BeerAppBeer snobs the world over, unite and raise a toast to the iKeg. No, it’s not an app that pours liquid libations out of your smartphone, unfortunately, but it could be the next best thing for those tired of hearing “we just ran out of that keg” at the local watering hole. SteadyServ, a mobile, SaaS-based inventory and order management system for the beer industry, is poised to revolutionize the way beer inventory is kept and managed along the whole distribution chain. If they take off, you may never be denied access to your favorite frothy brew again.

No More Shaking the Keg

Mobile-based inventory management is nothing new, but SteadyServ is taking it to the next level for the beer industry. The iKeg system equips each keg with a RFID-tagged sensor that measures keg levels and all the relevant details through the company’s proprietary cloud-based system that delivers information to the bar owner and the distributor at once. This system is long overdue in the $20 billion beer industry, where the industry standard inventory test is picking up the keg and shaking it around to feel how much is left. CEO Steve Hershberger’s marriage of beer and Big Data seeks nothing less than the total reinvention of this quote-unquote system.

The retailer end of the app offers at-a-glance functionality for owners and managers to see what’s selling and how quickly in their own establishment, as well as what’s popular in the region. It turns the ordering process from a whole day spent at the desk to a few minutes on the mobile phone. It can even be set up to post automatic alerts to your social media pages when a new beer goes on tap.

On the distribution end, SteadyServ promises to greatly reduce and/or eliminate the buyback costs associated with sending outdated beer to retailers, as each sensor will also measure the age of the beer. Some numbers suggest that these costs are anywhere from $200K to $1 million per distributor, so that incentive is nothing to sneeze at. The technology also fosters greater interplay between the distribution and retail partners, alerting distributors when a particular retailer may be running low so they can prompt that retailer to order more inventory.

This is great news for beer drinkers and Slim Dusty, who will never have to sing “A Pub With No Beer” again; but, in reality, it’s even better news for the beer industry, which could see a revolution in their bottom lines with this Big Data-driven mobile solution.
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