As the drinks business awards enter their 12th year, a new partnership aims to shine a spotlight on one particularly key element of this global industry. Working together with specialist supply chain consultants Crimson & Co, 2015 will see the drinks business recognise outstanding achievement in a new award category for Best supplier Collaboration Project, as well as creating separate awards for Best Supply Chain Innovation in the Beer, Wine and Spirits sectors. Crispin Mair, Founding director at Crimson & Co, emphasises the value of drawing greater attention to this area of the industry. ‘Supply chain dynamics in the drinks sector have intensified in the last few years,’ he observes. ‘The pace of product churn has increased to equal that of FMCGs and drinks supply chains have had to respond accordingly.’
While noting that ‘many have struggled with this, and continue to do so,’ Crispin adds: ‘There are some great examples of drinks companies out there where a serious investment has been made in re-configuring the supply chain. They are role models for the future of the drinks sector and we felt that they should be recognised as such.’
With expertise that has helped clients including Accolade Wines, Carlsberg and Diageo, Crimson & Co will now bring its deep understanding of this sector to the judging process. Outlining the key criteria required for success in these newly established award categories, Crispin explains: ‘The qualities we will look for in the collaboration award are partnership, mutual benefit and sustainability in cost reduction.’ In addition, he notes: ‘We would expect both the drinks company and its supplier to see collaboration as central to their supply chain strategies and be able to demonstrate this.’
Meanwhile the supply chain innovation awards will consider the specific needs of both on-and off-trade sectors of the beer industry, with similar attention being given to both wine and spirits entries.
Turning to these categories, Crispin says: ‘We are not necessarily expecting to see that brand new supply chain concepts have been implemented, but rather that a business has taken a concept which is new to them and adapted it to make a change for the better. We are interested in qualities such as awareness of new ideas, pragmatism in using them and clarity on the benefits the change has brought.’
For more information about all the categories in The Drinks Business Awards 2015, visit www.thedrinksbusiness.com.