With annual per capita consumption of 108 liters, Austrians are the vice world champions in drinking beer. But what consumers demand most are new variations.
Consumers want more new variants of pilsners and wheat beers. An expansion to 53 types of beer has increased the complexity of warehouse logistics at Austrian Brau Union sixfold. By integrating M2M communication and laser technology with its ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, the company still manages to get 1.5 billion bottles of beer to its fans.
Redesigned value chai
That's why Austrian brewer Brau Union decided to implement fully integrated supply chain management.
Thanks to an integrated system, consisting of warehouse management and a fork lift guidance system, Brau Union can produce more, utilize available warehouse space more efficiently, and help protect the environment at the same time:
• Fork lifts are ordered and routed to the loading site by radio control
• Control station and fork lift drivers are instructed in real time: zero distance to information
• Batches reach their destinations more quickly: zero distance to the customer
• 13 percent more hectoliters handled (with more types)
• 23 percent more warehouse capacity through dynamic warehouse structure
• 20 percent fewer empty trips and – thanks to streamlined vehicle routing – a reduction of CO2 emissions by 15 percent
The new, electronic logistics system connects all of the Heineken subsidiary's processes intelligently – goods receipt, block-building in the warehouse, picking, production supply, inventory management of full products and empties, and even truck management. As a result, the solution was implemented without any additional need for staff, fork lifts, or warehouse space.