Yuengling turns to Wayne-based Deacom for ERP System

Pottsville-based D.G. Yuengling & Son, which is said to be the oldest continously operating brewery in the US (founded in 1829) and the fourth largest by volume according to The Brewing Association, has a name that is almost generic for lager in much of Pennsylvania. And its growth, particularly over the past 15 years, has seen its distribution area expand to include most of the East Coast (it just recently announced it is moving into Ohio).

Although the Yuengling family, which still owns and runs the company, has historically been conservative about pursuing growth, consumer demand in a sense has pushed the company to grow with it; Yuengling now produces about 2.2 million barrels per year, up from less than 500,000 in the early 1990s. Yuengling has three brewing facilities now: two in Pottsville-the historic building and a larger one built in 2000-and one in Tampa. It came close to purchasing another in Memphis last year but decided against it, expanding its newer Pottsville brewery instead. (See a recent profile from the Allentown Morning Call).

Yuengling's expansion had stretched its old information systems, consisting mostly of a Unix-based system and various spreadsheets, which in turn may have limited its ability to pursue new opportunities. So it turned to Deacom Inc. of Wayne to increease its ability to manage mutiple functions across the enterprise by implementing Deacom's ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. The system went live in June. Functions implemented include accounting, sales order management, regulatory reporting, purchasing, production scheduling, inventory, order entry, and retail point of sale (POS). Wendy Yuengling, Project manager at D.G. Yuengling & Son, said in a statement, "“We wanted a system that would reduce the redundancy in our work and minimize much of the manual data entry, which exposed us to the potential for human error. In addition, we needed the ability to work within one system of shared data that would give us greater control and enhanced reporting capabilities".

A key to Deacom being chosen is that it is designed to handle the specific requirements of batch process manufacturing, as opposed to discrete manufacturing. Deacom, which was founded in 1995, says it has over 100 customers in industry segments including lumber and building supplies, food processing, paint, specialty chemicals and pharmacuetical manufacturing. Founder Jay Deakin, who grew up in Gladwyne and played on the golf team at the University of Miami (FLA) back when they had one, started Deacom out of his mother-in-law's basement. In a telephone interview with Philly Tech News, he said that he learned about the specific needs of batch process manufacturers when he built a system inhouse for a previous company he managed because he could not find a adequate solution off-the-shelf. Deacom's application modules are based on proprietary software it developed, though the tools under the hood are mostly Microsoft, such as SQL Server and .Net.

Deakin says he often goes up against the big guys (SAP, Oracle) in competitive situations. The company has no debt or VC money, according to Deakin, and is looking at a period of accelerating growth after being fairly conservative about expansion for a while. Headcount is now 30, and he sees that increasing to about 40 over the next 12 months. While he says Yuengling is not Deacom's largest account, it is probably its most visible to the public.


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