They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Friday 23 January 2015

Technology Dependent Industry

Working in the off trade has it's ups and downs. 99% of the time the downs are compromised of technical failures. You really don't know how utterly dependent you are on the internet until you lose it. Well we didn't anyway. Our internet was down for around 24hrs this week which threw our regular routines into a bit of confusion.

We got a new Epos system installed with our referb a couple of years back and to use the till system requires the internet. It does not necessarily need the internet to put through sales, it just needs it to turn on and off as it needs to sync data to some sort of cloud ridiculousness. Now when our internet went down luckily the till was already on, so we kept trading and kept the till on until the problem was resolved. This was very quickly, but during that time I couldn't do much else. I couldn't invoice stock, change prices, hell, I couldn't even put new bar codes on the system!

Things like this are nothing new to us at Beer Ritz. Just last year in fact we had a complete power failure for the whole shop in the middle of a busy Saturday. For a few hours! We managed mind. We busted out the phone camera torches, the calculators and worked with a basic open till system and wrote everything down. Shame we didn't have an abacus at the time really!

It does make you wonder how dependent we are on technology though these days. Now I'm not going to go into some sort of Bear Grills survival situation crap here, and heaven knows I'm no luddite, but I do think we need some form of fail safe. It really got me thinking about the brewing industry. You see all these new fangled brew houses with their automated brewing systems, and you have to wonder how dependent they are on human interaction.

We're in the middle of winter. Let's say a tree falls on some power lines outside a brewery and cuts off their whole power. Let's say they're right in the middle of a brew and need the computers to finish.. What do they do? Is that whole batch destined for the drain? This is all hypothetical mind, and I'm sure most places would have plans in place (hopefully!) but it's still something that caught my mind today and is something that deserves some thought.

And with that in mind, a little bit of time without the internet really didn't seem to be such a huge issue. After all, we could still sell beer.... Problems only become major when you can't do the things you need to. Not being able to invoice would be a problem, but not being able to sell beer would be a major problem.

Defo need a beer now though... I frickin hate technology!

1 comment:

  1. When brewing you need power for a lot more things than computers! The power used to go all the time at the last place I worked at, and if you can get it on again it just meant a longer brewing day. If you couldn't you really would be stuck.