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Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Popular microbrewer sees explosive growth after financial management overhaul
Improved cost management enabled production to control expenses and maximize profits
Automated reporting saved time and money by eliminating manual tasks and ensuring data integrity
Streamlined financial management systems supported ongoing expansion
- Dogfish Head, a Delaware-based microbrewer and distributor, was poised for expansion but had neither systems nor scalable software in place to handle major growth.
- After selecting Microsoft Dynamics GP, Dogfish worked with Intellitec Solutions consultants to establish accounting best practices and a solution capable of growing with them.
- In the six years since installing GP and overhauling financial systems, Dogfish revenues skyrocketed from $3 million to $40 million annually.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery started as a small brewpub in Rehoboth Beach and quickly grew into a thriving distributor selling beer in 28 states through a network of 50+ wholesalers. From making 12-gallon batches in its lone brewpub, Dogfish now houses production in a 100,000 square-foot converted cannery.
Dogfish was producing dozens of unique specialty brews, but lacked adequate tools for capturing component costs or calculating profitability by brew type. Revenues that could not be readily identified would crop up in the General Ledger. Critical compliance reports had to be generated manually. To enable the company to realize its full growth potential, a systems and software overhaul was in order.
Microsoft Dynamics GP from Intellitec Solutions - Intellitec Solutions implemented Dynamics GP and provided extensive accounting consultation to help Dogfish Head get a firm handle on costs and generate relevant financial data to make better business decisions.
The complete story
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, opened in 1995, has attracted thousands of loyal customers who appreciate the company’s reputation for quality ingredients and creative specialty brews. With distribution in 28 states and a bustling brewpub, Dogfish must produce enough to fill the pipeline and still provide plenty of interesting choices to its discerning fans.
To meet those dual needs, Dogfish offers six core brands, four seasonal brews, and dozens of beers owner Sam Calagione describes as “calculated experimentation.” Given such production demands, management systems must be robust enough to keep up with an ever-changing product line.
But when COO Nick Benz joined Dogfish several years ago, he quickly realized the company’s accounting software was inadequate, especially in view of Calagione’s ambitious expansion plans. Existing software couldn’t tell Benz what specific ingredients cost, determine whether brews made or lost money, or even recognize revenues properly. Benz, who believes “good people and good ingredients make a good product,” knew the company needed better data to make better business decisions. Dogfish had the people, ingredients and product right, but good data for good decisions was missing.
After conducting research among fellow brewers, Benz opted for Microsoft Dynamics GP. A trusted vendor referred Benz to Intellitec Solutions as the best partner to implement the solution. Benz not only gained the “good data” he was missing, he gained the experience of accounting experts who helped him streamline his financials. Key benefits include:
- Improved cost management: Analytics track the profitability of every product brewed, right down to individual ingredient costs, allowing production to manage costs better and maximize profits.
- Improved compliance: With Dynamics GP Report Writer and Smart Lists, Dogfish generates accurate and timely compliance reports. Alcohol production requires stringent reporting, and Dogfish must report to the Feds and all 28 states where they distribute. Mistakes in documentation can be costly.
- Streamlined process: Intellitec Solutions consultants worked with the Dogfish team to set up efficient accounting systems and institute General Ledger best practices.
- Improved decision-making: Management now has access to key indicators that help them make better decisions around future expansion.
For Benz, one of the most important aspects of the implementation experience was Intellitec Solutions’ willingness to learn and share. “Intellitec Solutions took the time to understand our needs, map out our processes, think through transaction flows, and get to know our business”, says Benz. He also credits their ability to carefully explain the full capabilities of Dynamics. “They went screen shot by screen shot to make sure we understood everything. I still refer to notes taken during the implementation over five years ago.”
Intellitec Solutions’ biggest contribution was helping Dogfish make the leap from “the smallest commercial brewery in America” to the thriving $40 million business it is today. Benz confirms that the company’s remarkable growth spurt is far from over, noting: “Thanks to Intellitec Solutions, we have a solution and a process in place and we are ready to start taking the next step.”
Find out how Intellitec Solutions can improve your financial management. Contact us today