AB InBev in partnership with University of Illinois has opened a Bud Lab- state of are data analytics center at the University. This initiative brings together the top talent of the University with the company to solve the problems of assortment optimization, market trends and social media. “Our dream is to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World. To achieve our dream we need to constantly innovate and attract the best talent, and our collaboration with the University of Illinois provides a tremendous opportunity to work with the best and brightest in the field,” said Claudio Garcia, Chief People and Technology Officer for AB InBev. Budweiser organizes an event called Budweiser’s Project 12. It is a test-marketing mission in which AB brewmasters from all over the country submit their recipe and the best among them becomes Budweiser’s new beer. It started as a friendly competition between the AB brewmasters but now it’s a way to make new products. The biggest product so far as a result of this completion has been Budweiser Crown Black.
Since Budweiser must have an indirect channel structure paying for distributors will impact their costs. Thus, finding ways to lower the cost becomes the next step. When dealing with the three-tier system, Budweiser must make strategic supply-chain management decisions that will benefit their business. Looking to OM becomes a crucial step. Thus, some brewers such as Anheuser-Busch and Miller have found ways to go around the requirement of an independent distributor without actually breaking the rule. Due to their wealth and success, Anheuser-Busch essentially has ownership of their distributors without actually owning the distribution channel. For example, “In 1977, Anheuser-Busch had their distributors sign an “exclusivity incentive program” which didn’t require the distributor carry only A-B products, but gave huge benefits if they did drop all competitors” (Spiess). Through incentive programs...
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