Budweiser is sponsoring a petition to make MLB Opening Day a national holiday! Sign the petition at the link above and help push the petition to the White House! We all could use an extra day off to watch America’s National Past Time with a couple of Buds…
I’m not sure if you all have been following the weather lately, but there have been little to no signs of spring here in St. Louis (or anywhere in the Midwest for that matter). Speaking from personal experience, traveling this winter has been nearly impossible. From delayed flights to cancelled flights to frozen fuel tanks for planes, I feel like I have an entirely new understanding of winter weather woes.
Good thing my four-month project has nothing to do with weather forecasting or predicting when spring will bloom! Instead, my project is on the Supply side of the organization, more specifically in the St. Louis Packaging Department. The St. Louis Packaging facility is unique because it is a multi-level operation. There are 5 can lines, 4 bottle lines, and 1 keg line. My project is to gain a greater insight into how bottles and cans are filled and how we can make sure that our consumer is happy with a perfect 12 oz. fill. I’m looking closely into how we can make our fills more consistent across all brands and package types so we don’t lose beer unnecessarily. It has been a really good project experience thus far, and I’m looking forward to hopefully delivering some key insights and results over the next few months.
Before graduation, we also must complete our Build-A-Brand Innovations project assignment. Since I’m in St. Louis with some fellow Team Hops members, it has been really busy scheduling meetings with various departments. Some of these departments include: Packaging Innovations, Liquid Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Brand Teams. I’m really excited to see what we come up!
Outside of work, I have been busy exploring St. Louis with the other GMTs. A few weeks ago, Courtney, Ashley, and I explored Cherokee Street where we went to a coffee shop that sold coffee and beer. It’s my dream come true!
Foam Coffee & Beer
Mardis Gras was also this past weekend, so there were lots of celebrations. Did you know that St. Louis has the second biggest Mardis Gras in the country? It was a really chilly day on Saturday, but the parade went all the way from Busch Stadium to the Brewery. Anheuser-Busch products were well-represented both at the parade and in the local bars of Soulard.
Mardis Gras fun!
That’s all I have for now! Cheers!
Hey bloggers, this is Nate checking in from the largest city in the sunshine state – Jacksonville, Florida (betcha didn’t know that).
For the past five weeks I have been working at the JAX brewery on my four-month project which is focused on improving glass loss and glass loss tracking. Glass loss is a key initiative for the JAX brewery as we were $400,000 over our budget in 2013. We have initiated three glass loss PDCAs to ensure we hit our 2014 glass usage budget. A PDCA is an organized approach to problem solving that has four stages – Plan, Do, Check, Act. We are currently in the Planning stage for each of the PDCAs, which means we have been doing non-stop data analysis, observation, time studies, cause and effect analysis, root cause analysis, etc. to identify our largest areas of glass loss for each packaging line. Once we finalize the Plan stage, we will formulate an action log that addresses our largest loss opportunities leading to sustainable glass loss improvement. My role in the glass loss improvement efforts has been leading and facilitating the glass loss PDCAs and building an automated glass loss tracking and analysis tool that gives daily visibility into how we perform vs. our 2014 glass usage budget. The tracking and analysis tool – which I have dubbed the Glass Master 3000 – is nearing completion and will hopefully become a tool that can be utilized by all breweries in the zone.
Glass Loss PDCA Storyboard
Outside of work, the past five weeks have been extremely busy and fun-filled. I made a trip to NYC the weekend of the Super Bowl to attend a party that featured a Jay-Z performance. Janelle, Andrew, Suraj, Alec, Ben Graziano, and Ben Walters were all able to make the trip as well – it turned out to be a mini GMT reunion.
Super Bowl weekend in NYC
Of course living in Florida has it perks and I have taken full advantage of them – golfing, kayaking, hanging at the beach, eating fresh seafood, hanging at the pool, and golfing some more.
Kayaking with my lovely girlfriend Raylene
Golfing with the girlfriend
Weekend trip to St. Augustine – the oldest settled city in the U.S. (1565)
I have also been volunteering at Habijax (Habitat for Humanity in JAX) every Saturday with a team from the brewery. Habitat is a great teambuilding activity and part of ABInBev’s Better World initiative.
The JAX brewery Habitat for Humanity team
Last but certainly not least – well maybe least in terms of physical size – I got a new puppy!
Not until you are 3 Jax! (Dog year conversion: 3*7 = 21)
Meet Jax – appropriately named after his hometown – he is a 1 pound teacup Morkie (Maltese and Yorkie mix) which is a great breed for people with dog allergies such as myself. He has kept me up many a night with puppy crying, but he makes up for it when I am greeted by this face every day after work
Good d’eh readers – Darren here again from Canada, specifically in the beautiful city of Toronto, Ontario, to update you on another 25% of Team Canada’s GMT adventure.
Now that our group has been divided across the country, and the separation anxiety has passed, I’m excited to share some of the details of my field assignment. I’ve been assigned to one of the sales districts in Ontario and been placed into an entry-level sales role with the task of generating incremental sales from a large list of clients. The best part about this project is being able to adapt to a routine and to the best of my ability create the experience of a true sales rep for a beer company. All of the Canadian GMTs have also been tasked with a few side projects to work on, on top of our daily sales calls. It’s been awesome so far and I’m really looking forward to continuing to learn about the front line field sales role at ABI.
Sales Reps get the best tools…
Some of the cool things going on from a marketing point of view are surrounding Budweiser and hockey. Most people are aware of the Budweiser Red Lights in Canada that go off when a goal is scored and lights up your living room at home. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the Budweiser Canada marketing team created a 70ft Budweiser Red Light Blimp – THE RED ZEPPLIN! This was created to be the world’s biggest goal light, and was activated during the Olympics to fly around Canada and light up whenever Team Canada scored in hockey! They moved this thing all over the country and created some really cool visibility for Budweiser.
Budweiser Red Zepplin in Toronto
That’s all for now! Will more than likely know where I’ll be placed by the next time I post so I’d like to take this time to thank you for reading about my journey thus far. Cheers!
Howdy ya’ll. I’ve been living large and doing it big the last four weeks in Houston. When they say everything’s bigger in Texas they really mean it. This past January the Houston brewery produced a record number of barrels surpassing that of even St. Louis! Even with its 13.5 million barrel capacity though, the supply is still not enough to meet the demand of all those thirsty Texans. In fact, 10% of all beer consumption takes places in the Lone Star State. Along with its own set of Bud and Bud Light labels, Texas even has its own beer (Ziegenbock).
Good ol’ Texas pride
The project I am tasked with involves tracking the total extract loss throughout the brewery and connecting it to the financials for increased visibility. This reporting will give the senior management team visibility and the ability to close gaps in the brewing process. I am also under the process of benchmarking the preventative maintenance of our focus lines with other breweries in the NAZ. This will reduce downtime due to equipment failure and increase the overall equipment effectiveness of our lines. In my spare time I’ve been exploring what Houston has to offer. I’ve shopped at the famous Galleria, ran in Hermann Park, and experienced the bustling nightlife of Midtown. But if there’s only one thing you do in Texas it should be to enjoy the amazing assortment of cuisines available. From Mexican to Asian, Houston has it all. But nothing does it quite like a thick cut steak. Currently the weather has been like nothing I’ve ever experienced in February. As things start to heat up there’s a lot more to look forward to. The Houston Livestock and Rodeo comes to town in March so I’ll have to wrangle myself a pair cowboy boots. It looks time for me to giddy up out of here. I’ll leave you all with some mouthwatering pictures.
Behold the Ribeye…she is a thing of beauty
What is that little bit of summer? As some of you know, AB Inbev bought Grupo Modelo some time ago, which comes with its famous brand Corona. We recently purchased the distribution rights to the brand from Molson, and we begin selling it on March 1st. Everyone is beyond excited about this new family member – it’s going to be the summer of Corona here!
We got a taste of how great the year was going to be at our annual sales conference. The conference was one of the most fun, packed, informative 3 days I’ve had. A TV sports announcer hosted it and she said that Labatt had the most energetic employees she had ever seen. Days went from 7am to sometimes 1am, with organized dinners and parties. We got a taste of the Sensation festival that we host every year, and we had regional dinners at some great Toronto bars. With over 700 participants, there was never a dull moment. We got to witness first hand the new plans for all of our brands, taste our new products, and the GMTs had the chance to get to know our new regions a little better.
The Canadian GMTs all have very similar projects – we are all in sales roles with a side project on the new launch of Corona. More specifically for myself, I am currently in a sales rep role calling on 101 non called on POCs across the Montreal area; specifically small c-stores with relatively low volume – the goal? Make them high potential and up their volumes! So far I have really enjoyed my experience. The team I am working with is filled with fantastic coaches, and teamwork is the main goal. I like being on the road and getting to meet some of the people who make the beer world turn – those who buy it!
Going on solo projects after an amazing month in St-Louis with the 19 GMTs, followed by a packed conference is definitely different – but I am loving the challenge that lies ahead, in a region that I love!
Hey everyone, this is Suraj checking in from Los Angeles. While the rest of the country seems to be experiencing a pretty brutal winter, it seems as if Los Angeles never really transitioned into that season—today at the brewery its about 75 degrees. Tough life.
The one problem with it always being summer here is that we don’t get a lot of rainfall in the southland—in fact, California is experiencing one of its most severe droughts in about 40 years with record low snowpack in the Sierras. With water being such an integral part of the beer making process, from brewing to operations, it’s imperative that we do our best to conserve our water usage. At the LA brewery, we currently use about 3.5 hl of water per hl of beer—our goal for this year is to achieve 3.0. It’s a tough target, but we have a lot of plans in place to help achieve that goal as we strive for our overall dream of being the best beer company in a better world.
The focus of my project here in LA is on energy modulation, in conjunction with energy and water conservation. Modulation means creating standard practices for consumption by assessing how and when energy or water is needed for a given process. For the past two weeks, I’ve gotten to work directly with a team from Zone Brewery Support in St. Louis to identify nearly all of the energy points on our packaging lines and ways we can conserve energy, from short down times to weekend shutdowns, without sacrificing production. We’re off to a great start and I hope that by the end of my project, the LA brewery will be the gold standard for energy modulation.
Aside from work, it’s been a blast getting to explore all that LA has to offer. Sarah is currently doing her project at the Region 8 sales office so we decided to share an apartment (voluntarily!). It’s been working out pretty well so far—last week we did a pub crawl in Hermosa and last night she hooked it up with Lakers tickets. We’ve even gotten to encounter celebrities—after the Laker game, Joseph Gordon-Levitt pulled up in the car next to us and waved. I think Sarah nearly passed out.
As a lifelong Lakers fan, this was an incredible experience.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading and I can’t wait to check in with you all again.
USA Today’s regarded “Ad Meter” names Puppy Love the best commercial of the 2014 Superbowl! If you haven’t seen it, take the time this Sunday afternoon to satisfy your cravings of puppies, Clydesdales, and a developing love story!
For the last week and a half I’ve been doing my five month GMT project in the trade marketing department in St. Louis. Put simply the trade marketing department helps bridge the gap between marketing and sales. We look at brand initiatives, new promotions, and other objectives and then create a game plan to insure execution for the sales department.
In my first few days, the office was pretty empty because so many employees were out in the field monitoring our Super Bowl execution in trade channels and accounts. Not to mention, on Monday, the employees here got a sneak peak of our Super Bowl advertisements that were going to be aired during the game. I have to say, it is pretty cool to see something before the rest of the public, and I really like the ads.
In the meantime, I tried to preemptively map out some action items and deliverables for my project. For my five month project, I’ll be helping to continue to improve some of the planning tools that our wholesalers use to target specific accounts. Then I’ll use feedback to standardize and improve various processes for the future. At this point, it’s been really helpful to have spent some time in the field with wholesalers, specifically during my rotation at the Louisville WOD. While I’m new to my position, I’ve had no problem understanding exactly what our wholesalers are talking about during our calls or picturing how they use these tool to improve their forecasts and planning by account. I’m really excited to see how my project and trade marketing knowledge progresses over the next few months.
Overall, St. Louis has been great so far. I love being in the Zone headquarters because you get the chance to interact with so many people from all different departments. It’s also been nice to settle in one place and not have to live out of a suitcase for months on end! There are seven of us with projects in St. Louis and we all live in the same building, which means it’s been easy to hang out a lot. We’ve actually gotten together for happy hours and dinner a few times. Thanks for reading, talk to you soon.