Hobsons Brewery is an independent brewery based in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire. Founded in 1993 by Nick Davis and his Dad Jim, Hobsons has grown to become a leading brewery in our region and one of the most sustainable breweries in the UK. The success of Hobsons and its many awards has been down to a strong culture of supporting our region, its people, and its resources. Hobsons produces a range of beers in cask, keg and bottle, supplying B2B customers from free-houses to farm shops and B2C customers through an online shop.
Our commitment to sustainability has been recognised by SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers), with Hobsons winning SIBA Best Green Business in 2010 and again in 2021! We have also been awarded the Blue Marches Water Efficiency Award 2020 for our commitment to being Green.
Before commencing the project with UK-Centric, B2B orders were predominantly taken over the phone and manually input into a paper diary. B2C orders were few and far between, with a small number of online orders placed on our online shop, most B2C orders were also taken over the phone.
“The support from UK-Centric Supply Chains helped us, as a regional brewery with a small team and many manual processes, become more digitally minded. Now, we have an online stock inventory and an order onboarding system Unleashed up and running. We hope to make the orders and delivery process completely digital within the next 12 months. Supplier relationships are improving too, with detailed information on all of our suppliers including tier 2. We are also working on creating an ESG policy. UK-Centric Supply Chains support was invaluable in allowing us to realise where we needed to take some digital strides forward.”
Support from UK-Centric Supply Chains
UK-Centric Supply Chains supported us by providing a diagnostic report with various recommendations. These included: constructing a formal CSR policy with consideration of an ESG policy, implementation of a new supplier form and drawing up more thorough contracts, in addition to establishing relationships with Tier 2 suppliers. UK-Centric Supply Chains have helped us to understand the benefits of knowing who Tier 2 suppliers are and keeping in touch with them.
At the time of our support with UK-Centric, we were preparing to launch a new inventory stock management system ‘Unleashed’, which UK- Centric Supply Chains provided help and support on. We also had plans to integrate MaxOptra, a delivery route planning software and iSpaniel, a container tracking solution with Unleashed in order to control the process digitally from receiving the order, delivering the beer and ensuring casks are returned to us. MaxOptra plans the most efficient delivery route for drivers based on the sales orders in Unleashed, whilst iSpaniel lets us know where our containers are. It was recommended that we consider improving our B2C offering by updating the Hobsons website/online shop and we received invaluable advice on how to improve our online offering.
UK-Centric Supply Chains provided Hobsons with a deeper understanding of supplier relationship importance and stressed the benefits we would gain by making more of our internal processes digital. We have also re-visited how we manage supplier relationships. Outcomes with supplier relationship management include development of a ‘New Supplier Form’ and writing up contracts of supply where applicable.
In the months following their support, inventory stock management system ''Unleashed'' was launched. This has enabled input of sales orders to be solely digital, and more efficient management of purchase orders. MaxOptra and iSpaniel have been successfully integrated with Unleashed further digitalising previously manual tasks. The impacts of COVID-19 prompted an increase in B2C online orders and in turn our digital thinking. In August 2021 a new website was launched with a fully integrated online shop, we have seen a notable increase in online orders, and the online shop is fully integrated with Unleashed, which has again increased efficiencies.
The support provided by UK-Centric encouraged us to adapt to this way of thinking, making the most of our B2C online shop and additional B2C opportunities during the initial COVID-19 lockdown.
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