Read about how Rebellion Brewing switching brewery management systems allowed them to gain accurate COGS, real time inventory, and superior support.
Roadblocks to Success
Up until last summer, Rebellion Brewing was using a different software solution to help run their brewery operations and operate their business. At first, they found that this software solution was able to operate their business, and they were able to work around the parts they weren't so huge on. However, they were starting to find they were running into many issues that were hindering their success, and this made it harder to manage their day to day.
Rebellion started to feel that the issues they were running into were too cumbersome to work around, and they began searching for alternative software solutions. Rebellion was finding that their previous service was starting to run into major problems with bugs, errors, service outages, and the like. While this in itself might be manageable on it's own, they were also finding that the support provided to them from their supplier was not reliable when it came to fixing errors, and on top of this, it would often take up to 24 hours to get a response letting them know that they were looking into the problem.
According to Rebellion's Brewmaster & Brewery Manager Zaul McLellan, "responses from customer support slipped from hours, to days, weeks, and finally sometimes months."
Separate from the bugs and support issues, Rebellion was also finding that data accuracy within their system was often in question, as a lot of the numbers from their service weren't lining up with their paper records. Inventory quantities and costs were often inaccurate in the database that they were using at the time, which led to inaccurately captured COGS and profit margins. As a result, confidently pricing products became increasingly difficult.
Additionally, they found that the user interface of their previous system was not intuitive, the lack of support with other software like Quickbooks was a problem, and support for the Canadian tax system felt increasingly neglected. Because of the user interface not being easy to use, this caused them to lose even more time to a system that wasn't fulfilling their needs. Not being able to integrate with software like QBO also made it difficult to communicate with and work with their accounting team. Lastly, being a Canadian brewery, Rebellion struggled with delays and difficulties in tax reporting due to the system not having knowledge of their local taxes.
Due to all of these issues and more, Rebellion realized the need for a change was imminent. Thankfully, they had been in contact on and off with Brew Ninja for a number of years, and decided to take the plunge in 2021. They have described this choice as especially beneficial to them and their operations, and haven't looked back since.
Making the switch
Since taking the plunge and switching to Brew Ninja, Rebellion has seen a massive uptick in productivity, efficiency, and has been able to save countless hours of time per week, to name a few things. In short, they have been able to solve all of the problems they were looking to solve, and have come out better because of it.
According to Jeff Harms, Finance Manager at Rebellion Brewing, "We now have faith in our data and we are working far more efficiently than we ever had before we made the switch to Brew Ninja."
In terms of specific positive impacts, Rebellion describes it best. Firstly, Rebellion was having plenty of issues when it came to bugs, slowdown, and support help with their previous service. As far as they're concerned, this issue is practically eliminated. They believe that Brew Ninja's service and support team fixes problems quickly, and communicates well along the way. Not only that, but support wait times have gone from days, weeks, or even months with their previous service, to immediate responses and fast solutions with Brew Ninja.
"The speed of which issues are resolved allows all of our departments to work more efficiently and frees up time for us to work on things that really matter." stated Jeff Harms.
Jeff also believes that Brew Ninja is not only great in it's current state, but has also experienced that it has been very open to constructive criticism and any suggestions that their team might have to improve the product. In his experience, this is uncommon, and Jeff feels that it is very refreshing.
Additionally, some of Rebellion's largest issues with their previous systems revolved around the lack of accurate inventory and cost of goods sold. Obviously, while running any business these are important, but especially so for a brewery. Thankfully, this is an issue of the past.
"Being more reliable we have found Brew Ninja much better at not just tracking our stock and production levels but also our cost of goods sold. Helping us to make better, more informed decisions when managing all aspects of the brewery." said Zaul McLellan
Jeff continued on to say that he feels that their inventory count process has been sped up significantly, and thanks to being able to set up re-order alerts and having a live view of inventory levels for all of their products, materials, and more, their inventory system is now actually reliable thanks to Brew Ninja.
In terms of costing, Jeff also praised that their costing is now accurate and provides them with real time margins. Because of the high inflation in the market this is important for any brewery, and this is no different for Rebellion. They rely on this information to try to maintain their margins, as it tells them if they need to look for efficiencies on the cost side and/or review their pricing, and this is a problem Brew Ninja has helped them solve.
Another issue Rebellion kept running into was reporting. Specifically, support for the Canadian tax system felt increasingly neglected. As a Canadian brewery, this made it not only difficult, but time consuming to do their taxes. When Rebellion made the switch to Brew Ninja, Jeff was pleased with Brew Ninja's understanding of their local taxes, which improved their ability to efficiently produce their tax reports.
According to Zaul McLellan, "Being based in Canada they (Brew Ninja) just understand the Canadian side of taxes a lot better than any of the competition."
Rebellion found some other, smaller benefits to using their new system that helped improve their day to day as well. Specifically, that the whole system feels better designed with a smarter workflow that understands what breweries need, and that the ability to access the software on the go via their phones has been a huge help during daily operations. As well, Zaul felt that the switch over from their previous system went far smoother than they expected, and this allowed them to seamlessly switch between services without any major hiccups. Lastly, according to Jeff, the ability to enter vendor orders into Brew Ninja and have them sync over to QBO has helped save them a lot of duplicate entry that they had been doing previously.
We can continue describing all the ways Rebellion has benefited from Brew Ninja all day, but we'll let Rebellion sum it up instead.
According to Zaul McLellan, "These differences have made us find Brew Ninja a lot easier to work with and to be more reliable across the board, from the software to the people. We do not regret making the switch."
More about Rebellion Brewing Co.
Rebellion Brewing Co. has been a staple in the Queen City (Regina, SK) since 2014, and with time they have only become more popular. Over the last 8 years, Rebellion has been able to build up their reputation as a passionate, punk rebel in the craft beer industry, and their mission has always been to brew great beer and help to make the community a better place to live. Ask anyone who lives in Regina, and we bet they would agree they have been able to do both.
Since their founding, Rebellion has been able to achieve their goals, and has begun to rack up a large amount of brewing awards in the industry. Including winning Gold on their Amber Ale at this year's World Beer Cup, and winning Brewery of the Year at the Prairie Beer Awards, among many others! Rebellion continues to grow, coming up with creative, awesome tasting brews year round, and loves to share their passion for beer with their customers, and hope that they will get as excited about beer as they are. After all, life's too short to not drink awesome beer.
If you're in the Regina, SK area, or visiting the Canadian prairies, you absolutely can't go wrong with trying Rebellion Brewing Company!