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Route to Market & Supply Chain Blog

FMCG Beer stock outs and the Otopeni airport baggage carousel

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, May 28, 2014

Quite a bit of travel recently with a trip in each of the last three weeks. Regular readers will be aware I do not particularly like flying these days, not out of fear but simply the hassle of getting onto a plane. I am now down to simple trainers, no belt, no watch yet I still beep occasionally at the metal check point before being introduced to the metal security sausage.

The most recent adventure involved a transfer in CDG Paris - who on earth thought out the people logistics on that one? If you have to transfer terminals at CDG then remember to take a packed lunch and make sure your passport has plenty of validity. Arriving back to base in Bucharest I waited to collect my bags at the carousel with all the other CDG’d passengers. The time was after midnight and inevitably passengers were tired but I noticed something weird. A fellow passenger whom I know was obviously looking for a red suitcase as he proceeded to check several against the luggage tag stuck on the back of his passport.

To be fair the bags were all varying shades of red and similar in size but he was obviously having great difficultly finding his own property. Aha, success! The tag numbers appeared to match and my fellow weary traveller pulled off a yellow case……Now, he is possibly colour blind, a thief – no he’s not by the way – or he simply selected the wrong case.  An honest mistake perhaps, but one that could see him at his business meeting the following morning in pink latex rather than a dull suit. (Yes, he has a beard so he could then be a contender for the Romanian entry at Eurovision 2015.)

beer stock out bar fmcg resized 600Fast forward to a well-known bar in Bucharest which shows all the major football games. Despite the place being packed out my domestic senior manager and I secured seats at the bar right in front of the beer pumps. This was one of those large gold coloured metal pumps which is raised off the bar and serves 5 different beers from a big name brewer. Straight a way we noticed a glass over one of the pumps indicating a stock out but no problem there were 4 more choices, but not for long. Next to go was the unfiltered or “cloudy” beer. No great loss there from our perspective but as half time approached the dark version of our preferred beer went dry.

Soon the flagship beer brand ran out in a mist of coughing and spluttering foam. This left just an expensive imported beer and like my friend at the airport it was time to take what was available even if it was not actually our usual beer. Get what you can before it all disappears!

How can the extended beer supply chain fail so dramatically at a city centre bar where Premier League games are shown every week to a packed crowd? I hope supply will be robust by the time the World Cup starts, at least for England’s three games!

Image courtesy of ahmet guler at freedigitalphotos.net


Tags: Brewing & Beverages, Dave Jordan, Humour, Supply Chain, Inventory Management & Stock Control

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