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About the company
On average, every German drinks 117 liters of beer a year. Warsteiner Brewery stays first at quenching Germans thirst with its wide-ranging product line, high quality, and superior taste. The company constantly monitors consumer behavior to keep its mixed beer drinks among Germanys most popular. A key to Warsteiners success is an impressive range of innovative product developments, including clear glass bottles, alcohol-free beer, and a consumer-friendly, soft handled case. Over the last few years, production and labor conditions have changed substantially, which made sophisticated advance planning more important than ever. As a result, Warsteiner needed to upgrade to a highly integrated planning system. The company turned to Infor SCM Advanced Scheduler, which completely models and manages the groups supply chain from beginning to end.
Setting the strategy
The Warsteiner Group produces 6.1 million hectoliters (161 million gallons) each year in state-of-the-art production facilities. One of Germanys top brand leaders, the company holds its ground against constantly escalating competition in the beverage industry by strategically expanding its product line over time. In doing so, it expands its planning and control requirements as well. To satisfy Warsteiners traditionally stringent quality requirements and tight delivery deadlines, the company needs clear, efficient communications to streamline the ordering of basic commodities and materials, and to keep the brewhouse, bottling and logistics operations tied in to overall operational planning.
Warsteiner Brewery holds an exceedingly strong market position against international competition by leveraging a broad and constantly evolving product line. Its popular products range from the Warsteiner Premium Verum flagship brand to the various beer drinks mixed with orange, lemon, or cola to the regional brands of Paderborner, Isenbeck and Weissenburg. Inevitably, that very product diversity increases the companys operational complexity and makes effective planning difficult. For a long time, the company managed with the combination of an ERP system from SAP and a planning tool that they had created themselves. The company handled overall planning for material requirements and bottling at the Warstein and Paderborn locations with a central control system. At first, managers viewed the limitations of that "island solution" as a minor, but time consuming nuisance in the way it caused redundant master data management. Eventually, they found that with every product innovation the complexity of planning mushroomed, which pushed their earlier system beyond its limits. The system also failed to fully integrate the needs of the production and logistics departments, which led to an even greater need for cost-optimized central production planning to help the company maintain its high rate of innovation.
At that point, the Warsteiner Brewery decided to replace its planning system. They realized that they needed a fully integrated production planning system, which could offer visibility over the entire supply chain, step by step, at the Warstein and Paderborn sites. In seeking a solution, the company put a high value on the prospective software vendors industry know-how, its economic stability, and the products fundamental, business-specific functions. As a result, they awarded the contract to Infor. As one of the worlds leading providers of enterprise software, Infor has distinguished itself with an extensive focus on the process manufacturing industry. Infors list of references reads like a Whos Who of the brewing industry: Seven of the ten largest breweries worldwide trust Infor solutions, including Foster and Inbev. Infor Supply Chain Planning (SCM) Advanced Scheduler is specifically tailored to the needs of the food, beverage and luxury food industries. Its particularly well-suited to the complex beer-making process in the way that it can map the handling of mixed drinks and problems related to empty packaging. Predefined processes make it easy for users to optimize beer production and reduce change-over times and costs, which increases output without increasing costs. At the same time, Infor SCM Advanced Scheduler creates more transparency and allows Warsteiner to take advantage of synergies across the board.
Getting business specific
Before the project, Warsteiner Brewery managers made a list of everything they needed to effectively manage material requirements, production, bottling, and logistics. They then aligned those requirements with functions already covered in the standard version of Infor SCM Advanced Scheduler. As a result, the implementation finished quickly with only a few minor customizations. In addition, Warsteiner took advantage of its existing centralized planning structures and integrated them with Infors solution as well as with Warsteiners existing IT applications, which included SAP, LIMS, BO, and Proleit. They divided the overall project into two phases, beginning with the implementation of Infor SCM Advanced Scheduler, to schedule and control filtration and bottling operations, followed by brewhouse planning integration.
We now produce a broader range of products in greater volume, yet we still achieve 100% delivery reliability, says Hans-Rdiger Hoffmann, summarizing how Infor SCM Advanced Scheduler proves itself in day-to-day operations. The certified master brewer is the department head for production planning at the Warsteiner and Paderborner Brewery. Improved transparency helps employees stay one step ahead in terms of planning. Each department receives the information that it needs when it needs it, with round-the-clock availability via Infors WebViewer internet interface. The Warsteiner Brewery has also improved its efficiency in long-term planning: Mixed drinks are subject to seasonal fluctuations that need to be mapped and scheduled, says Hans-Rdiger Hoffmann. With Infor, we can design a long-term, forward looking planning process, which helps us recognize and smooth out production peaks early on." More transparency and better foresight not only improve the scheduling of raw materials but they also yield better management of bottled goods in stock. In addition, just-in-time delivery of outfitting materials significantly reduces material requirements. Weve already come to value the flexibility of the Infor system, says Hoffmann. For example, if the market demands new products, we can
map the necessary processes on short notice and, by comparing various production scenarios, we can determine the best one. Currently, the project team is working on designing and centrally controlling brewhouse processes in a separate module, in addition to the modules for filtration and bottling. The goal is to guarantee the best cost of production for every step in the process. Fully integrated planning should be up and running shortly, covering everything from retrieving the malt order to storage and fermentation. It will also help plan bottling, with time, amount, and brand planning included, right down to the logistics of storage utilization and collection.
Doing business better
Other Warsteiner Group stakeholders are now benefiting from the Infor solution as well: The Bavaria-based Knig Ludwig GmbH & Co. KG Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg and the Frankenheim Brewery in Dsseldorf are already included in the logistics operations for container planning. For example, The weissbier (wheat beer) from Frstenfeldbruck is delivered to Paderborn in containers for further shipment to the U.S. At that point in the process it is stored temporarily in tanks, bottled in the Paderborn bottling department in nonrefillable bottles, and sent on its way packed in cartons. The Infor solution helps improve the preplanning phase, so that the right amount of machine capacity and bottled goods will be available. A similar process applies to Guinness and Kilkenny from Ireland: The period between the brewing process and the bottling process in eastern Westphalia takes a good five weeks. Warsteiner employees take care of
planning using Infor SCM Advanced Scheduler in order to be able to deliver right on time.