Coopers Brewery brews better beer with Tableau & DataSpark Analytics

70% saved in potential loss of revenue due to beer wastage

Optimized foam stability for the perfect glass of beer

Better informed decision-making to reduce the potential supply chain risk

Tracing its roots back to 1862, Coopers Brewery stands as the most significant and only family-owned brewery in Australia today, well-loved for its naturally conditioned beers, ales and stouts.

While the company is built on legacy, it has not been afraid of adopting new technology. In 2016, Brewing and Supply Chain Manager Jon Meneses gamely tapped on Tableau and data analytics to see how it could add value to the business. The result was several breakthrough insights that spurred growth and allowed the firm to make more informed, data-driven decisions – staying ahead of the curve.

"Decision-making in the brewing industry has always been based on experience and gut feel. But data analytics helps you make informed decisions because data shows you in black and white what needs to happen based on what has been happening."

 JON MENESES BREWING AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER

Minimizing revenue loss by tracking beer wastage

Beer wastage occurs at every stage of production, be it during filtration, the transfer of beer between vessels, or when the beer is packaged. And when the beer is lost, so is the opportunity for generating revenue.

To track how much beer it was losing and where, Jon and his team tapped on Tableau to identify the root causes of wastage – and fix them. In the fermentation process, for instance, they found that one particular machine performed better than the others.

Addressing the root causes of beer loss helped the company save 70% in potential revenue loss due to wastage, while continuously improving operations.

“Decision-making in the brewing industry has always been based on experience and gut feel,” Jon said. “But data analytics helps you make informed decisions because data shows you in black and white what needs to happen based on what has been happening.”

The right froth: Achieving the perfect glass of beer with visual analytics

Beer brewers everywhere face a common challenge: creating the right amount of creamy, white foam for their beer to look as good as possible when poured into a glass.

To improve foam stability, Jon researched how various factors that affected froth levels in beer. He imported the results of his findings into Tableau, which put the data into charts and helped identify patterns and specific parameters behind the different levels of foam stability.

What the charts showed, Jon shared was “this wonderful correlation” between one particular measure, mash temperature, and foam stability in the beers. “We were blown away. It was a Eureka moment for us – the unveiling of a golden nugget of information that we didn’t realize existed until Tableau,” he said.

The insights also helped the company optimize the brewing process and improve the quality of its beers.

"When we realized that one particular measure, the mash temperature, had a strong correlation with foam stability, we were blown away. It was a Eureka moment for us – the unveiling of a golden nugget of information that we didn’t realize existed until Tableau."

 JON MENESES BREWING AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER

Managing supply chain risks with meaningful data

As a supply chain manager, Jon is often faced with the challenge of knowing what products need to be manufactured to meet market demands. He used to look through “pages and pages of numbers” – comprising more than 350 stock keeping units (unique codes assigned to various products) – which made it difficult to distil meaningful information.

But Tableau changed that. Using the software, he created a dashboard that combined different data sources into “a single source of truth”. This allowed him and his team to access current stock levels quickly, historical sales, predicted demand, and how the company is performing against the budget – all at a single glance. He now uses the dashboard daily to make informed decisions about supply chain management.

 

“We want to make sure our production capability can cover demand in the marketplace,” Jon said. “So the Tableau dashboard gives me a good picture of whether we’re doing well in terms of stock, or if we’ve got too much inventory that would otherwise just add to capital costs.”

"We want to make sure our production capability can cover demand in the marketplace. So the Tableau dashboard gives me a good picture of whether we’re doing well in terms of stock, or if we’ve got too much inventory that would otherwise add to capital costs."

 JON MENESES BREWING AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER

This case study was developed by and remains the property of Tableau.