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Budvar to roll out ERP to Europe

Lindsay Clark

Czech beer maker Budweiser Budvar is to introduce enterprise resource planning software across Europe after a successful implementation in the UK.

ERP software from Geac helped Budweiser Budvar UK improve control of its supply chain and reduce its distribution costs, after a two-month implementation which ended in January.

Chief executive Tony Jennings said the introduction of an ERP system across all Budweiser Budvar's European operations would begin in October.

"Every barrel and bottle of beer comes from the Budejovicki Budvar brewery in the Czech Republic. Although it is not a complex supply chain, it can be very expensive," said Jennings.

The Geac system allowed the UK operation to better control inventory and get beer to customers more quickly, invoice automatically and reduce general administration costs.

"We try to measure the margin and distribution costs per litre of beer and see what sort of reduction we can expect. The way it is looking now, it should be about 5% to 10%," said Jennings.

These benefits will increase once the rest of the brewer's European operation goes live with the system, he added.

The Geac System 21 Aurora runs on an IBM iSeries server running OS/400. The hardware and software cost £100,000 in total.

The move meant a significant change in skills for staff, who previously only used standard PC software, Jennings said. "We had to up our skills base, because we still have the same staff. Trying to run an AS/400 [iSeries] without anything other than PC skills initially was a concern."

However, the risks of not moving to a new system were greater, he added.


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