Finding The Best Distillery Inventory Management Software
Choosing the right Distillery Inventory Management software is never an easy process. Whether you are looking to transition from spreadsheets, or your current distillery software doesn’t quite do what you want it to do, it’s time consuming to go through all the options and work out which one is the best fit for you now and into the future.
In a previous article, I discussed the processes that I go through when I’m looking to narrow down the Inventory Management, or indeed any other software, options for a client (you can find that article here). In this next article, I am cutting to the chase and specifically looking at distillery inventory management software.
For ease, it is being assumed that the primary software that drives the compatibility requirements on any other software to be added to the ‘tech stack’ of the distillery is your accounting software.
The Canstar Blue’s 2021 Accounting Software review lists the top 4 rated accounting software as being Xero, Intuit QuickBooks, MYOB and Reckon, with an honourable mention for Sage. While the review is the top rated, it’s probable that these are also the most used options too. I, therefore, concentrated the search based on compatibility with these accounting software options, but a couple of other options are listed for consideration, as you will see detailed below the table.
The table below lists the potential Inventory Management options for distilleries. It’s not a complete list, being limited to options that include ‘manufacturing’ modules and are compatible with the major accounting software options used by small businesses; or are distillery specific. I have identified those with Australian based support as that can also influence businesses in their decision making.
|Distillery Specific||Xero||MYOB||Quick Books||Reckon||Sage||Australian Support|
|DISTILL x 5||✓||∞||x||✓||x||x||x|
∞ = Integrations planned for 2022.
The table has been split into 3 groups. Firstly, options that are distillery specific; secondly, options that are generalised Inventory Management systems that link to their own proprietary accounting systems; and thirdly, options that are generalised Inventory Management systems that link to one, or more, of the most popular accounting systems.
Distillery Inventory Management Options
My research identified 9 distillery specific Inventory Management software options, though for practical purposes Australian distilleries can ignore ORCHESTRA (US based and only interacts with a US accounting system) and smaller distilleries are likely to ignore DRAMS as this option looks like it’s suited to very large volume producers.
Of the remaining distillery specific options:
- Price Range: From c$500 per month
- Ecommerce Links: None
- Option For: Distilleries with low volume of online sales and utilising QuickBooks Online
Integrates with QuickBooks, with a Xero integration anticipated in 2022. Capable of dealing with the Australian excise return, with prices starting around US$300 (AU$500) per month for unlimited users. One downside is that it does not link to any eCommerce software, so if you’re selling online, orders will need to be entered manually.
- Price Range: From c$140 per month
- Ecommerce Links: Coming in 2022
- Option For: None yet, wait until mid-2022
Visually appealing and feels like a software solution in its infancy and developmental phase. Australian compliant excise reporting is due by mid-2022 with both Xero and QuickBooks integrations anticipated in the third quarter of 2022. Links to major e-commerce options are also in the pipeline. Pricing starts at just under US$100 (AU$140) per month.
- Price Range: From c$500 per month
- Ecommerce Links: ??
- Option For: Whisky and other distilleries with significant barrel aging requirements
Operates on the Odoo platform, effectively acting as a distillery app that interacts with other apps sitting on the platform. Each app has a separate subscription, so the total cost depends on your specific requirements. Master Distiller costs from GBP250 (AU$500) per month, and from my discussions with them there may be some discretion on the pricing, depending on the level of support required. Australian excise reporting is in the pipeline, and it includes very powerful reporting tools. Odoo is a growing open-source platform that may attract distilleries that see the benefit of adding applications as they grow.
- Price Range: c$100 per user, per month
- Ecommerce Links: Woocommerce & Shopify
- Option For: Gin, Vodka distilleries (and breweries)
Arguably the most flexible as it already integrates with Xero, QuickBooks and Sage (together with Woocommerce and Shopify). Australian excise return information is expected in 2022, but it’s likely that the information required to complete a return is readily available as the UK excise return is not dissimilar to the Australian return. At GBP50 (AU$100) per concurrent user per month, it is an option well worth considering, especially as it already has integrations with Woocommerce and Shopify.
- Price Range: Bespoke to each customers needs
- Ecommerce Links: Shopify
- Option For: Distilleries utilising other Netsuite modules/apps
Utilises the power of NetSuite, so it doesn’t integrate with Xero or any of the other popular accounting software. It does have Australian based support, but the cost structure of NetSuite may well preclude smaller distilleries. If you are operating a larger distillery and require integrated functionality across a range of requirements then this may be worth looking at. It is my understanding that currently, the costs to implement are specific to each distillery.
- Price Range: From $59 per user, per month
- Ecommerce Links: Shopify
- Option For: Distilleries using Xero
Operates across wineries, breweries and distilleries and is based in Auckland, NZ. Pricing starts at $59 per user per month, but distilleries requiring multiple stock locations (which is likely if you have bonded and unbonded stock) will need to pay at least $177 per month for the first three users and $59 per month for each additional user. Sales and inventory modules are an additional cost of $89 per month for the first 3 users and an additional $24 per month per user thereafter;
- Price Range: One off from $20,000
- Ecommerce Links: Woocommerce, Shopify
- Option For: Larger volume distilleries
Part of the Ezy Systems group based in Bendigo. The group has been operating for a number of years and has a strong presence in Australia. Unlike other software, which you ‘rent’, EZY is a software option that you buy. Consequently, there are higher upfront costs, from $20,000 for EZY Distillery, with monthly support as an option from $500 per month.
Other Inventory Management software options
These software options are still great and, although they were not specifically created to service distilleries, they could definitely work for your business. They are still worth a look if the above options don’t quite seem to fit your needs.
Proprietary Inventory Management and Accounting systems
If you’ve chosen either MYOB or Sage as your accounting system and you don’t want to change, then both systems have their own inventory management options as add-ons to the standard accounting system. Neither are specifically designed for distilleries, but they can be configured to support the manufacturing and finished goods building processes that a distillery uses and are therefore viable options for those in this accounting software space.
If you are on Sage you can still look at Premier Systems as this has an integration with Sage.
General Inventory Management software options
Finally, there are the generic systems that will meet the requirements of almost any business that buys, manufactures, and sells inventory. The ones listed all integrate with Xero and QuickBooks Online (except acctivate, which is QuickBooks Online only), with Fishbowl Inventory also integrating with Reckon.
All have some level of Australian support, be that actual offices or via authorised 3rd parties and they are all cloud based (except Fishbowl which requires either your own server or a third party cloud server).
Software costs aren’t dissimilar to the specialist distillery systems which probably puts the distillery systems listed above in a favourable light, especially when you take into account excise reporting and the likelihood that set up time in the distillery specific software options will be less than the generic options. Lower set up times will usually equate to a lower set up cost.
If you’d like to discuss your distillery requirements just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a call here and we can run through your requirements and see which option is best for your distillery and business.
NOTE: Every endeavour has been made to provide accurate pricing and integration information, but these may change at any moment and are outside the control of Refresh Accounting Pty Ltd.
This publication is for guidance only and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publishers nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned by any person as a result of action taken or refraining from in consequence of the contents of this publication.
Refresh Accounting may receive referral fees on introductions to software providers.