Kronenbourg opts for specialist expertise

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11th April, 2013 by Latoyah LS

Taking Care of Our Customers’ On-Site Logistics

Mand-drinking-coffeeEstablished in 1664, Kronenbourg is now the most popular beer in France. This prized beverage is produced in Obernai, Alsace (Eastern France). With a production capacity of 700 million litres, which is equivalent to one third of the French market, the Obernai site is unusual in that it combines production and logistic activities at the same location.

Every year, by road, rail and water, 3 million pallets arrive and depart from the 110,000 m² logistics platform adjacent to the factory. The sector is affected by major seasonal factors, which makes it necessary to double the workforce during high season. More than ever, logistics has to be at the heart of the production process. “In 2006-2007, we wanted to refocus on production, which is the core of our business. For this reason, in 2008, we entrusted our logistic activities to Norbert Dentressangle,” says Sylvain Evrard, planning manager at Brasseries Kronenbourg. “This partner struck us as solid, dynamic and full of ideas in terms of tools, processes and how to optimise operations,”confirms Marc Ruffenach, the company’s logistics manager.

Kronenbourg -sky

The Challenge of Logistics

The partnership began in May 2008 with a triple challenge for Norbert Dentressangle. The first task was to computerise the stock, which is made up of over 90,000 pallets. By installing its information system at the heart of the factory, the logistics team was able to manage the location of all products, guarantee complete product traceability and increase stock reliability. At the same time, the logistics partner introduced new procedures in order to manage change efficiently and painlessly. The launch period was rich in discussions and “technical” know-how transfers between the Kronenbourg forklift operators and Norbert Dentressangle teams. While implementing these changes, Norbert Dentressangle also took charge of clearing and feeding packaging lines in the factory. “The contract came into effect in the spring, at the height of the seasonal peak. The experienced forklift operators temporarily contracted out to us made it possible for us to ensure continuity of service,” explains Sylvain Evrard. The on-going objective of the Norbert Dentressangle teams is now to improve productivity, quality and service in order to generate new savings for Kronenbourg.

In 2008 Kronenbourg entrusted to its partner, Norbert Dentressangle, their french production site logistics operations in what proved to be a successful move. Norbert Dentressangle shared know how and working methods with the Kronenbourg teams..

Task Force at the ready


The forklift operators at Kronenbourg have the CACES 4 qualification, which is rarely seen in logistics and enables them to drive the 12-tonne trucks needed to handle barrels of beer.

For 6 months, a Norbert Dentressangle Task Force team has been at work at the Obernai site. Made up of 9 specialists from different sites (team leaders, stock managers, business managers), the objective of this Task Force was to share its expertise with the teams in Obernai in order to support and facilitate the launch.

On-site logistics conditions for success

When a contractor handles logistics at the customer’s site, he has to adapt to the output rates of the production lines.
24 hour operation, and sometimes weekends, the logistics teams behind the site’s 11 packaging lines at the Obernai site clear pallets of beer and feed lines with packaging materials (pallets, containers, returnable bottles, etc.).

The customer and logistics partner constantly monitor production line stoppages, by analysing the causes and taking measures to reduce them. Responsiveness is a major priority.

Spotlight on a fine lager


In France, one in five beers consumed is a Kronenbourg. Part of the Carlsberg Group, Brasseries Kronenbourg is the biggest brewer in France. The company holds 34% of the total market share of beer, with brands such as Kronenbourg, 1664, Grimbergen, anterbräu,
Carlsberg, Guinness and San Miguel. The brewer employs 1,400 people in France.

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