The primary objective of the client engagement was to increase EBITDA by 25% over 3 years by reducing costs, sharing best practices and realizing economies of scale
InBev is the leading global brewer by volume and the third-largest selling beer brand in the world. In 2004, InBev launched the global strategic initiative: Voyager, with world-class efficiency as one of the four pillars.
World-class efficiency would primarily be driven by a Voyager Plant Optimization (VPO) Program to establish “The InBev Way of Working”, to be consistently applied to all global operations.
Hitachi Consulting was selected to partner with InBev in shaping and executing the VPO program and worked closely with global and regional managers to develop its ambition and management, training and support structures.
At the very start, two pilot breweries were selected to test the program’s approach, ensuring rapid delivery of first results to support the global rollout. Consequently two more test breweries were chosen to make final adjustments to “The InBev Way Of Working”, and prepare the InBev employees for the challenge of a global rollout.
The VPO project teams worked with managers and employees on every site, where they conducted gap assessments, gauged improvement potential, developed and executed implementation plans. As such, the teams became an integral part of the site’s management team.
This Closework® approach fostered local buy-in, promoted in-depth knowledge transfer, demonstrated that VPO could span InBev’s diverse cultures, and developed the skills and confidence needed to independently rollout VPO on a global scale.
InBev confirmed that out of the nine consultants they considered working with, only Hitachi Consulting committed to the delivery of benefits. They committed to staying with InBev until the results were achieved and put skin in the game, which was appreciated by InBev.
InBev was very happy with the realization of substantial benefits from the first phase, which demonstrated to the InBev people that the sustainable gains target for 2008 was realistic.
All four pilot sites exceeded operational and financial targets within 10 months and within one year of the global rollout the four VPO programs had delivered substantial financial improvements.
Key operational improvements included:
15% increase in throughput of the brewing process
15-20% average OEE increase of packaging
40% reduction in changeover time
8% energy reduction
10-20% improvement in labor efficiency in the warehousing and technical departments
The company’s own people have made “The InBev Way Of Working”, a truly global standard. They now apply best practices and use the same set of proven procedures and KPIs to gauge their progress.
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