NEWCASTLE tech mover and shaker Dan Farthing admits he’s got quite a vested interest in his latest start-up venture.
“I love craft beer and I love brewers and their passion for what they do and I love being around those kind of guys, so I was able to use my interest in that to target it,” says The Inventory Guys boss and co-founder of Doughheads, PubGrub and Newy Startups.
The “it” in question is KegIT, an app Mr Farthing describes as the “Find my Phone” for kegs.
The app allows craft brewers to scan and track their kegs and even monitor their temperatures to ensure their unpasteurised beer is not deteriorating on its journey and being served in ideal conditions.
“Venues and freight companies are notorious for not looking after craft beer kegs, leaving them in the sun and uncooled rooms and that’s pretty damaging for a brewer’s reputation, so they want to know where their product is,” he says.
“At the moment, they basically lose track of their kegs once they get put in a delivery van.”
The idea came to Mr Farthing via his consultancy The Inventory Guys, which implements cloud-based inventory management solutions for small businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
“Talking with smaller craft breweries, I saw a huge hole in their processes when it came to tracking kegs – it was a real pain-point because they lose heaps of them every year and it’s incredibly expensive for them,” he says, adding that anecdotal evidence suggests that brewers lose up to 10 per cent of their kegs annually at a cost of up to $10,000.
While there are rival apps, Mr Farthing says they lack key features, like the ability to integrate with inventory.
Mr Farthing, who grew up in Taree and chose an IT engineer career over agriculture as a teen, says he is close to building the final product and is in discussions with small and larger breweries.
“The aim is to have a few thousand kegs under management before the end of the year and then have our smart keg device, which monitors the beer temperature, out before the end of the year,” he says.