Drinking beer is easy and fun. Brewing it is more difficult, but still entertaining. Distributing it to different states and managing a brewery without running afoul of a thick book of laws and shipping regulations? Well, that’s something else altogether.
There’s a reason April 7 is National Beer Day and not National Beer Regulation Compliance Day. Beer is fun. Compliance isn’t. But it’s necessary for brewers of all sizes, with states having wildly varying and inevitably confusing laws on how beer can be distributed and shipped nationwide.
Compliance in the face of competition
Of course, a brewery is a business, and it’s not all supposed to be fun. But in a practical sense, keeping up with a host of changing regulations is not something most craft breweries have the resources to do. The problem is that it matters.
In order to grow, breweries have to beat competitors to market with new products and get the attention of distributors, who can choose from multiple products on offer. A brewery that doesn’t know how to navigate compliance within a particular state could find itself unable to enter that market and therefore at a competitive disadvantage.
Competition for craft breweries is difficult as it is. Beer sales and production have actually fallen recently, but that hasn’t stopped more small brewers from entering the scene, as the number of breweries in the U.S. continues to grow rapidly. Those two factors combined leaves more brewers competing for a shrinking market share, making distribution a critical task for any company looking to get a foothold in the beer market.
Big corporations aren’t helping smaller competitors, either. Brewing giants have been snapping up much smaller competitors and rebranding them as “craft” brands but with the full support of giant corporate infrastructures behind them. That puts even more pressure on smaller brewers to keep their operations growing in the face of unprecedented resistance.
The advantages an automated solution for compliance
Brewing innovation and smart marketing are what lead to growth for brewers. Compliance is more of a hassle, but it’s one brewers can’t ignore. That’s why the idea of a solution to centralize and automate compliance is so appealing. Trying to maintain staff to keep up with changes in regulations and distribution laws is prohibitively difficult and expensive, and doesn’t align with the core mission of constantly improving what’s in the keg or bottle.
With an automated compliance solution, brewers can shift the burden of keeping up with regulatory changes, making sure to have access to the latest rules and forms, while also working with a partner that can interface directly with federal and state regulatory agencies, like PRO. They can also eliminate expensive and error-prone manual processes for keeping up with distribution rules and instead automate compliance management, which frees up time for them to focus on their businesses.
Another advantage of an automated solution is the ability to boost distribution and increase efficiency by syncing information through a cloud-based solution that requires no on-site installation and little maintenance. Real-time visibility into market trends lets brewers monitor competition and have the insight they need to develop new concepts.
Going forward with confidence
Carving out a spot as a successful brewer isn’t getting any easier, and neither is handling the compliance processes that brewers have to master in order to grow their businesses. Brewers should be able to focus on beer, not on paperwork–a compliance solution lets them do just that.