China Resources Snow Breweries (Snow Beer hereafter), China's leading brewer of the world’s best-selling beer with more than ninety breweries, has started to implement FuturMaster demand planning software to help increase profitability and customer service levels across its network of 35,000 distributors. The fourth largest brewer in the world, Snow Beer said it’s deploying FuturMaster's supply chain planning solution to “support the company’s transformation towards a digitised and intelligent supply chain.”
A dedicated department was created within the company last year to improve the manufacturer’s responsiveness to market demand and increase operational efficiency as part of a ‘lean management’ initiative. A team of eight people are now focused on developing an integrated operations management approach and decided that FuturMaster’s dedicated Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) platform would help the business adopt a more unified decision-making approach.
S&OP will enhance Snow Beer’s capabilities in coordinating production and sales objectives across multiple regions and increase productivity and reduce waste, as well as empower distributors with new management capabilities to win over the end consumer, it said. For instance, it hopes to be able to respond more quickly to fluctuations in market demand for different types of beer, whether in line with the weather, or seasonal and regional preferences.
The project scope covers optimisation of supply and demand, and sales forecasting and replenishment for its network of distributors. It will give all the subsidiary plants, warehouses and sales departments, as well as over 35,000 distributors, shared access to a common IT platform. The project will be conducted in three phases: general design, system implementation at pilot companies, and national roll-out. The first two pilot subsidiary companies went live at the end of August 2018 and another fifteen subsidiaries are due to be rolled out by May 2019.
Suchuan Wu, General Manager of Snow Beer Headquarter Operations Centre commented: "FuturMaster has over twenty years of experience in supply chain planning and in the beverage industry. They provide mature solutions for an integrated, end-to-end supply chain, supported by solid local capabilities in implementation and development. The partnership with FuturMaster will greatly accelerate Snow Beer’s supply chain transformation and digitisation objectives."
Heineken, the world's second largest brewer, also uses FuturMaster software and recently struck a HK$24.35 billion ($3.1 billion) deal to take a forty percent stake in Snow Beer.