The Lager Bloggers

HAVING SO MUCH FUN, IT'S BARLEY WORK

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First Placements!

Hello everyone, blog editor Sam here.

Today I’m happy to reveal the GMT13’s first placements starting this June! While we still have a month to go on our projects, on behalf of all the GMTs, I’d like to thank all those who have provided us so much support and patience as we learned the ins and outs of ABInBev. All the questions you fielded, hours you spent letting us shadow you, and countless presentations you put together specifically for our group is appreciated beyond words. You are all the reason we will be starting in such challenging and exciting roles. 

See the table below and feel free to reach out to our group if you have any questions about our first role!

Filed under GMT13 ABInBev NAZ

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FTF!

Spencer Here!

At this point in the program, we’re over two months into our projects. I’m currently working in the trade marketing department based out of St. Louis. My four month project involved helping out with a specific pilot program with twenty of our wholesalers. The wholesalers were using our planning tools and executing a lot of the components that we developed in trade marketing.

Throughout the pilot, the participating wholesalers were very insightful and eager to help make improvements to the planning process. Overall, the pilot went really well, and we were able to improve the way we strategically plan displays at the retail level. The pilot led to some key takeaways and best practices that we were able to cascade to the rest of the nation during a Functional Training Forum, which is a live broadcast to all of Anheuser-Busch and its wholesaler network! It was pretty cool being able to present the stuff I worked on to so many people, so quickly.

Once my main project ended, I’ve been able to dip my hands in a variety of other smaller projects around the department. By helping my team out wherever I can, I feel like I’ve gotten a much better understanding of how things work in the trade marketing department and the beer industry as a whole.

In addition to our personal projects nearing their final deadlines, my team has also been closing in on our final product for the GMT Build-a-Brand project. At this point in the process, we have almost everything we need to present to MANCOM. While there have been a few bumps along the way, I have to admit, my team has come a long way throughout this process. It’s amazing to see how a brand could start from scratch and actually grow to become something very dynamic and unique. The liquid tastes great, so hopefully it’s something you’ll be able to buy on the shelves at your local grocery store in the near future!

Overall, my experience in the GMT program has been amazing so far. I still can’t believe how fast it’s gone since starting at the end of July. It’s crazy to think of how much I’ve learned and experienced since I started the program. I’ve lived in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Louisville, Chicago and then back in St. Louis. I’ve done everything from riding along with sales reps and truck drivers, shadowing bottlers on the production line and raking out chip tanks with the brewers to name a few. Each day has been as exciting at the last, and I’m eager to start my new role in the marketing department in St. Louis following the end of the program in May.

Talk with you soon,

Spencer

Filed under GMT13 St. Louis NAZ ABInBev

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No Business like Snow Business

This is Evan saying hey from the Baldwinsville, NY Brewery where we received a total of 122in of snow this winter! It looks like we are not quite out of the woods yet, but things are definitely starting to look up.

Posting up with friends and a Bucket of Bud Light after finishing the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day 5k. It was a ton of fun, but definitely no Half-Marathon (Congrats Ashley, Alec, Alaina, and Sarah!)

My project here in Baldwinsville, focused on improving the volume throughput from our variety pack line, is moving along nicely. I am in the middle of a PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act), a problem solving tool used to identify performance or cost gaps and take corrective action to close them. I am also building and implementing tools identified by our plant management strategy, VPO (Voyager Plant Optimization). So far I have worked with the line operators to build a business description, which identifies the goals and products of the line and identifies its internal and external customers, and a process map which breaks down the line into the individual tasks performed, identifying the ones which are most critical. These tools are important because they organize and manage the variety packing process and identify the behaviors and methods that lead to improvement. It has been a long process, but we are starting to see some great results. Last week we posted a single day line record for 12pks. And because this is the only variety pack line in the Global ABI Brewery System, I guess it is a world record!

Aside from work I have taken a couple of great trips recently. For St. Patrick’s Day I traveled to Boston to participate in the Boys and Girls Club of South Boston St. Patrick’s 5k and then watch the historic South Boston Parade. Last weekend I stayed with friends in New York City and enjoyed two perfect, sunny and 70° days in Central Park as well as some sightseeing and of course Bud drinking in the West Village. As things start to warm up around here I look forward to experiencing some of the great natural beauty that Baldwinsville and Syracuse have to offer. Only 6 more weeks to soak it all up!

Taking some time to thaw out in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow this last weekend

Salud,

Evan

Filed under GMT13 NAZ baldwinsville

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Run this Town (Literally)

Hey everyone! It’s Ashley checking in from the slightly warmer St. Louis office. Our projects are really starting to pick up as we enter the last two months of the program. But, when we aren’t busy running around the office, we’re running the streets of our cities!

A big part of working at Anheuser-Busch is setting “stretch targets”, or challenging goals that you never imagined yourself achieving beforehand. This past weekend, a few of the GMTs ran in two different half marathons across the country. Sarah ran the Hollywood Half Marathon in Los Angeles, while Alec, Alaina, and I participated in the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon. For someone like me, who  has never run more than 3 miles straight in her life, finishing my first half marathon was definitely the achievement of a personal “stretch target”.

See below for some of our pictures during the grueling 13.1 mile race!

 

The St. Louis Crew and their loyal fans carb up before the big race!

Roadrunner Sarah looking strong at the Hollywood Half

The AAA Dream Team – Ashley, Alaina, and Alec

Beer – the world’s most effective motivator!

Running is a family affair!

Left – Alaina and Papa Fuller; Right – Ashley and her sister Jennifer

 

SUCCESS!

Alaina, Courtney, and Ashley at the finish line of the St. Louis GO! Half Marathon

Filed under GMT13 ABInBev NAZ St. Louis

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Check out the 2013 recap of Budweiser’s America Made Better! Anheuser Busch is dedicated to being the best beer company in a better world, and this is just one of our many programs highlighting that goal.

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Corona, Fresh Pow, and Tim’s, Oh My!

[EDITORS NOTE: Having issues again with pictures being uploaded. Stay tuned…]

Hello again from Cow Town – Calgary, Alberta (Canada)!

Boy has time flown since my last post. I’ve been to back to St. Louis, experienced the most unbelievable week in Toronto for our National Sales Conference, spent time with some GMT boys in NYC, and am already half way done my Project Assignment here in Calgary. What a ride it has been.

For the Lager Blogger regulars out there, you have already gotten a run down from Taylor on what our projects entailed. Namely, we have been visiting and “calling on” a number of Uncalled on restaurants and bars with the focus to ensure they keep the newly acquired Corona & hopefully push some other draught lines into these accounts. On top of that we have just gotten into running our National insights survey for the Corona brand – trying to find out what we can improve on since taking over from our biggest competitors as well as gaining a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the most imported brand in the world. Last, there is a lot of free-balling as I like to call it. Being in the fast moving consumer goods industry there are new challenges daily, and being an extra body around the office means spending lots of time helping fill voids and close gaps. Especially being at the office here in Calgary where there has been lots of expanding (we have taken on 6 additional bodies since me being here) there is always lots of action to immerse myself in.

One of the biggest highlights of moving to Calgary for a few months was being so close to the Rocky Mountains – but I just did not realize how incredible it really would be. Growing up in Ontario, I was brought up skiing/snowboarding on hills the size of a Tim Horton’s (Dunkin’ Donuts) muffin tops. Needless to say, it has been a whole new world out West, where I have spent 3 of my 6 weekends here in the Rockies snowboarding with Taylor who has come down from Edmonton. We have gone out to BC for Panorama, and stayed local at Lake Louise, and Castle Mountain – none of which were more then a 3 hour drive. It was my first time snow-boarding a real mountain, in real snow and I have not been able to get enough. I have had friends in the past talk about their ski trips and this mystifying, bewildering, notion of “Pow”, and just nodded my head pretending to understand like I was back in Quebec. But getting to experience “Pow” for my first time out here, I now understand the obsession with the Pursuit of Powder and the life changing experience that it really can be.

Tuesday was April Fools Day, and being the fool that I am I made sure to find the opportunity to give my Canadian co-GMTs a little scare. This week we will all be finding out our first positions – which as you can imagine is a pretty big deal (might be the understatement of the century). So with a little help from our incredible boss, I put together a little ploy to advise the other GMTs that our roles were selected and that they were probably as far from optimal as I could get them to believe realistically. Well, it worked. After Darren caught on too quick, he jumped along to help out and we took Taylor and Kristina on a roller coaster ride of a day. Lines were crossed, tears were shed, and relationships were shattered (and eventually put back together). Ultimately, it was a successful April Fool’s Day prank.

So, what else? A huge pro of the office in Calgary is all the sponsorships we have here. Labatt sponsors the Calgary Flames (NHL), the Hitmen (WHL), Rouchnecks (NLL) and a lot of the Ski resorts. So I have had the pleasure of enjoying some great nights out on behalf of the company. Also for the first time in the last 8 months, I feel like I actually live in a city. 4 week rotations are just not long enough to settle down, unpack your clothes, and learn your way around a city. But now it has been 8 weeks In Calgary for me, and I feel like I live here. And it is a really cool feeling. Sad/exciting to think I may find out in a few days that I will be packing up and moving somewhere new, but that’s just the nature of the #GMTlife. And you know what… we wouldn’t want it any other way. Well that is a bold-face lie, but hey if it was All-or-Nothing, it would be the easiest decision of my life to do it all over again.

Taylor has come to Calgary a few times, so it is only fair that I finally go up to Edmonton to visit him. Some would say that is like a friend from NYC going to visit a friend in New Jersey for a weekend – but everyone gives Edmonton too hard a time up here and I am looking forward to checking out his set up. We will do some ABI/Labatt product testing for quality consistency assurance, some bar hopping to hunt potential partners for future business, and meet some new people to understand differences in our consumer in Edmonton
That is all for now – looking forward to finding out the location and nature of my first position and hopefully getting reminded what Spring feels like soon enough.

Stay Calm & Dream on.

Cheers,
Ben

Filed under GMT13 ABInBev Calgary

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Thawing Out

Hello, from the finally warming up city of St. Louis!

The days are flying by here in St. Louis, as we are over halfway through our project assignments, and anxiously awaiting to find out our first placements. So far, I have truly enjoyed working in IBS in Application Development.

I have already gained more knowledge and experience than I had ever expected. Learning and meeting with all types of people from different functions and departments has opened my eyes to everything AB has to offer. My assignment the last two months has revolved around APO, which is a huge Logistics and IBS project requiring the collaboration of multiple departments and employees. It has been really cool to be part of a project that has such a large impact on moving beer more efficiently and effectively out our doors.

Although my project takes most of time, I am able to get out and enjoy my time on the weekends in St. Louis. St. Louis has some great indoor and outdoor soccer teams that have been a great way to relax and get back in tune with my passion for soccer. Living downtown has also been a great benefit. On St. Patrick ’s Day weekend it was cool to watch the marathon and all the events taking place downtown. Next stop for me is to check out Ballpark Village downtown and all the amazing bars and technology it has to offer!

Cheers!

Ben Y

Filed under ABInBev GMT13 St. Louis

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Wisdom, Justice, Moderation: The Peach State

Hello everyone—Kelsey here! Checking in from the Region 3 Office in Johns Creek (Atlanta), Georgia.

Just like everyone else, I’ve been working on my project for two months as of today! I have had the best time here in not-so-HOTlanta. The first day here, Sammy J and I went to a beer fest held in Midtown and enjoyed the delicious new Mang-O-Rita. If you haven’t already, you should get your hands on one ASAP! We barely had anytime to get settled at work before we got stuck in the freak 2-inch snowstorm back in late January. Due to the traffic caused by everyone leaving work at once, I was in the car for 2.5 hours for what should have been a 40-minute commute! I can’t complain, though—Sam left the Cartersville Brewery at 1pm and got to our apartments in Buckhead at 8pm. The next freak storm (two weeks later) was much more bearable. Everyone was extra cautious and we got a work-from-home “snowday” that ended up being a “40-Degree Weather and a Few Raindrops Day.” It ended up snowing the next day and I trekked 1 mile in the snow (uphill both ways, of course) to enjoy a Bud Light at my favorite bar. #worthit

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We don’t do this “snow” things very well down here

 Weather in Atlanta has its mood-swings so of course it got up to 70 for the next couple of weeks. Sam, some other friends, and I enjoyed Oysterfest sponsored by Budweiser one Saturday in February! It was a blast. My family visited a few weeks later and we saw the Book of Mormon at The Fox. I’ve certainly enjoyed being back in my home state and college city. I’m missing all my St. Louis friends and can’t wait to be back there in May!

My project is going extremely well! It is my job to develop a promotion calendar to easily see when promotions are being offered for specific brands and packages in each state. I spent the first couple weeks (when I wasn’t stuck in the snow) getting access to and becoming acquainted with the programs in place. I worked with the new Region 3 Promo Manager, Nitesh, to develop a plan and write code on an existing document to accomplish the task of developing this calendar. We have sent it out to some Region 3 KAMs to get some feedback and are wrapping up with the finishing touches now! In the meantime, I have been fortunate to be able to get out in the market with DMs and KAMs quite often. I am really enjoying my experience thus far and cannot believe the program is coming to an end!

Cheers,

Kelsey

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Me and my best friend, Eliz, enjoying a cold one!

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Some Altanta Skyline POCM (that’s a pint glass if you can’t tell)

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Budweiser-Tastes like a million bucks!

(Clever Caption Credit: Evan Dorshorst)

Filed under GMT13 ABInBev Atlanta

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Midwest Weather Doesn’t Get Much Better

Hey everyone!

So we had a beautiful few days last week in St. Louis but I woke up this morning and had to brush snow off of my car before driving to work… there is no logic in this place.

Luckily there is some logic in the office and I’ve been having an amazing time working on the Bud Light brand team for the past couple months. I’m working with extensions and primarily on the Rita family doing disruptive marketing. If you are unfamiliar with the Ritas (mang-o-rita and raz-ber-rita in particular), you are missing out.

The team has been awesome at helping me learn some of the ropes and making me feel a part of the team really quickly. But that makes sense because everything around here moves at an Usain Bolt-esque pace. A suggestion that I received on day 1 that I don’t think I would have survived this long without was to track all ongoing projects and requests in a excel sheet – I now suggest this to everyone… for everything.

Outside of work I’ve been prepping for Brochella, which is good gym motivation after some of the longer days. So far we’re going as TMNT, Avengers, and Power Rangers. Also – just found out Em is headlining Friday of Lolla; for me that’s a must.

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Every Street is Peachtree Street Here

Hello from Sam in the Cartersville brewery!

We’re about halfway through our spring projects and it sounds like everyone is working hard to drive some great results in their locations. I’ve been working on a project very similar to Nate’s in Jacksonville: glass loss.

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:-(

Glass is a pretty major expense when it comes to producing beer, and it’s an ongoing battle to stop the breakage. Here in Cartersville, we’ve formed a Green Belt team to tackle brewery wide glass loss. For those who are unaware, a Green Belt team is based on the Six Sigma methodology of quality management. The overall idea is to limit defects in a manufacturing setting, which in our case are the glass bottles we lose. Using statistics, root cause analysis, and other types of process control tools, we can identify and repair the biggest hitters of our problem.

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A new drop out plan added to the line to catch those pretty blue Platinum bottles so they can be put back on the line

So far it’s been very interesting project, with a lot of opportunities to learn from managers and operators alike. Our team works closely with all different types of personnel to find the most efficient and cost saving solutions. The ultimate result is to bring our loss down, and that’s what we will continue to do!

Beyond the project, I had the chance to be involved in our Global Brewery Excellence Program. In 2013, Cartersville was deemed the best brewery in the North American zone based on our results and our processes. Because of that accolade, we were pitted against all breweries in the ABInBev system; over 100 in total! A group of global representatives arrived for a two day audit of our people, processes, and results. Although we didn’t top the charts on the Global level, the team here is proud of everyone for all their hard work and dedication. The auditors left us with a great list of things we can continue to improve upon, and the Cartersville team has high hopes to be in the running for the best brewery in the system again next year.

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The Hog Roast after the first night of the audit. The global team was welcomed to the aromas of a smoking wild hog throughout the entire brewery. I feel southern y’all…

Outside of work I have been enjoying the southern hospitality and weather immensely. I’ve already played numerous rounds of golf and been able to run outside since the beginning of February. We’ve already planned many trips to the beach over the next couple months which is a luxury I never had in Minnesota.

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A long weekend trip to Charleston and Kiawah Island with my family for golf and beaches

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Beach on the left, multimillion dollar houses on the right. I hit them both…

That’s all for now! The projects are flying by, and I have to admit I’m a little excited to see the GMT13 crew back in STL for our capstone!

Sam

Filed under GMT13 Cartersville ABInBev NAZ

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