Information management: Brewery uses asset-tracking software to monitor kegs

Solution replaces paper-based system and provides almost immediate payback.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
October 02, 2013 - MMH Editorial

Highland Brewing Company, a rapidly growing brewery located in Asheville, N.C., produces 65,000 barrels a year for customers in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia. After recognizing its ability to track kegs was falling behind, the company rolled out a new asset-tracking solution and saw significant savings.

Oscar Wong, owner and founder, had become frustrated with a paper trail that often resulted in the loss of kegs. “We only charge our customer a $10 deposit for each keg, but if that keg is lost then we lose $95,” he says. “We tried to keep records with invoice sheets, but I knew that there had to be a better way.”

Even when Wong sent a monthly newsletter to his distributors in an effort to reclaim kegs, flaws in tracking limited the effectiveness. The new asset-tracking system was cost-effective and easily integrated the desktop computer with a mobile data collector. An accurate database and a handheld portable device bring precision to the check-in and check-out processes.

With the improved asset tracking system, Wong saw a rapid improvement in keg returns and thus an immediate payback on his investment. “Just the fact that our customers knew we had taken the guesswork out of our tracking system quickly lowered our keg loss ratio,” he says. “We now have accurate data that gives us more credibility and eliminates paperwork errors.”

The new solution required a minimal investment, but it also offers the ability to expand, thereby meeting the needs of a growing company.

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About the Author

Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.

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