City Brewing Eyes Supply Chain Execution to Help Manage Growth

Beverage company taps HighJump solution for warehouse and yard management functionality in complex, high-volume operation

Beverage company taps HighJump solution for warehouse and yard management functionality in complex, high-volume operation

Eden Prairie, MN — February 23, 2005 — Beverage producer City Brewing Company is set to use a supply chain management solution from HighJump Software to manage its fast-growing and complex, high-volume operations.

City Brewing produces and packages alcoholic beverages under contract with international beverage marketers. Its La Crosse, Wis., brewery is the largest in the United States not owned by the top three U.S. brewers, and the company routinely handles hundreds of SKUs within its production and distribution facilities.

With 20 percent growth rates each of the last four years, City Brewing needed a supply chain execution solution to keep up with order requirements for its own brands and to support a full third-party logistics (3PL) offering for other beverage firms.

The company operates five high-volume distribution facilities that manage a large portfolio of product SKUs and millions of cases of beverage products. The company looked to HighJump for an efficient, accurate method of breaking down shipments by customer and item to meet strict regulatory and financial guidelines.

City Brewing selected HighJump, a 3M company, based on the breadth of its warehouse and yard management functionality and on its adaptable system architecture. This adaptability will give City Brewing the ability to configure business processes as customer needs change, according to the provider.

HighJump said that City Brewing would also use the system to help ensure first-in/first-out (FIFO) product rotation and record the consumption of millions of packaging components, such as caps, lids, labels, cans and bottles. HighJump's yard management system will allow City Brewing to keep track of drivers entering and exiting the yard as well as their hours of service.

The provider said that the HighJump system will empower City Brewing with the best practices-based functionality required to support its 3PL offering for many well-known providers of malt beverages, tea and energy drinks. The system will individually track each customer's products and packaging materials throughout the packaging and storage processes.

In addition, HighJump will give City Brewing and its customers real-time, Web-based visibility to inventory levels, shipments and packaging materials, as well as the means to create export documentation required for international shipments. The ease of configuring the HighJump system will be critical for City Brewing's 3PL services as it will be able to quickly incorporate new customers and changing service requirements cost effectively.

"Because of HighJump's proven commitment to supply chain excellence and its 3M backing, we have a great sense of security about the future of our distribution operations," said Al Spinelli, vice president of operations at City Brewing. "With HighJump, our entire company will benefit from efficiencies gained in the warehouse and yard."

"HighJump's warehouse and yard management solutions are an excellent fit for City Brewing Company's fast-paced business environment," said Chris Heim, president of HighJump. "With HighJump, City Brewing Company will have the broad scope of functionality required for forward-looking supply chain operations that demand efficiencies and cost savings both during implementation and as customer requirements shift."

For more information on the latest trends in the fulfillment space, see the article "The Analyst Corner: Fulfillment & Logistics" in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.