Case Study

HEINEKEN: Building the connected brewery

15 pages
October 2022
Reference: IMD-7-2356

HEINEKEN, one the world’s largest breweries, had led a long and successful effort to improve the efficiency of its brewery network. For the company COO, this was a source of pride, and also a challenge and an opportunity. Long curious about the potential for digitalizing the supply chain, perhaps this was the natural entry point for the company’s supply chain to create a digital transformation program. HEINEKEN could continue its productivity efforts by leveraging digital technologies. Starting by bringing in digital natives from the outside and identifying key internal stakeholders ready to innovate, HEINEKEN began a process of initial pilots where those that were willing could experiment, fail fast, build on successes, and build a digital culture. Through some breakthroughs use cases and financial return prioritization, the company overcame internal resistance, found their way to a model that didn’t demand standardization, allowed local innovation and ownership and built a digital community that acted like a tech start-up as much as a brewing company.

Learning Objective
  • How senior leadership plays a role in setting the digital agenda and building a digitally native community.
  • The challenges of setting up a global digital governance structure that is coherent with the company’s organization.
  • The importance of linking the supply chain digital strategy to the engrained manufacturing priorities and understood measures of excellence.
  • How to plan for scale from pilot to deployment in a global organization.
  • How to identify, prioritize and gain sponsorship for specific digital capabilities.
Digital Transformation, Disruption, Operations, Industry 4.0, Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Industry Innovation, Industry Infrastructure
Europe, Netherlands
HEINEKEN, Consumer Goods, Beer, Consumer Goods
Field Research
© 2022
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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