St Austell Brewery
St Austell Brewery
About the client
St Austell Brewery’s origins date back to the mid-1800s, when wine merchant and maltster Walter Hicks purchased the Seven Stars Inn and learned the art of brewing. Today, in addition to a wide range of well-known beers like Tribute and Proper Job, St Austell also owns and operates a number of pubs and places to stay across the South West of England.
- Faster and easier access to trading performance data.
- Improved ability to anticipate and manage issues with supply.
- Better-informed decision-making around the allocation of stock.
- Helps to protect brand loyalty by ensuring on-shelf availability.
For Charlie Johnston, Head of Sales for Off Trade at St Austell Brewery, SKUtrak gives him something absolutely critical: simplicity. “It makes my life easier. It helps me do my job better and faster,” he says. “I use it literally every working day.”
It’s been about two and a half years since Charlie joined St Austell. Like many SKUtrak customers, he had prior experience with the platform, having used it before in an earlier role. It took little time to convince his current employer to sign up for SKUtrak. Since then, Charlie says that SKUtrak has gone on to prove its value time and time again - to him and his team and the brewery as a whole.
Speed and efficiency aren’t the only benefits offered by the platform, however. Singling one retailer portal out for not being the most user-friendly, Charlie notes that the data they produce is often difficult to read - and even harder to interpret effectively. “One of the things I like most about SKUtrak is that it pulls all of that data and then puts it into a series of visual reports,” he says. “Those make it incredibly easy to get a read on our performance and position.”
A Shortcut to Insights
With SKUtrak, on the other hand, the St Austell team gets a shortcut to insights - one that they use to ensure a consistent level of availability. “We’re always tracking stock levels at depot and store level to make sure that there’s enough across the two,” says Charlie. “Where necessary, we can also push our retail partners to order more if we think they’re going to run short.”
That alone has a tangible impact on St Austell’s ability to respond when things don’t look quite right. “With raw data, it’s not as obvious when there’s a problem,” he adds. “With SKUtrak, it’s much easier to spot problems before they happen.”
Better discussions, better decisions
While the insights that SKUtrak generates might give Charlie an easier way to get an overarching view of what’s going on, though, he’s not the only one to benefit.
“We have a field sales team of two, and one of their main responsibilities is to check that stock is where it should be across the stores on their patch,” he notes. “With SKUtrak, they can log in each day and see how much stock each retailer should have in store. When they get to each branch, if those cases aren’t out on display, they can have a constructive conversation about that. It stops them from going in unawares”.
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