Fort Collins, CO: March, 2017, Encompass Technologies, a software leader in beverage distribution, announced that Night Shift Brewing (NSB), one of the fastest-growing breweries in Massachusetts, is now using Encompass Technologies Route Accounting Software (RAS), Labor Management Software (LMS), and Fleet Tracking On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) for self-distribution.
Founded in 2012, Night Shift brewed 250 BBLS their first year. In 2013, they increased to 700 BBLs, and by 2016 they were producing 10,000 BBLs per year. Night Shift has grown from ~1,500 C/E in 2012 to ~75,000 C/E in 2016, and boasts a 1,225% annual growth rate (excluding all taproom volume). Coming from humble roots, the founders wanted to be able to control their product, who it was sold to, limit the amount of beer customers could buy, and ensure their service was top-notch along the way.
They started keeping track of their distribution using spreadsheets and various cloud-based programs, but as business grew, these processes became unmanageable. With a growing amount of routes, a growing fleet, and new employees, things like mobile order entry, routing, and fleet tracking became a necessity. When they started looking at different applications, NSB was elated to see that Encompass was able to give them the visibility and tools they needed to manage their growing business.
In October, 2016, Night Shift Distributing made the transition to Encompass Technologies. Asa, their Director of Sales, told us “making the switch to Encompass was on par with what I expected. There were massive amounts of data that had to be converted, but the Pre-Installation Workshop was really helpful in cleansing the data.”
Live inventory data now gives their salespeople the ability to quickly pivot between different products if the requested product is out of stock, and turns the delivery process from a complicated project to an easily manageable process that requires little attention. New drivers are also now easier to train because Encompass gives them the right route and turn-by-turn directions when they don’t know where to go.
But that’s just the beginning. The ability to email all of their invoices directly from the field has now allowed NSB to become a completely paperless organization, and the software has put them on an even playing field with the larger wholesalers technologically. Assembling a team of employees with years of experience working with wholesalers in the past, Asa told us, “…we’ve seen the other side of things with different applications in different systems. Encompass gives us the ability to swiftly enter orders and the nimbleness to sell like products in the market, and that’s incredibly important to us.”
Asa also told us the most technologically important feature Encompass has provided NSB so far, has been routing. The ability to dynamically route their trucks to the most efficient route, based on traffic and service windows makes a once difficult job easy. Having the route displayed on the driver’s handheld with mapped directions, makes hiring new drivers easy. Being able to easily fix mistakes on their route, and then viewing it on a map, turns things like correcting and optimizing into simple tasks. Drivers are driving less miles because of route optimization, and fleet tracking is giving them the visibility necessary to determine if drivers are excessively idling. With Encompass, their gas and vehicle maintenance bills have been drastically dropping.
“The dynamic reporting was way more robust than I initially thought, and being able to build customized reports for my sales teams helps them push the right goals.”
Looking at 2017, they are now predicting to brew ~22,000 BBLs, and have opened a 30,000 square foot warehouse solely for self-distribution. Mobile order entry and more dynamic reporting has given them the metrics they need to make sure they have the right beer being brewed at the right time, and routing and fleet tracking makes sure that beer gets distributed to the right place on time.
When asked if other craft beer self-distributors should make the switch to Encompass when exploring their options, Asa replied, “I would definitely tell them to do it. It’s been great for us. The dynamic reporting was way more robust than I initially thought, and being able to build customized reports for my sales teams helps them push the right goals.”