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Drinks Association supply chain forum

Barossa insights for Supply Chain & Logistics Forum

September 17, 2019
By Alana House

The Drinks Association’s Supply Chain & Logistics Forum met in the Barossa Valley last week to discuss the latest insights and innovations in the sector.   

Pernod Ricard Winemaking hosted Day One of the event at the Jacobs Creek facility, with co-chairs Courtney Ribbons (Pernod Ricard) and Paul Morris (Bacardi Martini) opening by reinforcing the purpose of the Supply Chain Forum. They encouraged members to suggest topics to explore as the forum seeks to learn, be challenged and take new thinking back into their organisations.

Next up, Advantage Group General Manager Steve Andrews provided the group with insights into the latest Advantage Trade Engagement Survey. The Drinks Association has been commissioning Advantage for the past decade to conduct the annual survey, which provides members with favourability ratings and qualitative retailer feedback from the off trade, on premise and wholesale channels.

It was an informative session, which outlined learnings from the survey, including the importance of removing emotion when managing relationships, establishing cross-functional collaboration and customer-centricity, using ratings as objective KPIs to measure retailer engagement, and helping create joint business plans.

The session prompted many conversations within the group, with some key feedback being that it was great to hear about new trends and themes, plus the value of liquor supply chain teams being updated on what is happening in grocery.

Participants enjoyed lunch in the newly refurbished Gramps Café afterwards, then were taken on an extensive tour of the historic Jacobs Creek winemaking facilities, which are part of the original winery founded in 1847.

It was a quiet time in the production facility, as vintage runs from late January to April, but packaging was still running at full capacity. 

The forum was informed it can produce 430 bottles per minute or 25,400 per hour!

Among the other fascinating insights were that the largest tank on site holds 1.4 million litres of wine, the plant fills 50 million bottles per annum of still wine alone, and bottling of premium products such as St Hugo slows to around 1000 bottles per hour.

It was also interesting to learn the entire company has a very strong focus on safety, particularly in the warehousing area, where lost time accidents are down from 27 to 16.

Chief winemaker Dan Swincer led attendees through a detailed wine tasting session, where forum members sampled a wide range of the portfolio.

Members also had the opportunity to network and get to know each other over a casual dinner at Musque restaurant in Tanunda.

How automated systems can save time & error

On Day Two, the Supply Chain & Logistics Forum toured the Orora glass-making site in the Barossa Valley.

Orora produces around 220–380 bottles per minute, depending on weight, which equates to around 840 million glass bottles per year. Around 60% of these are wine bottles and 40% are beer bottles.

Orora holds approximately 240 million bottles (more than 14,000 pallets) in stock, which helps ensure continuous supply, but puts a large strain on storage.

Orora loads more than 100 trucks per day, so the company recently commenced building a state-of-the-art warehouse on site, with completion expected at the end of this year. The fully robotic warehouse, which features several AGV’s (automated guided vehicle) will service the 160,000-pallet capacity new facility.

Sustainability is important to Orora, with a wind farm partnership, solar panels and a commitment to working towards a zero-carbon logistics footprint. The company also focuses on having a diverse and inclusive workplace and reducing manufacturing stereotypes.

Day Two concluded with a tour of Galipo Foods, where Cohesio delivers and supports solutions that enable process and workflow optimisations. Cohesio provided a tour of the site, which uses its automated processes.

The forum was able to witness voice-activated picking and fully robotic picking systems and members were very interested to observe how automated systems can save time and picking errors.

Cohesio kindly supplied lunch for the group after the forum event concluded.

The opportunity to network and learn was invaluable for attendees, who included Australian Vintage Supply Chain Manager Tim Green; Bacardi-Martini Australia Logistics & Supply Director Paul Morris;  Brown-Forman Australia Supply Chain Manager Jorge Jimenez; Campari Australia Logistics and Customer Service Manager Salim Kudus; Campari Australia Supply Chain Director – Asia Pacific, Stuart Macaulay; Coca Cola Amatil Strategic Projects & Execution Manager Mark Chapman; GS1 Australia Head of Customer Engagement and Business Development Marcel Sieira; McWilliam’s Wines Head of Supply & Operations Ross Lyman; Pernod Ricard Winemakers Supply Chain Manager – Australian Operations, Courtney Ribbons; Samuel Smith & Son Group Supply Chain Planning & Inventory Manager  Peta De Vries; William Grant & Sons Inventory Analyst Australia Andrew Frelczak; William Grant & Sons Supply Chain Manager Danielle Matthews; Drinks Association General Manager Rachel Wormald; and Drinks Association Marketing & Membership Manager Kylie Le Lievre.

De Vries noted: “Thank you again for the great event. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity for industry engagement.”

“Thank you for driving the get-togethers for the Supply Chain Forum,” Kudus added. “It has been invaluable for me.”

Green concluded: “Such a great forum and I was really happy to be a part of it. Looking forward to the next one.”

The next forum meeting is planned for late March 2020.