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Aqua Vitea


Batch Control/ERP Software Gives Beverage Manufacturer Critical Trackability & Traceability Plus 50+% Growth


Aqua ViTea’s flavorful, non-alcoholic kombucha and kombucha-infused Aqua Seltzer, a healthier alternative to soda and sports drinks, are brewed in Middlebury, Vermont.

  • 1,000+ raw materials/packaging (in-house, co-pack)
  • 38 SKUs in-house, 60+ co-pack
  • 3,500+ retailers, schools, hospitals, restaurants/delis
  • 63,000 sq. ft. plant/warehouse
  • Available in 43 states
  • USDA Organic & Pareve-certified
  • 30+ employees
  • Launched in 2007


Mar-Kov Batch Control & Inventory Management Software


  • Inaccurate, labor-intensive data entry & admin
  • Poor trackability & traceability (food recalls, audits)
  • Full ABV testing of every lot
  • Limited, decentralized, non-integrated data
  • Inadequate reporting (inventory, production, orders, shipping)


  • 6-month ROI
  • 50% growth with existing staff
  • Better margins, lower costs
  • Full ABV testing of every lot when required
  • Consistent, precise trackability & traceability
  • Easier FDA, HACCP and TBB compliance
  • 70% faster audits (1.5 from 5 hours), always audit-ready
  • Relevant, standard & customized reports
  • Accurate, centralized, automated data

Aqua ViTea got the trackability, traceability and accurate, real-time data required to make critical business decisions and manage 50+% growth with existing employees and Mar-Kov’s ERP platform.

“Mar-Kov gave us instant access to the information required for recalls, audits and to run Aqua ViTea’s beverage business more efficiently – that’s worth 100s of 1,000s of dollars to us,” says Chip Nolin, COO, Aqua ViTea. “Mar-Kov automates and facilitates on-time production, order fulfilment visibility, raw material planning and forecasting, FDA, HACCP and TBB compliance, and accurate, real-time data and reports.”

As a result, Aqua ViTea got into the co-pack business and has increased sales more than 50%. In addition, Mar-Kov gave the sales team more time to sell Aqua ViTea’s beverages because it automated so many of the previously manual tasks.

“We’ve grown 50% with the same employees because Mar-Kov handles the bulk of the data and admin our staff used to do,” says Chip.

When Aqua ViTea needed to shift to a single, digital automated system from Google Docs and Google Sheets, Chip looked at brewery management software first. Like most businesses today, Aqua ViTea uses push and pull strategies to efficiently manage its supply chain, satisfy consumer demand for its beverages and control inventory costs.

The push approach uses historical data and forecasts to predict customer demand. Meanwhile the pull approach bases its inventory and production on actual demand or orders from customers. Aqua ViTea needed both top-notch push and pull capabilities which Chip found with Mar-Kov.

“I looked at brewery software but only Mar-Kov had all of the features we needed, including the push-pull,” says Chip. “Mar-Kov’s people really know their software inside and out. As the experts, they had answers to my questions – that was not the case on brewery software sales calls.”

At a glance, Mar-Kov tells Aqua ViTea employees what they bought, how much they purchased and from which supplier. They know when the raw materials and packaging arrived and where they’re stored. They know which lot went into which batch, who ordered it and when it was shipped and received. They also have instant access to beverage data that supports food safety, and alcohol-by-volume (ABV) testing. It’s easier to track the expiration dates on the raw materials and finished goods, which is critical information for beverage and food manufacturers.

Chip Nolin
Aqua ViTea,

Trackable & Traceable for Food Safety

“With Mar-Kov, everything is tracked and traceable – we’re in control of our food safety, ABV testing and our business,” says Chip. “Before Mar-Kov, we were in chaos and our data was rife with errors, at high risk for corruption and super time-consuming to input and manage.”

Aqua ViTea’s kombucha and kombucha-infused seltzer are regulated by the FDA. As a result, Aqua ViTea has to prove they’re FDA and HACCP compliant with precise, detailed beverage data. Whether the audit is a surprise or scheduled, Aqua ViTea is always prepared with Mar-Kov. And there’s a big bonus – audits now take 1.5 hours instead of 5!

“Mar-Kov is phenomenal – we get rave reviews from auditors because we have instant access to quality data,” says Chip. “Auditors and regulators have faith and confidence that we are doing what we say we’re doing due to the caliber of the data and reports.”

TTB Compliance Ensured

Kombucha, which is fermented and typically contains trace amounts of alcohol, also has to meet stringent TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) requirements. Aqua ViTea diligently stops the fermentation to limit the amount of alcohol the fermentation process naturally produces. The company also dealcoholizes its kombucha to keep it below 0.5% ABV before it’s bottled.

These steps are critical because TTB treats any beverage, even kombucha, with more than 0.5% ABV as alcohol which is subject to multiple tax and distribution regulations. If kombucha keeps fermenting after it’s bottled, it could exceed the 0.5% ABV and be subject to taxes, penalties, interest and even civil and criminal penalties.

“Tank and liquid management are very important to us – we need to know which lot numbers of raw ingredients are in which batches and which tanks at what times and for how long – Mar-Kov does that really nicely,” says Chip. “We can also track how much liquid is left in each tank.”

Data & Reports to Manage, Plan & Forecast

Absolute compliance is just one of the many factors that is critical to Aqua ViTea’s success. Owners and managers also need to know when and how to change the product mix, increase prices, contain costs, and track and trace raw materials and finished products. With Mar-Kov, Aqua ViTea leaders regularly use standard and custom reports and their data to manage, plan and forecast.

“We’re constantly using the data and reports because Mar-Kov makes it so easy to pull them up, manipulate and share them,” says Chip. “It was hard to manage our business when it was difficult to find the data and reports and we couldn’t trust their accuracy.”

Now that Aqua ViTea’s senior leaders and managers know sales spike about 20% during the summer, they can plan for it. Thanks to Mar-Kov, they know when to order raw ingredients and packaging and how much they need to meet the expected demand.

Before Mar-Kov, Aqua ViTea sometimes shipped late because they’d run out of the raw ingredient, they didn’t have enough of it or it had expired. Mar-Kov makes it clear which SKU was first in and has to be first out (FIFO).

“Mar-Ko helped our margins simply because we have better inventory control – when you run out of materials and you’re scrambling to get raw materials, it can get very expensive,” says Chip. “It’s also incredibly frustrating and stressful.”

To date, Mar-Kov has had the most impact on production, finance and sales. Production prioritizes and plans by matching open orders, on-hand and planned inventory. Orders are filled just-in-time and they avoid the costly, last-minute scramble as well as the many costs linked to excessive inventory.

With more than 100 recipes, the production team relies on Mar-Kov to protect the integrity of the recipes and manage updates. Mar-Kov quickly, easily and accurately scales recipes up and down to meet demand.

Mar-Kov & QuickBooks Replace One Fulltime Employee

Because Mar-Kov integrates with QuickBooks, it has streamlined processes and eliminated certain manual tasks. For example, Mar-Kov automatically creates invoices as soon as the orders are shipped. Mar-Kov saved the finance department so much time, two people now do the work that had been done by three employees.

“Employees adopted Mar-Kov because they saw the benefits right off the bat,” says Chip. “We love Mar-Kov because it saves us so much time, we get actionable insights from Mar-Kov’s data and reports, and it eliminates the headaches.”

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