Stock takes in Breww

Breww has an advanced CSV stock take (also known as a stock count) function, that allows you and your team to perform accurate and auditable full counts of all your stock whenever you need. The stock take process will update your stock levels to those you specify in your CSV, whilst leaving a clear trail of changes throughout the process.

The process is considered as a “wall-to-wall” stock take, where everything is counted and confirmed in one go, while no changes are made during the process. If you simply need to make a few adjustments, please use the adjustment tools on stock items and products instead of this process.

Although a good knowledge of programs such as Excel, which allows editing of CSV files, is not required, it can be very useful at speeding up the process - especially for businesses with large quantities of stock.

How do I get started?

:warning: We highly recommend that you avoid all stock changes, including dispatches, racking, adjustments, or movements, from pressing start to file upload of the stocktake. Treat this as a ‘lockdown’ for all stock transactions except assigning stock to orders where stock does not require movement, and ensure all stock that has left the building for delivery is marked as dispatched before starting. For more, see our FAQs below.

To begin a stock take, navigate to ProductsToolsStock takesStart stock take. There, you will have the option of choosing which site you are performing your stock take at. You can select multiple sites if you are performing a simultaneous stock take at multiple sites.

Next, select whether you are performing a stock take of your Stock items or Products:

  • A Stock item stock take will allow you to perform a stock take of all of your ingredients, packaging materials and any other item in the Stock items section.
  • A Products stock take will allow you to perform a stock take of all of your packaged beers found in the Products section.

After choosing your stock take type, you will be taken to your stock take summary page. This will contain a file to download, containing all of your current stock at the chosen sites. Now we simply need to update it and re-upload it to Breww.

You don’t need to do both types of stock take in quick succession, although this is common practise, especially at “year-end”.

What do I need to change?

Next, you will need to update the CSV with your correct stock levels. Each row contains details about the stock and has a quantity column at the end. The process differs slightly depending on the stock take type (Stock Items or Products), so that’s been broken down below.

Stock items

For each row:

  • if the quantity is correct, leave it untouched
  • if the quantity is wrong, update the quantity column
  • if the stock you have doesn’t appear, add a line - filling all applicable columns

From just these actions Breww will calculate whether the stock has moved, been created/increased, or been reduced. When updating a line, you should usually only update the quantity column. The exception is when moving stock completely to another location, in which case you can simply update the site and/or location columns.

Products

The Products stock take is slightly more advanced than the Stock items stock take. This is because, as you will know from using Breww, all packaging events are either associated with a returnable cask/keg, or they are assigned a unique ID called a Non-returnable number.

This means that it is possible you will discover stock labelled with a non-returnable number that Breww does not think you have. In this situation, Breww will produce a new non-returnable number for this extra stock, rather than use the old number.

This means that the process is as follows. For each row:

  • if the quantity is correct, leave it touched
  • if the quantity is lower, update the quantity column
  • if the quantity is higher, create a new line underneath and put the additional quantity in the quantity column. If it has a non-returnable number, remove it from this new line, and we’ll provide you with a new one at the end. (Note: If you have chosen to Group non-returnable containers you can simply increase the quantity column for non-returnables)
  • if the location is incorrect, reduce the quantity on the existing line, and create a new line with the correct location and quantity in that location (or if it has all moved, simply update the location and site on the row).
  • if the stock you have doesn’t appear, add a line - filling all applicable columns, but always leaving Non-returnable number blank.

Pallets

If you have been using the pallets functionality, your stock take will also include a row for each pallet in stock. The process for managing pallets in a stock take is exactly the same as above, except it isn’t possible to increase the stock of a pallet. If a pallet is removed in a stock take, its contents will also be removed.

Uploading the file to Breww

Once you have your updated file, you will need to upload it to Breww from your stock take detail screen. Breww will perform a thorough validation of the file before pre-processing it.

Once processed, you will be presented with all changes that are about to be made, so you can either approve them or upload an alternative file if you realise a mistake has been made.

Please review this to make sure you are happy - any mistakes cannot be undone once confirmed.

In the below example, the stock of Citra has been reduced by 16.5842kg.

If you are happy, simply click Confirm stock take import, and Breww will update your stock! If the changes to be made aren’t what you anticipated, click Cancel stock take import and review your file and this help document to make sure changes were made correctly.

FAQ

My CSV file has lots of lines, how can I speed up the process?

For businesses with lots of stock, you will find your Products CSV file, in particular, may have lots of lines. Unfortunately, this is the nature of auditable “wall-to-wall” stock takes. We’d recommend breaking up the CSV file into shorter files and assigning a location or section to each person or team. Then, once all are complete, someone with some Excel experience will easily be able to put them back together into a single before uploading it to Breww.

Can I change my stock in Breww while doing a stock take? What can I and can I not do?

The rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t change your stock levels between taking the export and importing the result of your count, as this might result in things becoming difficult to track. Breww will always update your stock to match the import file at the point you import it, so in theory, you can add or remove stock in Breww between the export and the import as long as the import also reflects this.

You can also do the two separate processes of “Stock” and “Products” on different days if that helps with the logistics of completing the process in one go.

The following are the key actions that affect stock levels (and if they affect the “Stock” or “Products” process):

  • Updating the status of an inventory receipt to “Added to stock”. Will only affect “Stock”, not “Products”. (Other statuses of inventory receipts and all statuses of purchase orders will not affect stock levels).
  • Manual changes to stock levels on stock items or products. This will affect whichever stock take process is appropriate to the item edited.
  • Marking an order (delivery) as dispatched. May affect both processes, depending on the items on the order.

Things like placing an order (but not dispatching it) only affect the available quantities of items, not the actual quantity that you have, so these can continue to happen as normal.

What happens if I remove a line completely?

If you remove an entry from the stock take file completely, this will be processed in the same way as if you had set the quantity to zero - the stock will be removed from Breww when the file is processed.

What if I add a tracked container or non-returnable to a site through my stock take that’s currently at a different site in Breww that isn’t part of my stock take?

For example, let’s say we have a tracked container, F0001, which is physically at Site A, but in Breww, it is at Site B. During a stock take of Site A, we include that F0001 is on-site and upload the CSV. Even though Site B isn’t part of our stock take, Breww will still recognise that F0001 must have been moved and move it from Site B to Site A.

Can I process the stock take in a web interface (as opposed to via a CSV file)?

Not yet, sorry, but there is an open feature request for adding this functionality at Improve stock take to allow a web (non-CSV) based solution. If you’d like to see this too, please can you vote for that feature request to help push it up the priority list?

How does Breww determine the expiry date for packaged beer stock created in a stock take?

Breww will look through the following options to try to find a sensible expiry date to use for any stock found in a stock take. As soon as an option finds a result, it will be used an subsequent options will be skipped.

  • If you are simply increasing the stock level of something already in stock (only applicable to smallpack), then the existing expiry date will be used.
  • If your have already racked the container type on the beer batch in question already, Breww will use the same expiry date as that stock had. If there are multiple dates, Breww will pick on at random.
  • If you have racked anything on the beer batch at all (regardless of container type), Breww will use the date this happened as a “racking date” and will determine the expiry date based on the number of weeks for the container type (as set on the beer) from on this racking date.
  • If the batch is complete (and nothing was racked), Breww will assume the racking occurred on the date the batch was completed and add the number of weeks of expiry from this date.
  • Finally, if none of the above options find a date (i.e. the batch is not complete yet), Breww will assume the racking occurred today and add the number of weeks of expiry to determine the expiry date.

Are part-filled products included in the stock take?

Part-filled products are not currently part of the CSV stock take process. This is by design and not something that we plan to change in the short term. The problem is that if they are included in the file, Breww thought you had one, and you increased this to two, Breww couldn’t know how full the extra one was.

Most products are a simple quantity, but these need to know a fill level too, which is out of the scope of the CSV stock take tool. We appreciate that they could have been included and restricted to just being reduced in quantity, but this presents quite a few complications for us and we opted to just keep them completely out of the stock take tool. For now, these will need to have their stock levels manually adjusted.

Final processing keeps failing so cant update stock. What am I doing wrong? Only touching cells with incorrect quantities

Thanks for the message, Richard. Without being able to see the file, we don’t have a lot to go on, to be honest. Could you please open a support ticket and choose the option to grant the Breww team access to your account, so we can have a look at this for you? Cheers.

Hi @luke

If products are missing when I do the stock take and I upload the stock take file, any missing items then appear in our lost and spoiled records as "lost’ stock. Does this lost stock have duty applied against it? I suspect that HMRC would want us to pay duty on it seeing as we don’t know where stock has gone rather than counted it as spoiled or used for lab samples. We have it regular when we’re down a few cans of some product lines that have likely been given out as samples to trade but forgotten to be processed in Breww. Just wondering how the duty is handled for these.

Thanks

Hi Jack,

Thanks for your message! It’s a good question, and the answer really depends on the specific circumstances.

If the stock has never left duty suspense in Breww, marking it as lost/spoilt through a stock take or otherwise will not have any duty implications. However, if the stock has previously been out to a customer and then returned or has been at any stage transferred to a non-bonded location marking it as lost/spoilt would create a duty reclaim.

In general, Breww treats all beer marked as lost/spoilt as beer that you should not pay duty on. However, it’s important to note that Breww is not a duty advisor, and if you believe you should be paying duty on the lost/spoilt stock, you may need to make an adjustment to your beer duty return.

I hope that helps clarify things, but let me know if you have any further questions!

Thanks for your reply and clarification Connor.

I think in that case Breww is processing lost beer incorrectly and should be allocating the duty to any beer marked as lost, either through stock takes or manually adjusting stock levels.

Excise notice 226, section 10 has a load of information about this and I feel it’s fairly clear, please see excerpt below.

10.4 Unexplained losses

If beer cannot be accounted for after the start of production and there is no acceptable explanation, you’re liable for duty on the missing beer. It is therefore in your own interest to keep proper records of all losses.

Are you guys able to look into this and decide whether Breww should change how it processes lost beer? I’d rather not have to manually adjust our duty returns as this goes against the point of having great software like Breww that calculates everything automatically as it would just add extra time each month to come through losses and manually adjust the duty return.

I believe spoilt beer is being handled correctly in Breww FYI as the excise notice does say that duty does not have to be paid on spoilt beer as long as records are being kept with reasons which Breww already does.

Thanks

1 Like

Hi Jack - we agree that HMRC’s guidance is clear on “Unexplained losses”; however, marking beer as “Lost” in Breww is not meant to be equivalent to HMRC’s “Unexplained loss”. As you’ve pointed out, it is possible to view your lost and spoiled records in Beer duty → Lost and spoiled records, identify any losses you feel are “Unexplained”, and add an adjustment or note to your duty return. But I think it’s an excellent suggestion to allow you to mark a loss as “Unexplained” and for it to be added to your beer duty return then automatically.

One option could be to have another “Lost or spoiled” option along the lines of “The beer was lost and is liable for duty (unexplained)”, which you can then choose when manually reducing stock, and also have the ability to choose on a CSV Stock take whether the losses on that Stock take should be considered duty liable or not (i.e. explained or unexplained). Does this sound like it would cover what you’re looking for?

We’re currently working on the UK duty updates ready for the change in August, so we could look to bundle this new functionality in with those changes if it sounds like they would cover what you need!

Hi Max

Fantastic suggestion and thanks for getting back to me. As with all these things, everyone will use the software slightly differently so having the flexibility in there would be great. Having the options to mark lost stock as unexplained for manual stock adjustments as well as on stock takes would be great.

Thanks

2 Likes

Luke,

This guide mentions that Dispatching an order may have an effect on the Stock Take activity. I think you might want to add a bit of detail, as we just did our first stock take and got bitten by this.

One of our salespeople confirmed an order, scanned all the containers to assign them for delivery, and assigned some cases of 16oz cans. He went off on his delivery but did not mark the order as “Dispatched.” I then conducted a stock take on our remaining inventory and completed the process. Breww removed all the inventory assignments for his order, which then resulted in the ending inventory being off by the number of units in that order. I wound up having to do a stock adjustment, reassign the containers, dispatch the order, then mark it as delivered and re-confirm the stock shown in Breww matched our physical inventory.

I think it would be a good idea if you would elaborate in the article that it is best to resolve any confirmed orders where containers (and stock in non-returnable containers) have been assigned prior to completing the stock take and uploading the file for processing.

Regards,

Keith

Hi Keith, thanks for your comment and feedback. We have now added a warning message at the beginning of this article, highlighting the importance of not completing any stock changes for the duration of a stocktake and marking deliveries for the day as dispatched before starting a stocktake. Cheers, Ben.

Excellent! Thank you kindly.

Keith