15 February 2001
Brewer Scottish Courage is to make savings of £46 million a year by restructuring its supply chain and cutting inventory by 40 per cent.
The firm plans to merge the warehousing, distribution and planning for its on-trade (pubs and restaurants) and off-trade(retail and off-licences) supply chains. Scottish Courage also plans to reduce its 40 depots to 30 satellite depots. Three regional distribution centres are to be built in Livingstone in Scotland, west London and West Yorkshire.
"The new structure and improved forecasting software means that stock will only be held in our regional distribution centres," said a spokeswoman. "Our small depots will be almost stock-free."
Direct and indirect suppliers to Scottish Courage will not be affected by the four-year plan. "We will keep the same number of suppliers. Only our customers will notice the difference because the quality of the beer will be better," she said.
The firm, a subsidiary of brewing giant Scottish & Newcastle, will reduce its workforce by 1,300 to 5,200 as part of the plan. Distribution, marketing, personnel and finance will bear the brunt of the job losses. Purchasing would not be affected, she said. The move follows an increase in the off-trade market, an emphasis on larger pub groups and consolidation in regional and national brewing companies.