Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Being prepared for; The December effect
December, the busiest time of year for local trade at almost any brewery. Sometimes it's called unpredictable, almost every time it goes by like a festive flash of brewing, racking, cleaning, assembling orders and so on. Before you know it the relatively steady January period is here and it's all over.
So what is the December effect? Big sales and lots of beer going out? It's more complicated than that. You plan ahead, 10-20% increased stock flow from November. All the brew dates are in place, especially in response to national orders. But at some point things change, almost from under your feet, a few barrels of product leave the door. Next thing you know another core beer gets hit, then another. Panic sets in, next week's stock levels look somewhere between insufficient and very tight.
So within the space of an hour or so an entire fortnight's brew schedule has been re-written. Brew schedules get re-written far more often in December. So the answer must be simple I hear you say, just brew a heap load of beer. Yet one of the worst outcomes of this season is the possibility of landing in January with masses of (by then slow moving) stock.
So, like a very drawn out penalty shoot out the December effect is a long, enduring, nervy balancing act of stock fall against volumes brewed, solid graft against party, alcohol and relaxing with the family. So being prepared for the December effect isn't really that simple, its more about being prepared for anything.