Beverage Manufacturer Improves Operational Visibility and Taps New Market Opportunities

Working with AlphaBOLD, this leading beverage manufacturer uses Microsoft Azure’s platform and Power BI to break down data silos, improve operational visibility, and leverage entirely new market opportunities.
  • Industry: Food and beverage industry
  • Challenge: Inability to track and measure KPIs across products, siloed data sources, lack of visibility, lack of data-driven insights.
  • Solution: Azure Data Storage, Azure Data Factory, Power BI, and Azure Auto ML, all supported by AlphaBOLD.
  • Results: Eliminated data silos, gained high levels of operational visibility, improved the performance of its promotional campaigns and can more effectively leverage new market opportunities.

Better Processes, Tools and Technology Wanted

Our customer is a US-based beverage manufacturing company with over 39 drinks under its brand name and a global client base. As one of the world’s leading energy drink manufacturers, the company partners with international retail chains like Walmart, Walgreens, Speedway, Dollar General, and 7-Eleven to sell its products.
The manufacturer needed technology and tools that would help it to measure sales and product trends effectively. An advanced data analytics platform would provide detailed insights into product sales, product depletion forecasting, planogram optimization, promotions effectiveness, new product introduction, and other business-critical performance metrics. The manufacturer enlisted AlphaBOLD to help it eliminate silos and leverage a robust, Power BI-enabled solution that fosters a data-driven culture for practical performance evaluation and future growth projections.

Solving Critical Problems

As the MSUS partner award winner for 2021, AlphaBOLD, is proud to serve as a technology advisor for leading global organizations in many different industries. Our goal is to help organizations grow by leveraging the latest business technologies, and that’s precisely what we did for this leading beverage manufacturer. Using our BOLDRoute methodology, we studied the company’s problems and developed a hybrid solution using Azure Data Storage, Azure Data Factory, Power BI, and Azure Auto Machine Learning (ML).

Azure Data Storage 

Azure Data Factory 

Power BI 

Azure Auto ML 

Here are the six critical challenges that AlphaBOLD solved with its combined solution:

1. No way to define and track KPIs across products.

The global energy drink manufacturer was shipping different products to many other locations around the globe. The problem is that it couldn’t track and measure KPIs, nor did it have any insights into how its products were doing in the market. It couldn’t recognize the market voids, align supply with demand, or stay ahead in marketing, pricing, and supply. AlphaBOLD selected stakeholders from each department to discover the appropriate key performance indicators. As part of the data discovery, interviews were scheduled with the data gatekeepers and stakeholders, after which the best KPIs were introduced and used.

2. Too much siloed data.

The company’s data was inaccessible, siloed, and created barriers to good collaboration across departments, information sharing, and data insights within the organization. Using Azure Data Lake, AlphaBOLD helped the company bridge its departmental data gaps and managed its data more effectively. This also allowed the beverage manufacturer to lower its technology and management costs; unify its data on a secure and accessible cloud storage platform and improve cross-departmental collaboration and information sharing.

3. Poor operational visibility.

The manufacturer had large amounts of data flowing into the organization from different data sources like Nielsen, a CRM, computer files, web applications, and third-party applications. These disparate sources created inconsistent data, both in type and format, that was unclear and redundant. Without any data-driven insights to work with, the company couldn’t streamline data processing or use that data for sound decision-making. To integrate the companies’ heterogeneous data sources and gain deeper insights into its operations, AlphaBOLD investigated syndicated data and in-house data sources, working with stakeholders to create a common ground for all data sources. We then started a solution using Microsoft’s Azure services to integrate the data sources and provide a 360-degree view of its business operations.

4. No way to accurately track promotional sales.

This leading energy drink manufacturer would regularly introduce promotional offers (e.g., seasonal offers, discounted rates, buy one get one free, etc.) for its products. Because it lacked a way to track the promo-related data, the company couldn’t properly analyze the performance of those promotional offerings. To fill this visibility gap, AlphaBOLD provided a solution that optimizes and analyzes promotional sales data, and that helps the company revise its prices for new promotions, competitive factors, and/or seasonal demand changes. The manufacturer now fully understands the impact of existing promotions and can react quickly when the environment changes. Armed with visibility into seasonal demand changes, it can quickly determine which season/time of the year yields the highest profits, accurately forecast demand, make supply allocations and claim a larger market share.

5. Poor supply-demand visibility.

With its products placed in different regions worldwide, the company faced steep challenges when trying to acquire, review and act on data obtained from those sources (if the data was available at all). With no knowledge of whether the supply was meeting demand, the company was dealing with many stock-outs and other inventory challenges. Geographic areas with huge demand were short on the supply chain, and those with lesser demand had huge overstocks. AlphaBOLD’s forecasting tool gave the client forecasting analysis to predict product stock-outs even before those problems occurred. This helped the manufacturer better manage its supply chain; easily track the demand and supply for any region or location; address market voids, and study key trends.

6. No visibility into store placement and product positioning.

Stores use planograms to represent the sequence of products on their shelves visually. The planograms represent the places with the most exclusive products in the top row or front of the shelf, thus putting those products within closer reach of the customer. The beverage manufacturer’s products were planogrammed, but the company struggled to find the effectiveness and impact of those planograms. To help, AlphaBOLD refined the planograms and optimized the data within them. Today, the manufacturer can easily decide the product placement in the store by region, demand-and-supply, and store location.

Supporting Functional Improvement and New Growth

With AlphaBOLD in its corner, the leading beverage manufacturer has experienced significant functional improvements and can tap into new markets and grab opportunities that it wasn’t aware of previously. It once struggled to compete with manufacturers in the industry. Despite being one of the largest energy drink producers in the US, the company uses AlphaBOLD’s hybrid solution to obtain critical insights into product sales, product depletion, promotions effectiveness, and other business-critical performance metrics.
Utilizing AlphaBOLD’s solutions, the company is also making proactive decisions regarding promotions and market voids and continuously improving its operations in a very productive and profitable manner.

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