Have you noticed how mass produced fizzy beer and dubious ham rolls have been replaced in many bars and cafes by real choice and some amazing local food and drink? Small dedicated companies who are enthusiastic about their craft are popping up everywhere.

BeerBut how can they make it in a tough competitive world which is still heavily dominated by the majors? The big guys still benefit from economies of scale that allow them to charge lower prices and they can afford big sophisticated IT like Enterprise Resource Planning systems that allow them to keep tight control of stock and track supply and demand in real time. How can the new breed of small, niche companies get close to this kind of technological advantage?

Small craft beer firm, The Golden Road Brewing Company have plugged into exactly this kind of system and they’ve done it by sourcing a solution designed specifically for smaller enterprises. The costs are a fraction of what the giants are paying because these systems are based in the cloud. That means a monthly subscription not a big capital outlay.

Now they can access information anytime, anywhere, and on any device and they get much better inventory management and more accurate forecasts. They are also set up for growth – so if they get the call from a major supermarket or wholesaler showing an interest in their brand, they have the flexibility to scale up and meet demand.

There are several suppliers out there in the market, so if this sounds like it could benefit you, test a few systems before you decide which one to go with.