Dehner Distillery

Whiskey Systems. To Much Money???? thoughts??

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Whiskey Systems, Dehner's thoughts....

My personal thought is it is way over priced. I was going to put this on there post but I went out on my own. Being the super awesome nice guy I am.

We move ALOT of volume, and I still can't see spending $350 a month on a program like that. Heck that could buy me a nice new truck, or equipment around the distillery, or a NICE NEW TRUCK.

Thats one thing I love about the country we are in.... Competition! On there blog or website they claim to have 50 people signed up, great. Thats $17,500 per month, or $210,000 a year. Seems like a great gig. Seems like I am in the wrong part of the business. Create a program and sit back and watch cat videos on You-Tube while drinking a chocolate milk straight from the container. WERE DO I SIGN UP?

I have a bother in-law thats a computer programer TD Bank, And I am thinking of asking him about creating a better, but very similar functioning program. Even if I was half price thats still $105,000 a year, plus think how much more people I could sign up because of the cheaper price. And get this...... 1 month free trial......maybe even 2....... WoW... Mind equals BLOWN!!

Here is another crazy idea.... It called a pen and paper and about 25-30 a month... BOOM Done... Set up a good system up, and stick to it..

I really am just dumb founded why it cost so much money. Kinda like when people &!tch about the price of gas while holding a $7 coffee.

To each there own but .........Thats my rant...... Now I am not looking to have a typing contest on here because I do have a very BIG KEY STROKE, but just venting and sound boarding the idea of a distillery program competition.

Take care:

Dehner out.

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Hi Dehner,

We've been working with Whiskey Resources for almost two years now and are very pleased with the software programs, support services, consulting, and customer support that Donald and his team have provided at Whiskey Resources. I can say without a doubt that there is no "sitting back and drinking chocolate milk" on that team. To me, it appears they are constantly improving the offerings, supporting us through business planning and audits, and traveling around the country to their customers. Software programs ARE expensive. EVERYTHING in the craft distilling industry is expensive. If you can create your own program or have a family member who can, then go ahead and do it. But why paint such a negative picture of other people who are also trying to grow businesses and make a living in this industry? Have you even used it? I believe there are no contracts, no set-up fees, and no termination fees, so why not give it a try for a month and see for yourself? We're very pleased with the program and it's a good value for the support we receive.

Heather Shade

Port Chilkoot Distillery

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I was a programmer and System / Database Engineer for 20+ years. I tried it, to me it needs a great deal of refinement for the money. It works great and if you are making that kinda money then it might be wroth it. For me just starting and not even bring in the monthly fee I could not justify it. It's all about supply and demand. I hope he does well but I do not see the CRAFT Distiller being able to afford it for long and will go back to the pen and paper like I did.

Donald has been VERY nice to me and has helped me with my problems the best he could when I have needed him.

Thank you

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Hey all,

John D. is correct, there are scales of cost and precision that Whiskey Systems customers will fall into. We use it at both of our distilleries, and until we brought it online, we were wasting time, effort, and expense. Whiskey Systems has been worth every penny for us.

Cheers,

McKee

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I think if you are just getting started, you don't know what you need and what you don't. I know that sounds like me being a jerk, but I think I was in the exact same spot when I first started and it's true. It does take a couple of years to know what you need.

We have 12 standard SKU's and a HUGE number of custom items (single barrels at varying cask strength). Before Whiskey Systems, I tracked this on a few Excel sheets. I was pretty good at it and rarely made errors. But it took a significant amount of time. WS saves me about 20-30 hours a month. Those are hours I can spend on growing our business as opposed to tracking data.

Thankfully, our business has grown and we now have 4 production people. That growth has meant more tracking, more people making entries, etc. Without Whiskey Systems we'd be in trouble. My staff enters in mashes, distillation runs, barrel fills, barrel dumps, bottling runs, etc and I review all of that and do the monthly reports from their entries (once I review everything).

The comment of "I can do this myself with my engineering experience" is just like the comments I hear about sourcing spirits.."Why don't I just buy some brokered whiskey and bottle it for myself". Well, go ahead. Nothing is stopping you. Just realize, nearly everything is more work than it appears from the outside.

In the OP, 25-30 hours are mentioned. If you time isn't worth more than $14/hour, then maybe you are in the wrong business.

Disclamer: Donald is a personal friend of mine. In addition to the service WS provides, having Jack and Donald on your team is also a huge bonus.

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I have a different view of this I suppose. We started in 2009 and had been using a 3rd party records system. We had a routine visit from the TTB at 3 years.

If you don't mind the TTB coming in to your place of business and having them tear through everything you've done in the past 3 years and scrutinize each and every entry, gauge every barrel and tank and then take several samples for their lab to evaluate. Then later come back with a bill for taxes you may or may not owe just because you're using the wrong records system, or your brother who is great at programming but doesn't know anything about the CFR wrote a program that didn't record bottle proofs at the beginning, middle and end of your run or the myriad of other minute details the TTB actually requires you to keep on your production. I guess you could argue that it seems expensive or useless.

After our visit from the TTB we switched to excel, great for keeping records but honestly just too much to maintain, I'd rather be doing what I'm good at, making spirits. So we found Donald and his system. I am confident my records are accurate, defendable and meet the requirements of the CFR. That brings me peace of mind and allows me to focus on what brings me income.

Donald and his team know the regs and have the experience to provide the support. Thats worth every penny they charge.

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Donald has been great to work with as we get our distillery up and running and he is constantly working to improve the software. We're sticking with Whiskey Systems!

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Wish there were an option for people on a tighter budget. Looks like a slick setup, but for me Whiskey Systems is a luxury, not a necessity.

I'd consider paying for a more limited system as I don't have a whole lot to keep track of. Hint hint.

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I think if you are just getting started, you don't know what you need and what you don't. I know that sounds like me being a jerk, but I think I was in the exact same spot when I first started and it's true. It does take a couple of years to know what you need.

We have 12 standard SKU's and a HUGE number of custom items (single barrels at varying cask strength). Before Whiskey Systems, I tracked this on a few Excel sheets. I was pretty good at it and rarely made errors. But it took a significant amount of time. WS saves me about 20-30 hours a month. Those are hours I can spend on growing our business as opposed to tracking data.

Thankfully, our business has grown and we now have 4 production people. That growth has meant more tracking, more people making entries, etc. Without Whiskey Systems we'd be in trouble. My staff enters in mashes, distillation runs, barrel fills, barrel dumps, bottling runs, etc and I review all of that and do the monthly reports from their entries (once I review everything).

The comment of "I can do this myself with my engineering experience" is just like the comments I hear about sourcing spirits.."Why don't I just buy some brokered whiskey and bottle it for myself". Well, go ahead. Nothing is stopping you. Just realize, nearly everything is more work than it appears from the outside.

In the OP, 25-30 hours are mentioned. If you time isn't worth more than $14/hour, then maybe you are in the wrong business.

Disclamer: Donald is a personal friend of mine. In addition to the service WS provides, having Jack and Donald on your team is also a huge bonus.

Sorry, I forgot to put "minutes" 25-30 minutes per month.... really about 45minutes or less.....

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I love the great conversations! It is like a buddy told me to night, who ever controls the market, controls the price. I am big on capitalism! So, and I really mean this "Hats off to Whiskey Systems". Thats why I see competition coming down the pipe.

1. It is amazing how people read my post and type a response that quotes me and total gets it wrong. Just saying.

2. If anyone is going to make a program like WS first thing they would do is subscribe and learn about inside and out, kinda like how the Chinese copy everything we do, from tape measures, to milling machines.

3. Skaalvenn- I could see how that would be super easy to do, its like when you get a free program for the computer with limited options. If you want to full-blown program you have to pay for it. It could be pay to play options.

4. I don't expect my brother-in-law to know everything... Thats where me and a team of people come in.... Just think, some of the people reading this, could be use somebody new software......

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I have been a systems developer for most of my 30 years in the working world. I have built systems that run furnaces in steel mills, calculate health care premiums for a large health insurance company, and manage and trade large institutional investment portfolios. I'm tired of building systems, that's why I'm starting my distillery. Maybe down the road I'll get the bug and develop my own system to handle all the record keeping but until then, I plan to explore the existing packages and Whiskey Systems will be on my shopping list. I too would like to see a scaled down (i.e. cheaper) version for the new craft distillers coming on line.

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Dehner - You are interrupting my cat video you-tube watching time and now I'm all out of chocolate milk...

I wish last December you had taken my personal invitation to try the system.

The good news is that there is active competition for craft distillery software options. There are at least 3 different software options out there for craft distilleries. One charges you $4,500 in setup fees to start, charges you by the proof gallon (example if you sell 996 cases per year, it's $400/month and goes up as you grow) and locks you into a 1-3 year contract with stiff termination fees. The other option has $7,000 in setup fees, locks you into a 1 year contract, and is $650/month.

I have no setup fees, a flat monthly fee, no subscription commitments, and no termination fees. Whiskey Systems users are always saying how easy to use and flexible the system is compared to the other systems. We are adding new features every week. Best of all is that I've got over 12 years of distillery compliance experience to help protect you if there are issues. Once you join the Whiskey Systems family, we help you in any way we can.

One more parting thought. I would highly discourage anyone from doing this:

"2. If anyone is going to make a program like WS first thing they would do is subscribe and learn about inside and out, kinda like how the Chinese copy everything we do, from tape measures, to milling machines."

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We use Stillhouse from Distillery Solutions — a production tracking and ttb reporting solution that, I believe was the first option in our industry. It works out really well for us and the pricing for our scale of production is not "way overpriced", but as stated by others above... that's a matter of how much your time, sanity, and potential TTB reamings are worth. I'm a huge fan of Stillhouse, and there seems to be no shortage of satisfied whiskey systems customers.

You know what I think is way overpriced? Those crazy german column stills that so many of you folks run! Holly hell... Pass. I'll keep my basic potstills and instead park a new porche gt3 in the barrel warehouse with the money saved (or not). Point being... if you think it's too much, don't buy it. It's worth every penny to those that appreciate it's value.

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Dehner - You are interrupting my cat video you-tube watching time and now I'm all out of chocolate milk...

I wish last December you had taken my personal invitation to try the system.

The good news is that there is active competition for craft distillery software options. There are at least 3 different software options out there for craft distilleries. One charges you $4,500 in setup fees to start, charges you by the proof gallon (example if you sell 996 cases per year, it's $400/month and goes up as you grow) and locks you into a 1-3 year contract with stiff termination fees. The other option has $7,000 in setup fees, locks you into a 1 year contract, and is $650/month.

I have no setup fees, a flat monthly fee, no subscription commitments, and no termination fees. Whiskey Systems users are always saying how easy to use and flexible the system is compared to the other systems. We are adding new features every week. Best of all is that I've got over 12 years of distillery compliance experience to help protect you if there are issues. Once you join the Whiskey Systems family, we help you in any way we can.

One more parting thought. I would highly discourage anyone from doing this:

"2. If anyone is going to make a program like WS first thing they would do is subscribe and learn about inside and out, kinda like how the Chinese copy everything we do, from tape measures, to milling machines."

I am all for you, really. I am not trying to be a smart butt.

About the Chinese, I just get discouraged about society when we make something real good over here in the United States and someone over in a Third World country takes are ideas and steals them.

I don't doubt it one bit that there is a lot of overpriced stuff. Truth is I'm probably really just jealous of you. I want my chocolate milk and cat videos. :)

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We use Stillhouse from Distillery Solutions — a production tracking and ttb reporting solution that, I believe was the first option in our industry. It works out really well for us and the pricing for our scale of production is not "way overpriced", but as stated by others above... that's a matter of how much your time, sanity, and potential TTB reamings are worth. I'm a huge fan of Stillhouse, and there seems to be no shortage of satisfied whiskey systems customers.

You know what I think is way overpriced? Those crazy german column stills that so many of you folks run! Holly hell... Pass. I'll keep my basic potstills and instead park a new porche gt3 in the barrel warehouse with the money saved (or not). Point being... if you think it's too much, don't buy it. It's worth every penny to those that appreciate it's value.

Lenny, Heck YES!!!!

Personally my choice would be a Rocket Red Nissan GTR but that's just me.

It just amazes me how people started distillery who never made a drop of alcohol in their life and they'll spend $350,000-$450,000 on it still. Now I'm in the still building business and I wouldn't have the guts to charge somebody that much money for a piece of equipment. It takes an insane amount of money to pay that back. Or should I say an insane amount of bottles of alcohol. And another thing is just think that's just the still there's the whole building and the boiler in the mash tun and everything else. It's funny when you visit places like that when they have hundreds of thousands of dollars wrapped up in equipment and their bottle fillers just a $1500 level filler, and they are labeling by hand. I want to see the $200,000-$400,000 bottling line.

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....also, the title should have been "Whiskey Systems. Too much money???thoughts???"...not "to".

Busting your balls,

McKee

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Too expensive, NOPE! If the fee puts you over the edge, get a rope, your going to be needing it. Or better said, be better capitalized and get out selling you products. We all need to be real with the expectations we have of our business. This software frees up soooo much time it's a no brainier.

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warm-milk.jpg

WTF is this guy mashing?? I think he is making the world largest bowl of sour cream dip for the Super Bowl. He probably is thinking a big crowd is coming. Turns out tho, he is in a cave and does not own a TV. Dag Nabit........ You should see the size of the chips he has.

I love it!

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We've also been shopping for a distillery tracking software package, and will probably go back to our original business plan concept to create our own system. So far all I've found is expensive cloud based stuff, wherein we do not physically control nor actually possess either the software or our own data. We only have a selection of the two worst ISP's on the planet here, and this adds significantly to the unacceptable quotient on the best of days, not to mention that my wife (another third of our startup) is a recovering attorney and the cloud makes her very nervous and grumpy faced. I'm an antique engineer of three flavors and have never met a computer code that I couldn't tame, but right now Microsoft Access is still my first choice. Simple, user customizable, secure, and user owned and controlled. The cloud will be our BACKUP, not our primary, as it should be, personal and professional responsibility-wise. Consider the "distillery program competition" gauntlet mentioned above thrown. May take a while, but count on it. More than a one-time couple of hundred bucks for a supported (updates and such) package is what should be expected. If anyone else beats me to it, my checkbook is ready. If anyone else is in-process, free consultations upon request.

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I've used Distillery Solutions and Whiskey Resources. Both have their pro's and con's. If Dehner is trying to decide if there is a market for distillery software (which it would appear is the intent here) then, yes obviously there is. Are either worth the money? We are in year two of Whiskey Systems - it's brought me considerable peace of mind. Since you clearly have the resources to handle this, why don't you spend a few months on it and try it yourself? Maybe Donald will be nice enough (despite the insults) to let you try before you buy. The "red rocket" can wait till Christmas.

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Anyone out there using Orchestrated Spirits? any thoughts on it??

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Anyone out there using Orchestrated Spirits? any thoughts on it??

One of their sales reps contacted me, so I took a quick look. My recollection is that the monthly fee is an order of magnitude higher than Distillery Solutions and Whiskey Resources.

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