Kirkham IT team is wild about brewing

Matthew Horne (left) & Daniel Wareing from Smart IT Kirkham
Matthew Horne (left) & Daniel Wareing from Smart IT Kirkham
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Intelligent computer software is having a positive effect on the taste buds of beer enthusiasts, as a Lancashire IT specialist has been helping a West Country brewery to improve production and consistency of its craft beers.

Kirkham based Smart IT has been working with independent brewers The Wild Beer Co to optimise its brewing processes and stock and warehousing capabilities to meet increasing demand for its beers.

The Somerset beer producer commissioned Smart IT to design an end-to-end, IT led brewing system using Odoo open source ERP technology.

The fully integrated service allows The Wild Beer Co to use automated facilities to manage every step of the production process.

It includes the mixing of different beer recipes and adding of various ingredients at specific times, as well as handling the scheduling of customer orders so that the fermenting, brewing and delivery processes are fully synchronised.

Mike McAlea from Smart IT said: “As far as we are aware, there is nothing else on the market quite as integrated as this – an all-in-one, end-to-end IT software solution which serves the craft beer industry and allows a brewer to manage an automated production line from start to finish.

“With The Wild Beer Co, we have implemented a system which monitors the entire process in real time, from the calculations of ingredients and stock control for each brewing run through to packaging and distribution of the finished product.”

The project involved six months of planning and building, with Smart IT consultants making several visits to Somerset to analyse every stage of the brewing and sales process.

The brewing system also incorporates live stock management information, warehousing capacity, packaging, e-commerce, finance and CRM capability for order scheduling and sales.

Brett Ellis from The Wild Beer Co said: “We put the quality of our beers at the heart of everything we do.

“Anything which gives us an edge or point of difference is worth exploring.

“With clever use of technology and software development support from Smart IT, we can improve the consistency and quality of our product. That means drinkers of our beers get a more enjoyable experience.”

The new technology also calculates losses in batches during the brewing process.

These can be closely monitored and submitted as an audit trail for HMRC purposes and accurate VAT and duty calculations.