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Best-in-class brewing in Australia for Lion Nathan

Published 16 July 2012 | By Alectia

In Australia and Western Europe the beer industry is facing some interesting challenges. Breweries have to face the fact that the process of brewing is becoming more and more costly: Wages are rising and means of transportation and production in general is becoming more expensive. The best-in-class brewers are those who manage to cut manufacturing costs and run more than twice as fast as the competitors.

One brewer in Australia found the way to cut expenses and optimize the production in a way that doesn't compromise the quality of the beer: Lion Nathan.

Case study

Lion Nathan is one of Australia's leading breweries and a role model for many breweries in the western world. But like their competitors, Lion Nathan also faces the challenges of a brewing market in which manufacturing costs are growing and modernization projects become necessary.

A tougher market

Lion Nathan contacted ALECTIA for consultation on how to keep up a healthy economy in a market becoming tougher. Basically the assignment for ALECTIA was to make sure that Lion Nathan retained their position as a leading brewer in the future.

"Today's market leaves no room for costly misjudgements, errant time schedules or overrun budgets. We know how survival in the fiercely-competitive brewing industry demands maximisation of capital expenditure budgets," says Project Manager Jens Bøeck- Nielsen from ALECTIA.

Optimizing performance

Markets and technology never stand still, so the optimization of a brewery's performance is an ongoing, vital process. Becoming the best-in-class performer demands a series of in-depth analyses of the brewery: How is the business functioning today? How can breweries continue to reduce costs in an environment of increasing complexity without comprising quality? How do we identify what is best practice and implement it throughout the supply chain?

Through in-depth analyses of Lion Nathan's business, ALECTIA is helping Lion Nathan to maintain their position as a leading brewery in Australia. Lion Nathan is moving to a bestin- class position by getting an overview of modernization possibilities and thereby boosting their competitiveness.

What ALECTIA wanted to do for Lion Nathan was to make sure that Lion Nathan's breweries moved from their current position as one of the leading breweries in Australia to be the absolute best-in-class performer of Australia.

A great cooperation

"Throughout this whole process ALECTIA and Lion Nathan have had a great cooperation. In ALECTIA we firmly believe that it's our responsibility to understand the basic needs of our client rather than simply provide a short-term solution. Our client is obviously an essential contributor to any project - and we're good listeners. There's a lot of knowledge embedded in the breweries and brewery groups around the world - about their processes, and why they do things the way they do. It's our job to be alert and to listen to what they say so that we can meet their needs in an effective and precise way, utilising our Brew-How knowledge", says Jens Bøeck-Nielsen.

An up skilled work force

Lion Nathan has initiated a planned capital works programme with the primary objective of establishing an environment in each brewery where best practice in manufacturing can be implemented. This requires replacement of existing obsolete equipment, automation of process control, installation of energy-efficient and environmentally compliant plant and equipment and the upgrade of premises to enable an up skilled work force to effectively carry out their duties in a safe working environment.

"With the help of ALECTIA, we got a clearer understanding of our operations through analysis, benchmarking and audits. ALECTIA were able to demonstrate that they understood all aspects our supply chain especially the importance of product quality. Because product quality is such an integral part of the solution made for Lion Nathan we are confident that we will retain the great quailty of our beer while renewing our business", says Duncan Field, Group Capital Project Leader from Lion Nathan.