Carlsberg is one of the world’s leading brewery groups with more than 140 brands in its beer portfolio, including the international brands Carlsberg and Tuborg and strong local power brands, such as Ringnes in Norway, Lvivske in Ukraine, Wusu in China as well as craft and specialty brands such as French 1664 Blanc and the Belgium abbey beer Grimbergen.
Carlsberg’s service business provides installation, repair, and maintenance to its customers in the hospitality industry. In its highly competitive industry, Carlsberg is tasked with seeking ways to deliver precise consistency as well as continually finding ways to differentiate itself. To meet these demands, the company is harnessing the power of today’s digital tools in a variety of ways. “We sell both direct to hospitality and indirect to wholesalers,” explains Per Ahlmann Andersen, Global Business Solutions Senior Director at Carlsberg. “In both channels, our ability to maximize equipment uptime and ensure product stays stocked is imperative to our success – and today’s technologies enable us to achieve the greatest results.”
Differentiation in a Highly Competitive Industry
The beer industry is highly competitive, and Carlsberg needs to focus on creating synergies between the commercial relationship and service, maintaining visibility of its breadth of assets and product stock, and reacting quickly – preemptively, even – to any equipment issues. “Our service personnel visit customers three to four times more than sales – they are very much the face of our brand,” says Andersen. “As such, one important area of differentiation is investing in tools to ensure those service technicians have complete knowledge of the commercial agreement and a thorough view of the customer’s equipment.”
In addition to considering the field service impact on the customer’s journey and perception of the Carlsberg brand, maximizing equipment uptime and product availability is critical. “The importance of customer equipment being up and running to serve Carlsberg products cannot be underestimated as a marketing investment,” explains Andersen. Further, greater visibility into customer operations helps Carlsberg to hold customers to campaign compliance.
Carlsberg is in the process of incorporating IoT into its operations to optimize its own performance as well as that of its customers. “We’re using IoT technology to provide us insights on not only consumption and availability, but also the state of our draft equipment to be able to do predictive maintenance to secure no breakdown for our customers and to optimize our service work,” says Claus Hirsbro, Senior Director of Technical Service, Carlsberg DraughtMaster. While this an important step in the company’s digital transformation journey, Carlsberg needed a central FSM (field service management) solution capable of covering all business processes while offering an open and enabled platform to incorporate this IoT data.
The Complexity of an Asset-Centric Operation
Following a thorough vendor evaluation process, Carlsberg selected IFS FSM as a managed cloud service to support its field service operations and repair centers. In its initial phase, Carlsberg is deploying the solution to field and back office staff in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, and Switzerland with plans to expand globally. “Operational efficiency and visibility are crucially important to us as we grow our service business and continue to develop our offerings,” says Andersen. “The IFS platform will manage our service operations and also serve as a central repository for our inventory visibility and IoT data. We can house space and planogram insights, Digital DraughtMaster data, inventory availability and use the IFS platform to view and maintain all of our assets. We are a capital-intensive business with costly equipment in the field – having a single view of our assets, whether fielded at customer sites or located in our repair shops and warehouses, is hugely beneficial.”
The IFS FSM system will house all of Carlsberg’s IoT data and can use that data to automatically create a ticket and dispatch a technician when service is required. The tool also helps Carlsberg to better model across its services, from installation and refurbishment to predictive maintenance, break/fix and cleaning, to realize the cost elements and invoice centrally and correctly. “With our initial deployment of IFS FSM, we expect an efficiency gain of between 10-15 percent,” says Hirsbro.
A View of the Future
Andersen feels that Carlsberg’s ability to digitize operations and master technology such as FSM and IoT will set the stage for Carlsberg’s service of the future as the Servitized world unfolds. “We are seeing the growth of hospitality chains, which compete based on cost,” explains Andersen. “As this increases, Carlsberg will need to incorporate more and more services into our offering to differentiate beyond beer. For instance, perhaps we’ll offer services related to the till, to location security, and so on. The futuristic view is delivering ‘beer in a box,’ if you will.”
“Another essential criteria for our foundational technology is the platform’s ability to allow us to scale and flex as our requirements evolve, whether that’s new geographies, new services, or incorporating additional technologies,” says Andersen. “IFS proved itself as a reliable technology partner for our current operations and for wherever our journey takes us from here.”