Day 503

And we’re into the last 100 days of this adventure. (Actually, it turns out that due to a change in the length of the semesters this year, the program is now only 588 days long, so we entered the last hundred days a couple of weeks ago. However, it seems a bit late in the game to change the title of this blog, so it will remain “600 Days to Brewmastery”. But I digress…)

In Human Resources, it was more legal background on employment in Canada, with a final look at the Human Rights Act and its effect on workplace harassment, reasonable accomodation, age, and whistle-blowers. We did a quick scan of the Labour Relations Act–not too many craft breweries are unionized, so little call to delve too deeply there–and then on to the Employment Standards Act of Ontario (ESA), which guarantees minimum wages, vacation time, statutory holidays, compassionate leave, equal pay for work of equal value, and maternal or parental leave.

Next, health & safety legislation. There are actually three separate acts covering industry, construction and mining. Brewing falls under the industry guidelines, where responsibility for health and safety is shared by the employer, who must provide a safe work environment, the supervisor, who must ensure workers comply with safety regulations, and the worker, who must follow safety procedures. Saftey committees, right of refusal to do unsafe work, ministry oversight, and so on.

On to Beer Industry with Jason Fisher. Today was all about metrics–the measure by which the various types of breweries calculate their success. That is, what defines how well a particular brewery, brew-pub or contract brewer is doing?

For the craft brewery, key metrics include number of days of production per week, month or year, the volume produced, beer wasted during the production process, brewing efficiency and sales. (The last one can be broken down into sales per licensee, sales per style or brand of beer, sales per type of container–bottle, can, or keg–sales within a geographical area, and the seasonality of sales–traditionally lower in the winter and higher in the summer.) The most telling metrics for a craft brewery are probably straight volumeĀ  and yearly growth. How much beer did I brew this year? How much of an increase is that over last year?

For the brewpub, it’s probably bums in the seats: what is my average daily turnover of customers, and on average, how much money do they spend? For instance, if you get an average of 150 customers per day and they spend an average of $25, that’s $3750 per day or $1.3 million per year.

For the contract brewer, it’s sales accounts: how many bars and restaurants are you selling product to, and what kind of growth in sales accounts does that represent over the past six months or year?

For ultra-large regional or national breweries, lowering costs is a much more efficient way to drive profits–reducing the cost of your ingredients by 5% is much easier than finding 5% in new sales accounts. (Of course, craft brewers have a thing or two to say about breweries that use cheaper ingredients and barley-replacement adjuncts in order to raise profits.)

But alas, it is time for me to increase the bottom line of some brewery by (at least) one glass of beer…



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