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4-2017

Global hop market

A local alternative to mass beer suggested by independent brewers has been successful and is now altering the global market. Beer is becoming more diversified, so transnational companies have to accept the new game rules and to switch focus to young and fast growing markets. All these processes increased the demand for aroma and bitter hop as well as their acreage expansion on two continents. However now there appeared a downward trend of alcohol consumption in the world, so even special sorts can soon turn to be sufficient. In this connection the dynamic American hop market is already facing some problems. EU hop producers have become more cautious, they are not racing to exceed the demand and look forward with more confidence, judging by the contract terms. 

Hop Market in Russia

Germany still dominates the Russian market, yet over the recent two years one has been able observe a continuous success of Czech hop suppliers. Their expansion and growing popularity of hops from the United States became the drivers of supplies growth in 2016 despite the preceding modest harvest crop in the EU, as well as the factor of relative stability in 2017. In this connection, in 2017, the ratio of the varieties continued to shift towards the aroma ones, and the supplies of Magnum hop and other alpha varieties were reduced. However, the import of bitter hop pellets is partially replaced by extracts, especially from the major beer manufacturers. Total volumes of alpha acid supplies, according to our estimation, decreased by approximately 5% and returned to the level of 2015. Barth Haas Group continues dominating the hop products market; HVG also increased its weight. At the same time, Morris Hanbury significantly reduced the supplies in 2017.

India. United Breweries Limited’s: Improvement in Sales of Draught Beer through KEGMONITOR SCM System

Used RFID Technology and Mobility to implement a first of its kind solution in the Indian Beer industry to monitor movement of draught beer kegs on the field using GSM connectivity.

pg26-Digital-Transformation-New-Business-ProcessThere has been a rapid demand of draught beer in India and to support this demand United Breweries has invested immensely in a large number of disposable kegs. Draught beer being fresher than bottled beer has a shorter shelf life. A key factor in ensuring appropriate service levels and cost management is the turnaround time of kegs and their security. The company faced a challenge to track the current manual system of kegs and also to manage the growing volumes of kegs. There was a requirement to use RFID technology to track the movement of kegs across the supply chain. Ramakrishnan Sudarshanam, Divisional VP– IT, United Breweries Limited built a custom solution to address this business challenge. So now, every keg is tagged with RFID tags and its movement across the supply chain from the brewery to the distribution points and thereon to the bars is recorded in the system.

RFID technology was chosen over barcode technology so that no scanning is needed. RFID technologies that support GSM were selected so that transaction could be uploaded to the server from the field. As a result, the system had to be designed with a simple and intuitive interface for it to be effectively used by people involved in the supply chain.

The system helped improve the turnaround time of kegs thereby increasing the availability of kegs for distribution which in turn increases overall sales. The system also helped in keeping track of the keg inventory on a real time basis at all locations and this visibility reduced the loss of kegs, while also improving the overall supply chain planning and execution.

Another important benefit was visibility of kegs lying with customers and also to note their ageing at any given point of time. Using this information, the distribution team is able to improve collection of empty kegs resulting in faster turnaround time and increase in the float available for distribution.

This project demonstrates how a new product line that has high market potential can be made successful by using cutting edge technology. Ramakrishnan, or ‘Ramki’ as he’s more popularly known as, has shown how it’s done like a true business technology leader.

2 Jun. 2016

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