also help you organize batches by raw materials used, production timelines and point-of-use locations. With this, you can see precisely where your batches are in the production cycle and what ingredients were used. This function makes it easier to recall particular batches if you discover a production issue or harmful component.  

    A beverage industry-specific ERP system in the Cloud will help you avoid unexpected losses and plan. Enavation Cloud: Drink-IT by NORRIQ provides craft brewers with a technology solution to improve operations and enhance brewery profitability. Talk to one of our beverage industry experts to learn more.  

    Tag(s): cloud

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