We were delighted when Beam Suntory master blender and strategic inventory manager Ron Welsh agreed to tell us about his working life. Of all the many interesting aspects of this conversation, perhaps most notable was Ron’s description of the challenges associated with long term planning.
Ron told us: “Ensuring long term forecasts are realistic is the hardest part of my job. Year by year data is fine when you have excess stock, but when you are producing the world’s seventh largest single Scotch malt you need to know exactly what you have and when it becomes of age to put into bottle. For this you require granularity of month by month data.”
This matters, Ron explained, because these decisions “define what we produce; when we need to expand; when we purchase land and build warehouses; and how much to spend on casks.”
Long Term Planning is critically important, but remains one of the greatest challenges for many distilleries the world over.
Our most recent article explores some of these challenges in detail whilst highlighting how the DRAMS Long Term Planning module can be used to analyse three key data points to support effective inventory utilisation.
1. Current spirit inventory
2. Forecast demand for each end product
3. The spirit composition of those end products