To work around COVID-19 travel restrictions for our installation staff – at a time when packaged beer is especially vital to brewers – we’ve now launched a new “virtual” installation system for our customers.
To successfully conduct these virtual installations, we enrolled a team of three installers who delivered live video-chat help, and five behind-the-scenes staffers who built an online portal of training videos and other comprehensive resources.
Dead Frog Brewing (in British Columbia, Canada) was among the first five breweries to use our innovative virtual installation program, when it commissioned its new Cask Automated System (ACS V5). The effort took place in six hours of time over two days. Longtime Cask Installer Terry Farrell headed up the virtual effort from the safety of his home in Canada, while incorporating video and other information from the online portal.
“The virtual install and training were perfect for us,” says Dan Braaten, Dead Frog Production Manager. “We were up and running smoothly in just a couple days and the canning line is amazing.” Cole Smith, Dead Frog’s Head Brewer, agrees. “The virtual system Cask set up because of the COVID situation” Smith says, “is great. And Terry was awesome and a wealth of knowledge.”
The virtual commissioning method enables our new customers to get beer into cans at a time when packaged beer sales are often a brewery’s only source of revenue due to the pandemic.
“More than ever,” says Dawn Lutz, Cask’s Director of Customer Success, “our customers need to get their products in cans and out to their customers. So we’ve adapted our service model to make that happen.”
Our virtual team spent two weeks preparing for these new virtual installs. “There were some long days and some late nights,” Lutz says, “and it’s been a digital construction zone here for a couple weeks. But we pulled it all together.”
Our new virtual program will be used for more upcoming installations. When travel and social distancing restrictions are removed, we will conduct on-site visits with each of these virtual customers.
While this new-tech effort has been crucial help for our new customers during the COVID-19 situation, it has also been a plus for our Customer Success Team.
“We’ve really been inspired,” Lutz says, “by how consumers have rallied behind their favorite breweries and how brewers have dug in and found creative ways to get through this. That’s been a big motivation for us to do whatever we can to help craft brewers during these turbulent times.”
Dead Frog’s team is happy for that help. “We’ve run the machine every day since the install,” Smith says, “and it runs like a dream.”