Striving for operational excellence with technology

Dealing with the same challenges as many other breweries, Wieninger is constantly challenged to maintain a high quality and consistent, competitive products, while being under constant pressure to reduce operating costs. The brewery was not running as effectively due to old legacy systems and the brewery wanted to take efficiency to new levels.

Heinrich Huber

The Privatbrauerei M.C. Wieninger has been continuously run by members of the Wieninger family since 1813 – now in the 7th generation. The medium-sized character of the brewery ensures the continuation of the solid craftsmanship tradition and the close contact with employees and customers. Wieninger produces 118.000 hl of beer and non-alcoholic beverages a year primarily for the German market – mainly in the close region – with exports to Austria and Italy.


Overview of all business divisions

The brewery used an industry module that included materials management and a separate accounting system, which was connected to their materials management via interface. They also used a third party system for wages and payrolls accounts, which was connected to the general accounting system via interface. These old systems with the many different components connected via interface, was not running as smoothly as they needed to keep in control. Wieninger started to look for a modern, future-oriented software solution that could support their processes and help increase efficiency and transparency across the entire company.

“First, it was important for us to determine which solutions were on the market. We also wanted to know what other breweries were using. We weren’t looking for a solution customized for us. So we looked around at trade shows, talked to other breweries and, this way, gained an overview of the solutions and which were best suited for us,” says Heinrich Huber, Administrative Director at the Privatbrauerei M.C. Wieninger.


Delivering beverage industry functionality

When Wieninger selected their new solution it was vital for them that it could deliver specific beverage industry functionality and fulfil their needs for an advanced accounting system, management of returnable packaging, sales agreements and marketing, distribution and tax management and reporting. After all, there was no need to start from scratch when Wieninger could select a solution that out-of-the-box matched their business processes.

“Drink-IT is a fully integrated system. And even if the standard solution might not offer a special function, you can easily add that function seamlessly through a partner,” says Heinrich Huber.


Investing in the future

Wieninger believes in combining innovation and modern technology with traditional values, and holds firm to their philosophy of tradition with ambition. As the company looks towards the future, it is with the aspiration of developing the business for future generations and continuing the legacy of brewing fine quality beers.

A crucial aspect in their decision was that they wanted a system fully integrated across their entire value chain. The technological progress was also very important for them, as they wanted a new solution, which could be set up for the long run. They had learned the hard way that systems can quickly become outdated and suddenly cannot be updated anymore.

“We clearly saw the advantage Drink-IT offers, because it is a standard solution based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which guarantees technological progress and security in the future,” says Heinrich Huber.


Increasing complexity operating across markets

Wieninger exports to Austria and operating across markets had made it a time consuming task to ensure full regulatory compliance to legal, duty, tax and pricing regulations. Time spent on keeping up with complex legislation is extremely important for avoiding the risks of non-compliance, but also “unproductive” time that may burden the financial department. Therefore, it was very important for Wieninger that the new solution would automate their compliance processes.

By investing in a brewery management solution, Wieninger has succeeded to create an integrated, streamlined process flow across their entire brewery value chain – a process flow that automatically captures and calculates prices, duty and tax according to the demands of the different markets. Due to the integrated nature of the solution, the correct information is captured automatically every time they, for example, create a sales order, move items around in the warehouse, place products on a vehicle to deliver it etc.

“One thing that has become considerably easier because of the new system with Drink-IT are our shipments abroad. Before, we had to enter the orders into our system for Austrian customers, then they had to be entered again manually in the German client to ship and invoice them to Austria and then sent on to the Austrian customer. Now we enter everything into one client and from there, at the click of a mouse, it all gets sent to the Austrian client. Even the tax notification is generated in the system and is processed basically completely electronically,” explains Heinrich Huber.


Accelerating efficiency with IT

Realizing that their business processes represent their key assets when it comes to being more efficient and profitable, Wieninger took a long, hard look at how they could optimise their processes.

They had a lot of manual processes and with that the disadvantages of expensive errors, low productivity, large ongoing staff costs, potential undermining of the quality, difficulties with scaling the production, sharing information, and difficulties with traceability across the value chain. In addition, with the manual processes the same data was repeatedly re-keyed which made it hard to keep track of information and transactions.

“In the past we’ve had a strong focus on keeping our inventory organized. With our old system it was difficult to retrace all system bookings. With the new system we’ve reached a substantial improvement! Now, we can see every movement of any individual item, we can filter by specific item or specific process. Thus, it has become quite easy to understand the results we get in our inventory settlements,” explains Heinrich Huber.


Integrated processes is smarter business

By investing in the new, fully integrated brewery management solution, Wieninger has achieved a complete overview of all their business divisions – from production to warehousing and distribution, to sales and finance management. By connecting their entire value chain with an all-in-one best practice solution, Wieninger has achieved a coherent workflow enabling a smooth and integrated data flow that has increased traceability and enabled better overview.

“Drink-IT brought us much closer to our objectives than other solutions could have done. We saw lots of opportunities for development and potential implementation – and, in the end, we were able to reach those. In hindsight, we can say that we’ve reached all our aims with Drink-IT and that we’re very happy with the solution,” says Heinrich Huber.

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