QM software allowing product tracking for small breweries
does anybody know a software allowing the administration of QM data (analyses, etc.) and especialy batch tracking (up- and downwards) which is suitable for small breweries? There are quite a few SAP-based monsters out there, but they probably cost as much as some small breweries... I was already thinking of writing a program myself, but it's a huge job. Does anybody has some experience with affordable, ready-made software for that purpose?
What sort of information would you like to track? How much information would you like to track? You may want to look into a program called a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System). I maintain and administer one for a water quality laboratory and it is built to track all of our analyses from scheduling collection to reporting results. The one we use is very expensive and is used for a pretty high throughput system. We analyse about 500 samples a week but the system can handle alot more. There are much smaller LIMS on the market. Let me know al little more about your needs and I may be able to help point you in the right direction.
I've seen Zontec in use in a non brewing application. More than met the need at the time. May be worth a look. They're at www.zontec-spc.com/ .
Thanks. Will have a look at that program.
The main feature of the program I am looking for is the provision of a reliable product traceability to conform with a new european regulation which becomes effective by the beginning of next year. For example, if you used a contaminated malt bag, you should know from which supermarket to pull back the bottles. In a small brewery, that might at first look like an easy task. But if you look at the large amount of different raw materials, yeasts, stabilizers etc. and the mixing of batches in the process (filling up tanks, krausening, blending, etc.) it becomes a quite big job if you use only paper.
So far for the legal requirements. But as such a system is expensive to install, and probably requires some work to maintain, it would be good to make it a bit more useful for the brewery itself:
- If it's possible to attach reports and analyses data at the appropriate steps, you might be able to see eg. which malt quality or irregularities during wort preparation affected your shelf life, as you have the complete product history of every single bottle at your hand.
- As you have to keep track of all products, materials and deliveries anyway, you could use the program for the inventory and maybe even for billing.
So far to clarify my ideas ...
Lot tracking and Recall
Give the Zontec software a look only if you want to track SPC type data.
Sounds like what you're looking for is a means of doing "Lot Tracking and Recall reporting", which is a different animal. (I worked in the salad dressing industry and have worked with this a lot.) It's a lot of work to enter the info required to build this capability, so check with other food manufacturers in your area to see what this requirement means to them on a day-to-day basis. They may have software picks that are relevant too.
SAP is a monster in this arena, but it even required a lot of modification to do what we needed it to do at the time. If you don't have a need for a complete ERP suite, you may be able to get something more specialized/suited to your needs.
Best of luck,
I´ve made a software using Microsoft Access where you can track a bottle down to a specific purchase. The chain is as follow
1. Incoming grains, hops and what ever gets a purchase transaction number
2. When registrating raw material for each batch you choose from which purchase you use. So then you know which purchase transaction belongs to a specific batch. To each batch you connect a reciepe and you also registrate process info, process control data and more.
3. Every batch can be linked to one or more products (bottled, kegged, different bottle sizes) Every product/batch informs about best before date and inventory status.
4. When registrating deliveries you deceide from which product/batch you deliver from
When you have all this information it is easy to publish a simple website where the customer can track his/hers bottle down to raw material purchase and process data.
This software is under development (i´m using it already even if my business is very small yet) and all menus are written in swedish. If this is not a to hugh problem, feel free to contact me by mail.