Asia Brewers Network

How to plan your brewery production


What steps do you take to ensure your production process flows with maximum efficiency? How do you ensure your orders are fulfilled without interruptions, delay or stress?

If you don’t have a production plan in your brewery business – it’s time to get one. But where do you start?

Why do I need a brewery production plan?

In simple terms – to maximize productivity.

You need a plan that covers all aspects of brewery activities – including raw materials, equipment and human resources, The plan will ensure they are available precisely when – and where – they are needed.

Production planning gives you full control over your manufacturing process, and this, in turn, provides you the power to

  • Stop wasting time
  • Avoid bottlenecks
  • Manage your crew effectively
  • Make the process flow without stops and troubles

All manufacturing businesses – from nano, to micro, to macro – have the same goal: to make quality beer with minimal time and resources while keeping the same level quality.

Let’s take a step-by-step look at what you need to achieve that.

Step One: Forecast Demand

The first thing you need to do is calculate how much beer you need to produce within a specific time frame. Divide the information into confirmed orders and predicted orders.

There are several methods you can use for forecasting. You could estimate demand based on historical information (orders placed by customers in the past) or take into account events in your business environment that might alter past patterns (new market trends, stagnant economy, new marketing campaigns, etc).

Step Two: Outline Production Options

Determine your different production options to meet the forecasted demand.

Start by mapping all the steps of your production process – this could be in a flowchart, if you’re a visual person!

This will help you examine how to improve process flow by considering bottlenecks.

Then you can look at the resources needed to complete each task involved in your production process. This includes human resources, machinery and equipment, materials and inventory.

Analyzing these resources will give you a much better look at your production options.

Step Three: Determine the Option That Uses Resources Most Effectively

Now it’s time to compare the cost and time of each production option. You’re looking for the one that maximizes the operational capacity of your brewery.

You’ll need to ensure you can cover costs that are involved, which span the purchase of materials, rent, payment of staff salary, leasing and more.

Your staff may also want to have a say in the production process. This could help operations run more smoothly.

Step Four: Monitor and Control

This is not a set and forget situation! You’ll need to monitor your progress, to ensure the plan is working as intended.

Compare your results with what should be happening. This control system should be in place to help you pick up on any problems as they happen – giving you more time to correct issues.

Step Five: Adjust

Be flexible! Ensure you are willing and ready to adjust the plan if needed. It should be designed to accommodate changes in customer demand.

You should also have a Risk Mitigation Plan in case certain issues occur during the production process, such as equipment breaking down, workers getting sick or supplies not being delivered on time.

Production planning is like a roadmap: It helps you know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. Ask yourself

  • How much needs to be produced – and what is the deadline?
  • What is the available capacity?
  • How can differences between priorities and capacity be resolved?

Our tank utilisation calculator can help!

As Sun Tzu once said: “Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.”

And we want to help you get there! We have put together a Tank Utilisation Calculator for you to download. This helps you calculate the capacity of your tanks you can utilise during your brewing process, to extrapolate the output of your brewing equipment.

Download it HERE.

Bespoke Brewing Solutions can work with you to establish what your volumes will be, to work out what size equipment you need – then assess weight requirements and utilise the height and space to design your perfect space.

Get in touch if you need a hand! We would love to work with you.

Article by:

John Gonzales - Bespoke Brewing Solutions

John Gonzales - Bespoke Brewing Solutions

John is the co-founder and 'Designated Driver' of Bespoke Brewing Solutions, commercial brewing equipment designers, consultants, manufacturers and installers. He has designed and installed equipment around the world and is armed with a tank full of knowledge to help you setup or expand your brewery.

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