Choosing Your Supplier


How to find them, what to ask them, and how to ensure you’re getting the best value for your business.


By Kinnek Community  |  June 11, 2018

Choosing Your Supplier:

How to find them, what to ask them, and how to ensure you’re getting the best value for your business

 

I’m a brewer at a 7 bbl brewery with a 6-tap taproom and a few accounts to where I distribute kegs. The time of year is approaching for when I’ll need to brew my seasonal beers, and this year, I want to try something different--selling them in 22 oz bombers! The thing is, after brewing it, I have this beer sitting in my fermenters, and I have this pallet of 22 oz bombers sitting in the corner… how do I get that beer into those bottles?

The easy answer is get a bottle filler, but I don’t know the first thing about what they are or how they work. I could get a mobile bottler to come by and help me out, but I only need to fill a pallet now and the guy in my area has a 400-case minimum to do a job. So, I decide to invest in an entry-level bottle filler. Where do I start?

 

  • Request a Quote on Kinnek

 

I fill out a form on Kinnek to request quotes. I indicate that I’m looking for something that can do a maximum of 400 bottles an hour (~33 cases). I don’t know what my budget is yet since I’m not sure what to expect, but I know that I’m not going to want to pay five figures for what’s supposed to be a once-or-twice-a-year operation.

 

  • Survey the Quotes that Come In

 

I have some quotes! Right off the bat, I know I don’t need any that are over $10,000, so I immediately remove those. I’m left with two options: a two-head, benchtop filler for about $3,000 and a four-head filler for about $6,500.

 

  • Take a Step Back… What Value Do I Need from this Bottle FIller?

 

Every supplier offers something unique, but to choose one, I have to first define for myself the kind of value I need to get out of a bottle filler. Value propositions could include (but are not limited to) any of the following:

  1. Low price
  2. High quality
  3. Low freight quote
  4. Fast lead time

And so on.

I need something to get the job done, but the prospect of investing $3,000-$6,500 in a piece of equipment I might only use twice a year isn’t very appealing. I want to spend that kind of money knowing that not only will the machine be able to perform at the level I need year after year, but I also want it to be capable of higher production volumes so I can grow into it. What happens if these bottles are a hit, and people start asking to see them on the shelves of their local beer store? I want to know that I have the capacity to go from 1 pallet to, say, 4 pallets every time I do a bottling run, so I have a new value proposition to get out of this bottle filler: the ability to add filling heads to accommodate a higher output.

 

  • Which of These Suppliers Has What I Need?

 

I go back to the two quotes I’m still considering, and the 2-head filler looks like a box with two heads on it and doesn’t fill me with too much hope of adding more filling heads if I need them down the line. The 4-head, though, is more inline and could appear to offer room for expansion. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the 2-head can’t become a 4-head, or that the 4-head can easily become a 6-head. How do I find out what these things can do?

 

  • The First Question to Ask a Supplier

 

Now that I know what value proposition I need from my bottle filler, it’s clear what the first question I should ask these two companies should address--the ability to add additional filler heads.

So, I go to Kinnek’s message box and I ask the same question of the suppliers of both the 2-head and the 4-head filler:

 

“Thank you for the quote--yours is one of two that I’m considering at this point. I’m looking for a filler for my seasonal beers, so the initial output is low. However, I anticipate that production should increase by four times over the next two years. I was wondering, is it possible to add filling heads to this bottle filler if that happens?”

I send the message and wait. I know that there's a possibility both suppliers can come back and say their machines don't do what I need them to do, so I browse Kinnek's catalog to get a feel for other options on the market.

While I'm browsing the catalog, the supplier of the 2-head filler responds first. He says:

 

“Unfortunately, no, you cannot add additional filling heads to this model or any of our models. We also sell a benchtop 4-head filler for when you need to upgrade. That retails at about $4,500.”

 

$4,500 isn’t a bad price, but if I buy a 2-head now and a 4-head later, I’m out $7,500 in all, which is more expensive than the other supplier’s quote. I can always buy the 4-head now and use it to half capacity at the beginning, so I file this away as a possibility even though it isn’t the ideal situation for me.

 

The supplier of the 4-head filler responds. She says:

 

“Yes. This model allows for the addition of up to 8 filling heads for a total of 12. Additional heads can be purchased from our online store, and we have technicians who can install them for you when you need them.”

 

Jackpot! That sounds like a win. I think I’ve found my supplier!

Get Quotes right away

Get free Bottle Filler Quotes from Multiple Suppliers

Get Quotes
Related Articles

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What is the Role of Malt in the Brewing Process?

Malting is a complex, multi-step process that is important for new brewers understand.

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The Advantages of Using Hop Extracts Instead of Standard Hops

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Choosing Your Supplier


How to find them, what to ask them, and how to ensure you’re getting the best value for your business.


By Kinnek Community  |  June 11, 2018

Choosing Your Supplier:

How to find them, what to ask them, and how to ensure you’re getting the best value for your business

 

I’m a brewer at a 7 bbl brewery with a 6-tap taproom and a few accounts to where I distribute kegs. The time of year is approaching for when I’ll need to brew my seasonal beers, and this year, I want to try something different--selling them in 22 oz bombers! The thing is, after brewing it, I have this beer sitting in my fermenters, and I have this pallet of 22 oz bombers sitting in the corner… how do I get that beer into those bottles?

The easy answer is get a bottle filler, but I don’t know the first thing about what they are or how they work. I could get a mobile bottler to come by and help me out, but I only need to fill a pallet now and the guy in my area has a 400-case minimum to do a job. So, I decide to invest in an entry-level bottle filler. Where do I start?

 

  • Request a Quote on Kinnek

 

I fill out a form on Kinnek to request quotes. I indicate that I’m looking for something that can do a maximum of 400 bottles an hour (~33 cases). I don’t know what my budget is yet since I’m not sure what to expect, but I know that I’m not going to want to pay five figures for what’s supposed to be a once-or-twice-a-year operation.

 

  • Survey the Quotes that Come In

 

I have some quotes! Right off the bat, I know I don’t need any that are over $10,000, so I immediately remove those. I’m left with two options: a two-head, benchtop filler for about $3,000 and a four-head filler for about $6,500.

 

  • Take a Step Back… What Value Do I Need from this Bottle FIller?

 

Every supplier offers something unique, but to choose one, I have to first define for myself the kind of value I need to get out of a bottle filler. Value propositions could include (but are not limited to) any of the following:

  1. Low price
  2. High quality
  3. Low freight quote
  4. Fast lead time

And so on.

I need something to get the job done, but the prospect of investing $3,000-$6,500 in a piece of equipment I might only use twice a year isn’t very appealing. I want to spend that kind of money knowing that not only will the machine be able to perform at the level I need year after year, but I also want it to be capable of higher production volumes so I can grow into it. What happens if these bottles are a hit, and people start asking to see them on the shelves of their local beer store? I want to know that I have the capacity to go from 1 pallet to, say, 4 pallets every time I do a bottling run, so I have a new value proposition to get out of this bottle filler: the ability to add filling heads to accommodate a higher output.

 

  • Which of These Suppliers Has What I Need?

 

I go back to the two quotes I’m still considering, and the 2-head filler looks like a box with two heads on it and doesn’t fill me with too much hope of adding more filling heads if I need them down the line. The 4-head, though, is more inline and could appear to offer room for expansion. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the 2-head can’t become a 4-head, or that the 4-head can easily become a 6-head. How do I find out what these things can do?

 

  • The First Question to Ask a Supplier

 

Now that I know what value proposition I need from my bottle filler, it’s clear what the first question I should ask these two companies should address--the ability to add additional filler heads.

So, I go to Kinnek’s message box and I ask the same question of the suppliers of both the 2-head and the 4-head filler:

 

“Thank you for the quote--yours is one of two that I’m considering at this point. I’m looking for a filler for my seasonal beers, so the initial output is low. However, I anticipate that production should increase by four times over the next two years. I was wondering, is it possible to add filling heads to this bottle filler if that happens?”

I send the message and wait. I know that there's a possibility both suppliers can come back and say their machines don't do what I need them to do, so I browse Kinnek's catalog to get a feel for other options on the market.

While I'm browsing the catalog, the supplier of the 2-head filler responds first. He says:

 

“Unfortunately, no, you cannot add additional filling heads to this model or any of our models. We also sell a benchtop 4-head filler for when you need to upgrade. That retails at about $4,500.”

 

$4,500 isn’t a bad price, but if I buy a 2-head now and a 4-head later, I’m out $7,500 in all, which is more expensive than the other supplier’s quote. I can always buy the 4-head now and use it to half capacity at the beginning, so I file this away as a possibility even though it isn’t the ideal situation for me.

 

The supplier of the 4-head filler responds. She says:

 

“Yes. This model allows for the addition of up to 8 filling heads for a total of 12. Additional heads can be purchased from our online store, and we have technicians who can install them for you when you need them.”

 

Jackpot! That sounds like a win. I think I’ve found my supplier!

Get Quotes right away

Get free Bottle Filler Quotes from Multiple Suppliers

Get Quotes
Related Articles

Why Has Dry Hopping Become So Popular?

Dry hopping has become a popular method of manipulating the flavor and aroma profile of a brew.

Kinnek Knowledge Team

What is the Role of Malt in the Brewing Process?

Malting is a complex, multi-step process that is important for new brewers understand.

Kinnek Knowledge Team

The Advantages of Using Hop Extracts Instead of Standard Hops

There are plenty of great reasons to use hop extracts as an alternative to standard hop infusions.

Kinnek Knowledge Team