One Blog |December 4, 2018 | Line Cleaning Software

Tracking and Managing Your Draught Line Cleaning with LineTrak Means Increased Beer Sales

Mark Fullerton

OnTrak’s Backgrouund In The Beverage Alcohol Distributon Business

OnTrak Software’s core business for the more than 10 years has been to help beverage-alcohol distributors Track, Measure, and Manage point-of-sale (POS) marketing programs.

For clarification, we consider almost every marketing activity that beverage alcohol distributors execute at the point-of-sale to drive sales to be a key focus for our company. Our Target Market! And so we listen to our customers as well as the market.

This includes “traditional” custom, temporary printed signage campaigns and permanent POS marketing materials.

Driven by the market, we have expanded into solutions to manage sampling and tasting events since they are marketing activities that promote sales.

And most recently, we listened to our customers and have expanded our focus to include both line cleaning and tap handle surveying software for operational activities at retail locations. Both of these activities, if done well, help sell more beer or wine.

If there is a need for a software solution to help distributors promote the sale of more of a distributors’ products, we’ll take a look at it.

Regular Line Cleaning Increases Sales

Tracking and Managing Your Draught Line Cleaning with LineTrak Means Increased Beer SalesToday we’re going to discuss the importance of draught line cleaning management and the software we’ve developed to help do just that, as part of your overall at-retail marketing programs.

According to “Draught Beer Quality” cleaning draught lines regularly (every two-weeks) doesn’t cost, it pays. 

Studies have shown that cleaning tap lines every two-weeks versus every eight-weeks will generate additional sales of about 7%. Interestingly, even if we compare cleanings of every two-weeks with monthly cleanings, sales increases of 4% are typical.

Clearly, the optimal draught line cleaning schedule is every two weeks.

Who’s Responsible

The major breweries place the responsibility for “clean tap lines” at distributors’ feet even in states where distributors are not permitted to offer line-cleaning services.

In the majority of states where distributors are permitted to offer these services, it is common practice for large beer distributors to build their own cleaning capabilities and for medium and small distributors to sub-contract these services to 3rd party cleaning companies. There is some evidence that macro beer distributors are “encouraged” to take on the line cleaning activities if state laws permit.

Of course, those retailers in locations where distributors provide such services, don’t have to foot the costs, but make no mistake about it, even in states where the financial costs are absorbed by distributors, both retailers and distributors benefit from the increases in sates attributable to clean draught lines.  

It Pays To Clean Lines Regularly

A somewhat elaborate test was conducted by a wholesale-distributor with the intent to determine if draught line cleanings performed every two-weeks actually paid for itself, increased costs or increased sales sufficiently to more than pay for the costs incurred for line cleanings every two-weeks.

The entire study is available here:

The Economics of Draught Beer Quality

The bottom line of the study is that the use of clean lines generated 5 additional pints sold per keg with a profit of $3.41 per pint.

The increased profit per line, per year (in a retailer that used 52 kegs per year per line) was $886. Since the retailer had four tap lines, the profit increase per year was $3,546.40. Of course, the cost of line cleaning must be subtracted (even if the retailer does not foot the bill) from the total profit increase to generate the net profit increase. After the costs of cleanings are subtracted from the total profit increase, the net profit increase was $2,157.06 (for four draught beer lines each running 1 keg per week worth of product through them.) Please see the above link to view the entire presentation.

How to Keep Track of Cleaning

Assuming you agree that line cleaning every two-weeks not only pays for itself but generates additional beer profits above the cost of line cleaning, you may wonder how to effectively and efficiently keep track of the complex scheduling and servicing activities providing such services requires.

That’s where line cleaning tracking, measuring, and managing software comes in. In OnTrak Software terms, here’s where LineTrak™ comes in.

In previous blogs, dating to 2015 when LineTrak first came to market, we discussed the problems and solutions associated with the need to keep draught lines clean, and the development of software that incorporated the features that would provide the greatest benefits to beer distributors, retailers, and 3rd party line-cleaning companies.

Click the following link, to gain access to a three-part blog that defines the line cleaning problem, possible solutions and OnTrak’s approach:

Three-Part Line Cleaning Blog

The History of LineTrak

LineTrak™ was designed by a large beer distributor who provides line cleaning services to over 6,000 accounts using their own in-house draught line cleaning department. They wanted an “iOS” and Android compatible application that would smooth the flow of information between their Line Cleaning Scheduling Manager (LCSM) and their line cleaning techs.

Scheduling and routing Information entered by the LCSM is fed directly to the iOS web application accessible on the techs iPhones and iPads. The techs then have the information they need to plan their work day based on the accounts they’re scheduled to clean. The ability to see the data, including the techs’ GPS locations in real time allows the LCSM to keep track of all of the scheduled work for the day and determine if the schedule is being adhered to.

The LineTrak application was developed in co-operation with a beer distributors’ best practices for draught line cleaning to address the maintenance requirements (including safety protocols) as stated in the Brewers Association Draft Beer Quality Manual and Anheuser-Busch’s. Click the following link:

“Beertender Guide”

New features, including a “Tap Handle Survey”, desired by distributors and a “billing feature” that allows 3rd party line cleaners to bill the appropriate distributor based on the brand of beer flowing through a given line, were added thanks to inputs from both distributors and 3rd party cleaning companies.  

LineTrak was truly designed by draught line industry professionals for their use. Some of the additional features of LineTrak include:

  • Line Cleaning Service Manager’s Scheduling, Routing, Missed, and Overdue Options

  • Line Cleaning Technician’s Dashboard

  • Safety warning, service checklist and acknowledgment message for technicians

  • Technician Time and Mileage Tracking

  • Technician GPS Location Tracking and Map Function

  • Repairs needed notation

  • “Ours vs. Theirs” product information tracking

  • Customer Information Tracking and Reminders

  • Comprehensive Reporting including cleaning history data

  • Tap Handle Survey

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To request a live, 30-minute demonstration of our line cleaning software and tap handle survey software, please click this button and select LineTrak, or call one of our product experts at 513-936-4041

Request a Demo

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