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Whiskey Systems vs Distill x 5


Bakery87

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We switched to DistillX5 about 5 months ago. It's excellent software but we have not been able to make it work for us and we are currently abandoning the system. It's very expensive and probably best suited for bigger distilleries with limited skus. One of their sales lines is (roughly): "X5 takes the anxiety out of distillery management." We found it did the opposite.  

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What should have been done years ago was to create an open source project on a GitHub for the small craft distillers. We are still rolling our own combination of spreadsheets and databases, because every time we check out a commercial solution, they are more expensive, and can't support our current workflow.

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2 hours ago, bluestar said:

What should have been done years ago was to create an open source project on a GitHub for the small craft distillers. We are still rolling our own combination of spreadsheets and databases, because every time we check out a commercial solution, they are more expensive, and can't support our current workflow.

I'm in the same boat. Every time I get frustrated with the 2-3 hours I spend at the end of the month (including my winery and all my state reports) I think about buying something.... until I remember the prices.

 

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29 minutes ago, Mt-Defiance said:

Our Whiskey Systems CORE subscription is still $199 a month. We are happy with it at that price. 

They changed CORE to What is now Whiskey Systems. It removes some functionality. If you didn’t use it, fine. If you did you now need to pay more to get it. Also if you had Pro at $450 you may now be charged even more.

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We were paying $350 for Pro and it went up to $450. Not super happy about that, but thought I could live with it. Then last week, when the plan changed over I lost a bunch of functionality, including some of the key things we use. Since they are in an add-on package now they want us to pay $600 a month for something we were paying $350 for. At this point we are seriously considering going back to spreadsheets.

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We are in same boat as most of you, whiskey systems just isn't working for the price it takes a couple of hours to wade thru all the entries, is anyone using a spreadsheet that some of us can adapt for our individual operations, that gets the job done? 

 I cannot afford the updated cost so I'm now thinking about On Batch at the $99.00 A MONTH  but how long before a big software group buys them out and up go the cost !

 

Lorenzo

 

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@Lorenzo

This is the sheet I made. I have a very basic form I use to fill out my month end reports that is attached to a previous post. Honestly though, I had basically zero Excel experience, and this didn't take me long to make. If you sketched something out, any savvy office worker could make something like this in 30 minutes. Probably even one that adds columns automatically. 

Distillary Production Log.xlsx

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Im currently on the same system but currently using it in limited capacity as we are still starting up.

@Tom Lenerz can you speak a bit more to the specifics of loss in functionality? Im worried about it and want to be prepared for the problems

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17 hours ago, captnKB said:

Im currently on the same system but currently using it in limited capacity as we are still starting up.

@Tom Lenerz can you speak a bit more to the specifics of loss in functionality? Im worried about it and want to be prepared for the problems

Hey Cap,

With the old Whiskey Systems Pro at $350 we had access to a whole slew of reports, sales tools, and barrel tracking tools. The biggest thing that is driving me crazy is that I have every stack of barrels assigned a location in whiskey systems, and while not perfect, it worked well enough. On June 1, we started Pro Tier 1, which doesn't include the ability to update barrel locations any longer, meaning I would have to manually track them separately from whiskey systems or pay another $150 on top of the $450 to get advanced barrel management. Which includes other things we use like barrel history for our barrels that get refilled. Accounting wants to get one number out of a finance report and to add that would cost another $100 a month for the accounting support package. The justification for this splitting is "to keep prices down on lower tiers" which doesn't make any sense in anyway as the software is already developed... 

For the record, I get that they are a business, and costs go up overtime, I understand that since we are also in business. But you can look at this attached sheet and see what each chunk costs. They took a ton of the functions out while increasing the price by $100. Then to add back all the stuff they took out, it would cost a total of $400 more, which equates to a $500 price increase per month on a product that was $350 per month. 

Whiskey Systems Add-Ons.pdf

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Hey all - with all the conversation going on about software, I thought it might be helpful to provide a quick update on where the OnBatch team is at, as of today (June 9th).

Here’s where we’re at:

  • We have a group of features that we are planning to release in the next two months.  Some of these features are completed and going through testing.  Others are still being built. 
  • Once this group of features is released, our dev team will begin refactoring code.  Shooting for a July start date.  This process will stabilize/optimize the platform and give us a more solid foundation to build out our long-term roadmap.  It will take approximately 10-15 weeks.  Refactoring code is a big undertaking, but users will see improvements with each day/week.
  • In tandem with refactoring code we’re focusing on migrating clients from HoochWare.  Our goal is to make their transition seamless, and to ensure they move onto a system that is well optimized.  By doing this now, our HW clients will transition with the features and stability they’re used to.

We're excited to work through this process and deliver our innovative features on a stable platform.  We have a long term vision for OnBatch and this is just the next step in that process.  Our focus is on building the best product for our clients and continuing to build the team needed to reach that goal.  We have no plans of being acquired, and have declined offers in the recent past. 

Please feel free to DM/email/comment if you have any questions about the company or the product.  We also have a monthly newsletter if you want an easy way to stay updated.

Shawn Patrick
CEO & Founder, OnBatch
shawn@onbatch.com

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We have a scheduled sit down with OnBatch next week to see how it compares to Whiskey Systems. The recent price increase forced us to look into alternatives. Whiskey Systems seems to be okay with losing smaller distilleries in the hopes the bigger ones will pay the increased prices. We will see if it's a wise move for them in the long run

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  • 1 month later...

Hey all,

Curious on when you all implemented a software program? We are not yet producing (nearing end of planning) and wonder if it would benefit us to get used to the software early. As a startup, are we better off going the spreadsheet route for awhile or jumping into software ASAP to familiarize ourselves with the system? Thank you for any/all input.

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1 hour ago, BuffaloBink said:

Hey all,

Curious on when you all implemented a software program? We are not yet producing (nearing end of planning) and wonder if it would benefit us to get used to the software early. As a startup, are we better off going the spreadsheet route for awhile or jumping into software ASAP to familiarize ourselves with the system? Thank you for any/all input.

We started with the system as soon as we had recordable transactions and equipment. I think it has been incredibly helpful to be set up from the start. We hit the ground running and wouldn't have time to devote to a proper implementation if we tried to do one now.

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We also started using software once we were in production and we found helpful for learning the rules. It is important to note that you need to send in reports starting the month you receive your federal approval even if they are just all zeros.

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15 minutes ago, enzymeman said:

We also started using software once we were in production and we found helpful for learning the rules. It is important to note that you need to send in reports starting the month you receive your federal approval even if they are just all zeros.

Thank you! That much I understood. I was considering getting the software sooner to 'play around' but it sounds like it wouldn't be worth the added expense.

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We are trying to make the switch from Whiskey Systems to OnBatch, and it has been...interesting. I'm not sure if anyone else has had the same experience, but it feels like I've been given the keys to a car that I can start, but don't know how to make it move, and there's no instructions or FAQ. I had a personal Zoom call with their team (who are all friendly and willing to help, to be fair) where we laid out step by step how to do everything, and then a week later it turns out "no, you're missing steps" 🤨

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It was much the same experience when we signed on to DistillX5. After a couple of very frustrating months we threw in the towel. The software is probably just fine, but it is extremely difficult to maintain accuracy, especially if more than one person is interacting with it. But what really bugs me is the subscription model. I'm sorry but the math of alcohol doesn't change. Why do we have to keep paying for the same thing over and over? All you are really paying for is database management - that you have to manage yourself anyway! Diabolically clever. At this point I'm back to my excel spreadsheets. Perhaps not the best solution but a hell of a lot cheaper when you consider how much alcohol you'll have to sell to meet the monthly subscription fees.  

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