For many bars, restaurants, and event venues, liquor sales drive a significant portion of their profits. Unfortunately, theft and over pouring are common and managing liquor inventory can be incredibly time consuming, tedious, and prone to inaccuracies. Nectar aims to solve all of those pain points by combining revolutionary smart cap technology with a comprehensive software suite, enabling owners to track pours in real-time and manage their entire inventory from the palm of their hand.
As the sole designer at Nectar, I owned the entire design process, from initial conception through to shipping the live product. I worked side-by-side with execs, PMs, the customer success/sales team, and engineers to rapidly conceive of and iterate on solutions that best solved our customer's needs.
Process and solution
What started as a fairly simple smart cap reporting tool, Nectar has quickly evolved into a full-featured analytics and bar management platform available on the web, iOS, and Android.
Today, the Nectar mobile app features a robust analytics dashboard, a real-time feed of pours as they happen at the bar, live inventory tracking, an audit tool, and smart ordering.
Upon opening the Nectar app, customers are greeted with the Dashboard, which provides them with a high-level overview of how their venue is performing. The philosophy of the dashboard is to summarize the flow of money through the bar.
The circular donut chart at the top compares what was sold—through Nectar's POS (point of sale) integration—with what was poured with Nectar's smart caps to determine overall pour costs and losses (commonly referred to as shrinkage). Customers can interact with the chart to view additional analytics and insights into what was sold, poured, and lost.
Below the donut chart, we provide simple stats on how much is currently being kept on hand in the bar's inventory, how much more is incoming through orders, and the variance from what Nectar predicted should be on hand versus what was actually counted during their last audit.
In combination with smart caps and manual auditing, Nectar is able to maintain a live inventory count of all beverage products at the bar/venue. In addition to overall counts and values, Nectar can also identify products that are rarely used, allowing bars to replace them with higher usage products to streamline turnover and increase profits.
Further insights are available on a per-product basis as well, with historical stats on usage, average pour sizes, and price fluctuations when restocking. For products that have been given Nectar smart caps, Nectar can also automatically track inventory depletion and predict when products will completely stockout.
While Nectar smart caps are able to measure bottle levels in real-time, and are the preferred way to track inventory, an audit tool is still necessary to keep track of bottles that can't be capped, as well as the sealed inventory kept in a venue's storerooms.
Previous to Nectar, many venues would audit the old-fashioned way, with pen & paper or clunky spreadsheets. This proved to be slow and highly inaccurate. With Nectar's audit tool, inventory is organized just like it is in person, allowing managers to quickly move between products as they count. If they come across an open bottle that's lacking a Nectar smart cap, the current level can easily captured with a simple tap on the image. But unlike similar auditing tools on the market, Nectar audit is highly accurate, by utilizing laser-measured bottle profiles.
Finally, at the conclusion of the audit, the Nectar app provides customers with a detailed and exportable variance report. This allows customers to identify potential theft or over usage of their non-capped products.
To round out Nectar's inventory management suite, ordering allows customers to directly place and receive purchase orders with their vendors to replenish their inventory. The app can also provide smart suggestions on what products to order and when, based on estimated stockout and a vendor's available delivery days, ensuring bars never run out of their most important products.
- A major sports stadium reduced the amount of time spent counting their inventory by nearly half, and saw an estimated 10% increase to their annual profits from reduced over pouring and theft
- Nectar is now seeing rapid adoption across the country, with several hundred locations, including high-profile sports stadiums, airports, and restaurants using the system every day