4 Challenges Unique to Beer Distribution in Microsoft Dynamics GP

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Getting beer from the brewery to distributors and retailers without losing track of stock requires comprehensive tracking system.


Beer distribution is challenging: moving inventory from the brewery to distributors to customers is nothing short of a juggling act. Incorrectly tracking stock, pick pack errors, and delayed shipments are all dropped balls that cost money – and you can’t afford to drop balls when there are more than 20,000 licensed alcohol beverage wholesalers in the United States.


You’re in luck, however: using Dynavistics’ integrated Trinity Beer Distribution Solution for Microsoft Dynamics GP equips you to overcome distribution challenges.


How Many is Too Many?

Beer distribution has seen significant changes – the number of traditional beer distributors, for example, has dropped about 35% in the last 35 years. The number of new entrants into the alcohol beverage wholesaling sector, however, has increased significantly, and beer distributors now have more types of beer to deliver to more wholesalers, so inventory control has never been more important. Whether you specialize in craft brews or are at the helm of a national brand, you have to have your distribution process tightly refined to ensure accurate, timely deliveries.


Is Your SKU Strategy Skewing Your Inventory?

Your time should be spent selling your beer and making your customers happy, not counting inventory, picking orders, or making deliveries – wouldn’t it be great if you could track stock without stepping into the warehouse?

Every product should have a “stock keeping unit” (SKU), which is the primary way retailers, distributors, and brewers keep track of their beer inventory in the marketplace. Each product’s SKU is unique, so the more beer you have, the more SKUs you have to record and track.

You can imagine how quickly this becomes a problem if you attempt to list every product manually. Losing track of just one shipment means going back and reconciling inventory throughout the warehouse, delivered orders, orders in transition, and orders for fulfillment.

Good distribution software saves time and eases the stress of locating stock. Each SKU is associated with a specific product, so the beer is easy to identify regardless of where it is in the sales and delivery process and, because the software tracks every SKU, you know exactly where your product is, where it’s scheduled to go, and when it reaches its intended destination.


Pouring Profits Down the Drain?

Freshness is a big part of the beer drinking experience. If beer sits before it gets shipped, it won’t be at peak flavor upon delivery. Having fresh product when distributors place orders is essential.

If you have extensive stock and are tracking multiple products, you need a reliable system. You could label each product and attempt to track it by hand, but the job would quickly become too big; listing every product in a software-based distribution system, however, gives you updated quantities at each site. You can then check this updated inventory list to see which beer needs to be shipped out first to guarantee freshness. Did you know that, in a year, distributors throw away an average of one million U.S. dollars worth of beer because of substandard flavor? Inventory tracking software will help you save all your beer.


Is This What I Ordered? 

The beer industry averages a 20% error rate between distributors and retailers. Combining a good tracking system with consistent stock management, however, lowers the inaccurate order fulfillment risk. Distribution software that tracks stock tells you what beer is available, when it was brewed, and where it’s stored. And if you use SKUs to create distinct bins/storage locations for each product, all the warehouse has to do to locate stock is:

  • Go to the assigned section of the warehouse
  • Pull the right amount of product
  • Send it out for delivery

Errors have a material impact on consumers – the beer they want isn’t on tap when they want it, which means less beer is sold; less beer being sold means lost revenue for both the establishment and the distributors. In short, more accurate fulfillment improves your brands’ sales as well as your relationships with distributors and retailers.


Where’s the Beer?

No one cares how accurate your order was if it shows up late, because late beer means stale beer. It also means there could be a noticeable gap in availability, resulting in reliability concerns and driving consumers to choose other brands. Having the right product on hand at the right time in the right storage location enables the warehouse to pick pack easily and ship timely.


With the right distribution software, you’ll know when orders are placed and when they need to ship, and you can move from order creation to fulfillment to shipping without missing a beat; in fact, a good distribution system enables a smooth transition between production and distribution.


Now is the time to integrate and connect every part of your beer distribution process. With Trinity’s Beer Distribution Solution by Dynavistics, you can link your stock, pricing strategy, purchasing information, and order fulfillment with Microsoft Dynamics GP. Your distributors and their customers get a seamless buying experience, and you save yourself from a big headache when it comes to managing your beer.


Contact Dynavistics today to request a demo and see what Dynavistics’ Trinity Beer Distribution Solution can do for you.


Let us help you simplify distribution and keep you chugging along to deliver the best quality beer with the flavor your fans have come to love.


Interested in learning more?  Check out these product videos:

Catch Weights Management Processing

Manage Multiple Units of Measure 

Advanced Inventory Replenishment Concepts

Advanced Inventory Purchase Order Generator

Account Receivable and Credit Collection Management


Source: NBWA Distributor Productivity Report

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