How to open a business for the production of bottling equipment

* The calculations use the average data for the World

The boom of universal love for “live” beer, which began around 2010, has somewhat subsided today. However, not only draft beer shops, but also breweries continue to open, which indicates the continued popularity of this drink. Experts believe that in Russia the culture of alcohol consumption is changing - the ratio of strong and light changes in favor of the latter. Whatever the reason, the demand for beer gives rise to the growth of outlets requiring equipment for bottling. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a whole segment - HoReCa (hotels, restaurants, cafes - places where beer can be sold for bottling) - which is a valuable market for the bottling equipment.

At the same time, there are not many suppliers of equipment on the market. This is due to the fact that the equipment is purchased once and, most often, for the entire life of the store or cafe. Nevertheless, there are options for organizing a business in this area. First, the market, although slowly, is growing; part of the equipment periodically fails and requires replacement or repair. Secondly, differentiation will find its niche. Well, and thirdly, even with the complete similarity of the product line, you can offer the best price, service, achieve customer loyalty with the competent work of managers. Strictly speaking, the equipment in question is suitable not only for bottling beer, but also for soft drinks (lemonade, kvass), wine, cider, etc. However, these drinks make up a small share in the total volume, and in addition are not sold separately, but complement the range of beer outlets.

As for the beer market as a whole, today we can distinguish the following main trends. The main background for the development of the beer production market is pressure from the state regulator - over the past five years, the excise rate has increased 6 times (from 3 to 18 rubles per liter), and the average retail price of a liter of beer has risen by 12 over the period from 2012 to 2015 %, up to 84 rubles per liter. In addition, the ban on the sale of beer through non-stationary retail outlets - kiosks, stalls, etc., also had an impact.

On the other hand, there are a number of factors that have a positive impact on the dynamics of the market. According to experts, this is a more substantial increase in prices for strong alcohol, as well as a change in the culture of alcohol consumption in favor of less strong drinks, as mentioned above. The ranking of regions for beer consumption is as follows:

  • - CFD - 32%;

  • - PFD - 21%;

  • - Siberian Federal District - 14%;

  • - Ural federal district - 10%;

  • - SFD - 9%;

  • - NWFD - 8%;

  • - Far Eastern Federal District - 4%;

  • - North-Caucasian Federal District - 2%.

In 2014, there was a decrease in the volume of export of Russian beer - both in kind and in value terms.

For some time, the State Duma has been considering a bill regarding the restriction of the use of PET containers in the circulation of alcoholic beverages. In fact, in addition to beer, only a small amount of carbonated low-alcohol drinks (the so-called “cocktails”) are bottled in PET, the volume of production and sales of which is insignificant. The volume of beer sales in polyethylene terephthalate containers in Russia is 50% of the total. For the market of "live" beer - this is already more than 95% of the volume. Thus, the adoption of this bill will primarily affect sales - and, consequently, production - of “live” beer, that is, small business. Large manufacturers have the financial ability to reprofile production; however, this will still lead to losses, as well as an increase in the retail value of the product.

For equipment suppliers, this means some risks, but, bearing in mind that HoReCa forms a large share of demand, the situation does not seem critical. In the event of a ban on PET containers, a whole class of specialized devices may turn out to be, but the bulk will still find their own market.

The main focus of investment when opening such a business will be the purchase of goods at the warehouse. It is necessary to maintain the availability of the most complete completeness, since in the absence of even its most insignificant component, the filling system cannot be started. Fundamentally, the system consists of:

- cooler - the unit, passing through which, the drink acquires the required temperature (usually below its storage temperature);

- carbon dioxide supply systems from cylinder to keg; consists of a pressure reducer (usually with a pressure gauge) and a flexible pipe;

- the intake head, with the supply of carbon dioxide and an outlet for the drink, which connects directly to the keg;

- a flexible pipeline for supplying a drink from a keg to a tap;

- a bottling system consisting of a “column” (or “tower”), a crane and, in the case of bottling in PET, an antifoam - a device that allows beer to be poured into plastic containers at high speed without foam;

- auxiliary and consumables, such as fittings, clamps, tees; accessories - medallions for a tag with the logo of the brand of beer, drop collectors, etc.

Today on the market there is a fairly large number of equipment manufacturers - from the CIS, Europe and China. Trying to work immediately with everyone makes no sense - at least it will require freezing a lot of money in a warehouse, not to mention the difficulties of accounting, logistics, service features of different brands, etc. From the very beginning, it is necessary to determine with whom and in what price segment the company plans to work. If you focus on shops of "live" beer and cafes at a budget level, then Ukrainian and Russian manufacturers will do. If you plan to work with HoReCa of the middle and premium segment, it is worth concentrating on European suppliers. It is better not to deal with Chinese equipment at all, since there is a very high risk of encountering a large number of complaints. The choice of Russian suppliers should also be approached with caution: monitor reviews on the Internet, talk with potential customers in retail chains and catering establishments, and learn about their experience in operating the equipment. It should be noted that Russian products in this segment differ in a wide range of quality levels - from practically unusable to reliable and durable. In the latter case, its main drawback will be the lack of an attractive design. However, in sight - above the counter - usually there is only a "column" with a crane; design is an important condition when choosing this particular part of the system.

The formation of an assortment of equipment in a warehouse must be approached very carefully. Coolers differ in the number of circuits (the number of beers with which it is supposed to work) and in productivity (the volume of the drink that the unit can cool per unit of time). The number of circuits can vary from one to fourteen to sixteen. Such limiting options, of course, need to be available for at least one unit, but the main emphasis should be placed on units average in the number of varieties and productivity - 6-8 circuits will satisfy a retail outlet, a restaurant, and a cafe, if it does not specialize in wide beer assortment.

Nuances are also present in the formation of a supply of intake heads. Kegs today are of several types, depending on the type of fitting; Each brewery uses one or two types of fittings, which are suitable for a certain type of intake head - A, G, S, U, M, D, T. Before creating a warehouse, you need to find out what types of kegs are most often used in your region.

Defoamers are thought to have been invented in Russia at a certain Novosibirsk plant in the early 2000s. The lack of analogues in the world market, apparently, is due to a slightly different culture of drinking beer in Western countries - there it is sold already bottled in tin or glass containers; PET bottles are rarely used. For almost a decade and a half since the invention, defoamers have been improved many times, analogues of the first models appeared, and then new designs. And yet, despite many years of evolution, it is they, perhaps, that are the most vulnerable part of the bottling system - not least because of the presence of moving parts. Market and reviews should be monitored to choose the right antifoam supplier.

As for the columns, they are usually used in cafes and restaurants, less often - in premium segment beer stores. In ordinary retail outlets for mounting cranes, they prefer to use various home-made structures - this is much cheaper.

In general, today the market offers countless different devices and accessories, the purpose of which is to facilitate the work of the bartender, increase its speed and aesthetics. Their presence is desirable, can emphasize the status of the supplier, but without them it is quite possible to do. It all depends on cash.

So, what amount should be invested in the warehouse? Given that you are likely to receive different types of equipment from different suppliers, you should have at least ten sets of equipment plus consumables - hoses, fittings, clamps and tees. The average wholesale price of a domestic-made cooler for 6 grades is 18-19 thousand rubles; intake head - from 1.5 thousand; defoamer - 1.8-1.9 thousand rubles; gearbox - about the same, 2 thousand; columns - from 4 thousand; hoses - from 30 rubles per meter; carbon dioxide cylinder - from 3 thousand. For 10 sets we need: coolers 10 pieces, 10 carbon dioxide cylinders, 10 reducers, at least 600 meters of hose (we’ll round up to 1000), 60 intake heads and 60 defoamers, 30 columns, as well as tees, clamps and fittings, the number of which difficult to calculate, because it depends largely on the specific installation situation.

Add to this amount 25% for fasteners and accessories - we get 722, 500. Round up to 750 thousand. This is the amount needed to form a minimum warehouse. The maximum amount, as we understand it, does not exist, since it is possible to expand the assortment both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Some manufacturers offer the delivery of purchased equipment using their own transport, while others can arrange transportation by the transport company. In any case, there will be no need to purchase your own heavy vehicles. However, you should consider buying an LCV car. This will allow us to offer equipment delivery in the region as an additional service. If the company provides installation and maintenance services for bottling systems (which will be discussed below), a car will be absolutely necessary. At the first stage, it would be advisable to purchase a used car, but in good condition, which should be allocated about 700 thousand rubles.

In the era of information technology, a company’s site that is well indexed by search engines will play a large role. Up to 100, 000 rubles will have to be budgeted for its development and promotion. The same amount for office equipment at the warehouse. The location of the sales office in the immediate vicinity of the warehouse will allow you to quickly ship all sorts of little things like clamps and tees, as well as present equipment to the client “live” if necessary, because It’s simply impossible to keep samples of each product in the office. Rent warehouse premises - from 50 sq.m. and the office will cost 30-50 thousand per month.

The staffing of the company will depend on the range of services. The easiest option is to exclusively sell equipment. In this case, you will need: one or two sales managers, an accountant, a storekeeper (with the combined functionality of a loader), a loader. The business owner can perform the function of one of the managers, which is especially important if he has knowledge of the market and acquaintances in this area. If you plan to expand the list of services through the delivery of equipment, you will need a driver who also combines his duties with the functionality of a loader. The monthly minimum wage of employees will be 120-130 thousand rubles.

An additional source of profit - from 10% to 30% of the cost of equipment sold - is the installation and maintenance of equipment. To do this, we need a set of simple electric and hand tools - a drill, screwdrivers, wrenches, as well as a team of two installation specialists. Given the specificity of the direction, finding workers with experience will not always succeed; In addition, many professionals provide these services on their own, working only for themselves. However, there is no big trouble in this - the installation of equipment for bottling beer does not require a lot of special knowledge. You can learn the principles of the filling system in one working day. But the period of development of the material in practice will depend on the skills of the employee in the field of manual labor.

Another revenue item is equipment maintenance. Beer is a fermentation medium; during long-term operation of the bottling system, the residues of the transported liquid will accumulate in it, causing chemical processes, which extremely negatively affects the taste of beer, and in the worst case, can lead to food poisoning. For cleaning, the system is washed with a special solution using special equipment. The simplest keg for washing will cost 4-5 thousand, however, to significantly speed up the process, it is advisable to choose more serious kegs, costing from 10 thousand. The cost of flushing fluid - from 150 rubles per liter.

Trade margin for beer equipment is 30-40% depending on the price segment, region, competitive environment and other factors. Therefore, in order to cover ongoing expenses and break even, we need to sell 8-10 averaged sets of equipment per month. This is quite achievable after about 9-10 months of active work of sales managers. Their active work “in the fields, ” that is, visits to existing retail outlets and HoReCa establishments, as well as website promotion in order to attract customers who have just decided to open a store or cafe, is supposed.

After two years of the company's existence, profits can amount to up to 200, 000 rubles per month. Installation and flushing of equipment will bring another hundred thousand rubles. This is a very good level of profit for an enterprise that does not require special knowledge and skills from the owner, unlike, for example, the IT sector or agriculture.

Among the possible risks, in addition to those indicated at the beginning of the article, one can also name the wrong choice of supplier, incorrect selection of assortment (purchase of illiquid goods), inefficient work of sales managers, as well as an incorrect assessment of the competitive environment at the preparatory stage.

Denis Miroshnichenko

(c) - a portal to business plans and guidelines for starting a small business 08/18/2019

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