Lion Nathan optimises operations

Monday, 15 February, 2010

In an ongoing project to streamline Lion Nathan’s logistics processes, the company has gone live with Infor SCM Advanced Planning Optimisation across the seven breweries in Australia, enabling them to greatly reduce the complexity of their logistics and brewery planning operations. In addition, Lion Nathan has deployed Infor SCM Advanced Scheduler in the six main Australian breweries to provide an integrated, advanced, uniform scheduling process.

George Bearzot, Logistics Director at Lion Nathan Australia, said: “Our logistics operation is hugely complex. We have multiple breweries, multiple distribution hubs, global imports, hundreds of product lines and produce close to a billion litres of beer for thousands of customers each year. We simply couldn’t continue to innovate or grow without sophisticated planning and scheduling tools. Rolling out Infor scheduling tools across each operation and linking each one back to an overarching Infor planning tool at head office has streamlined the process and given us the visibility to effectively plan and forecast supply months in advance.”

Following a period of acquisition, Lion Nathan now operates seven breweries across Australia. Previously, each brewery was operating as its own company, each with its own planning and distribution process, priorities and technology.

The ensuing complexity was a big driver for the project, but Lion Nathan also points to difficulties in planning for innovation as an equally important consideration. Such a previously fragmented approach to planning meant that it was very difficult to plan around new product lines or promotions. Moving to a single, integrated logistics network means Lion Nathan is able to innovate quickly and introduce new lines and promotions quickly, and with great reliability.

The impact on the planning team within Lion Nathan has also been very positive, with team engagement lifting significantly. “Our planning team now has more time to add real value, as the low-level repetitive tasks have been largely eliminated. We have great people and now they have the best tools to do their jobs. Our employee engagement scores have lifted considerably,” said Bearzot.

Lion Nathan’s customers have also been beneficiaries of the new planning systems, with customer service improving off an already high base, in an environment of growing complexity. “We are pleased that our Customer DIFOT (delivery in full on time) scores have been the best ever, which is our team’s most important objective,” said Bearzot.

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