Here at Teamwork.com, we are inspired by our customers and the work they do. The craft brewing industry seems to love the flexible yet thorough features in Teamwork Projects. We had the opportunity to talk with Charlie Hoxmeier, Vice President and Brewmaster at Gilded Goat Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, about his team’s experience using Teamwork Projects.
Gilded Goat Brewing Company is a local family-run craft brewery specializing in small batch beers. They craft seasonal beers, traditional styles, and experimental batches. The brewing has started as the team builds its location in downtown Fort Collins, so as you’d imagine they rely heavily on being organized to make it from concept and test brews to grand opening and creating happy customers. In 2013, the idea to take home brewing to the next level with a full-blown brewery took form and what were once a collection of home recipes were about to become community favorites. Fort Collins itself is nicknamed the “Napa Valley of Beer” with many stellar breweries located there. In fact, six of the 50 top breweries in America are located in Colorado. This creates a uniquely inspiring community for brewers and a tasty destination for beer lovers.
We interviewed Charlie Hoxmeier about his experience before and after Teamwork Projects as well as the elements of starting his own brewery. And if you still can’t get enough of the Gilded Goat Brewing Company success story, you can read more about the challenge they faced and how they found a solution in Teamwork Projects in our case studyGilded Goat Brewing Company’s 
 Collaboration is Hopping with Teamwork Projects (PDF).
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What system did you use for project and business management prior to Teamwork Projects?

“We didn’t have a good system in place before we started using Teamwork.com. We wanted all the team members to be aware of each of the different aspects of opening the brewery. There are so many moving parts…equipment orders from different manufacturers, setting up a raw material inventory and ordering system, record keeping of batch QC and sensory data, customer organization and tracking, etc. Even though every team member was not directly involved in every aspect of the brewery, we wanted everyone to know not only what was happening, but how we did it.”
“Before Teamwork Projects, we were inefficient in our use of time and efforts. Our initial efforts at organization were very manual…stacks of notes and paper calendars…it just wasn’t working. People were moving in different directions and often duplicating efforts, which is not an effective use of a tight, small business budget. Teamwork Projects allowed us to monitor the progress and status of various aspects of starting the brewery, at a price that was reasonable. We had two goals for the implementation of Teamwork Projects: Transparency and Organization. Every team member was able to see what the others were working on, including projected time lines for completion. Teamwork Projects also allowed us to set milestones and alert various team members about deadlines, which kept everyone on task and up to date.”
 

What was limiting your team from doing what they needed with your previous tools?

“There is just no need for manual, or paper-based, organization anymore; It is too inefficient. If a small business has to be anything, it is efficient.
 

What criteria did you have in mind for a solution?

“Personally, I wanted auto-generated reminders and alerts about the status of various projects. This way, I didn’t have to constantly interrupt people for status updates or personally keep track of what and where people were. I needed to be able to focus on my current task, while being able to instantly check on the status of others.”
“We needed a way to organize our efforts and maintain a repository of resources that could be accessed anywhere. Now, Teamwork Projects allows us to be more efficient and, for a small business, efficiency is everything.”
 

How did you search for a solution to your problem?

“A colleague (Jessica Prenni at the Proteomics and Metabolomics Core Facility at Colorado State University) uses Teamwork Projects to manage project status and maintain a chain-of-custody for data and reporting. I liked the look of the product and the ease of use.”
 

What did you find most attractive about Teamwork Projects?

I think the UI is the best aspect of Teamwork Projects. Clearly, a lot of thought has gone into the UI design to make using the product most efficient.
 

How did you handle internal user onboarding when you started with Teamwork Projects?

“We provided an overview of the UI and implemented easy-to-follow processes for project organization and reporting, which helped team members to understand the purpose and benefit of the product before they were required to use it.”
 

What are the current practices in place in your company to enhance and encourage collaboration?

“One of the best things about running a brewery are the beer tasting sessions, not just sitting in the taproom and having a beer, but focused tasting sessions and discussions. These meetings encourage everyone to understand the process of creating each batch, the sensory aspects of each batch, and how we want to present them to the customer. These meetings create an open environment for staff to discuss what they like and don’t like about the product and bring up issues related to customer service and management. The casual and welcoming atmosphere of the close-knit group encourages team members to be honest and forthcoming with comments and suggestions about all aspect of the business.”
“One of our main drivers for the company is transparency. As a small business, with a small staff, problems with collaboration and teamwork can have a huge impact. Encouraging transparency opens communication among our different groups. People working the front of house are aware of what is occurring in the brewhouse. The brewhouse is aware of traffic patterns and regular customer schedules in the taproom. Management is always available to discuss daily and weekly goals together with front and back of house. These open lines of communication make everyone personally invested (if they are not already!) in the business. Each team member can see their impact throughout the business.”
 

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

“Learn from your employees. An invested employee has ideas for improving the business and are the first point of contact with your customers. I don’t know who to attribute this quote to, but it has helped us shape our business: “Employees don’t leave a company, they leave bad managers.” The company can preach ideals all day long, but the implementation of those ideals come down to the management staff.”
 

What do you think about Teamwork Projects?

“Teamwork Projects has helped us to organize and monitor many moving parts related to opening a small business. From licenses to inventory, Teamwork Projects helped to get everyone on the same page and increase awareness about outstanding and difficult projects.”
 

What Teamwork Projects feature do you like the most?

“Auto alerts, by far. Since there are so many moving parts, a quick reminder about a deadline or follow-up has saved us.”
 

What is your overall experience of Teamwork.com products?

“Teamwork Projects is a very user-friendly and easy to manage product. Most people these days are well-accustomed to the type of organization and reporting used by Teamwork Projects, which makes its implementation even easier; It feels like something you can jump right into.”
 

What has been the measurable impact of deploying Teamwork Projects as a solution?

“Submitting a federal brewing license is a big nasty animal that takes a very long time to gain approval. If there are issues with your paperwork, the time to approval easily jump from six months to a year. In order to make this process most efficient, we organized the whole process in Teamwork. Everyone was able to check the various sections for completion and it provided a repository of everything we needed, included easy links to online resources.”
 

What advice would you offer to an organization implementing a similar solution?

Use of all aspects of the product is a requirement. The best way to get the best use out of Teamwork Projects is to have everyone participating.
 

Please summarize your overall experience with Teamwork.com.

Teamwork.com has allowed our small brewery to organize our projects and effort to make the most of our tight funding. Starting a new business is challenging; There are always so many moving parts. Teamwork Projects helped us keep everyone on track and accountable. It allowed management to efficiently monitor the progress of start-up tasks. It also improved our communication and awareness of both successes and failures.
 

Takeaway

Teamwork Projects allows Charlie and his team to monitor the progress and status of various elements of starting the brewery, with efficient UI at a price that was reasonable. Teamwork Projects allows Gilded Goat Brewing Company to organize and monitor many moving parts related to opening a small business. Every last detail necessary for the launch and running of the business, from licenses to inventory, is tracked in tasks and projects, allowing everyone to be on the same page while increasing awareness about outstanding and difficult projects.
 
You can read more about the challenge they faced and how they found a solution in Teamwork Projects in our case study, Gilded Goat Brewing Company’s 
 Collaboration is Hopping with Teamwork Projects (PDF).