The time has finally come for the Cranfield Logistics and Procurement Supply Chain Management study tour! Today we had a chance to see facilities and talk to the experienced people behind the scenes at some of Austria’s top industries.
Our first stop is Shire pharmaceutical which has a unique type of product. Their business focus is rare disease pharmaceutical products. They operate 24/7 distributing 22 products to over 100 countries. First, Monica from their corporate communications team shares the company background and history. She explained how passionate and motivated the company are to find solutions for rare diseases around the globe. It indeed requires passion to operate this business as the product development process can take over five years!
Next up, Rainer (Head of Supply Chain) talked to us about his supply chain role in Shire – from the main manufacturing process to planning, replenishment strategy and advanced planning systems. There were loads of familiar terms that we learnt in class being discussed in his presentation including MPS and MRP process, make to stock, make to order and S&OP process. It feels good to know that what we are learning is very relevant in the real world. Lastly, we had a thoughtful Q&A session to discuss the supply chain challenges and solutions in the Shire operation. We learnt that the good implementation of supply chain practices help to support business growth.
The next destination is Ottakringer Brewery. YES! We are going to see the brewery facility at the heart of Vienna (and also take a sip of their product of course ?). Ottakringer is a private Austrian brewery which is well-known for their beer and holds a high market share in Austria. Johannes from Ottakringer took us on a factory tour – he knows Ottakringer inside out! He explained the end-to-end process from brewing, raw material introduction (we can see and smell the aroma of malt), fermentation, filtration and filling; and also showed us the storage facility with the huge barrels in it.
After the one hour factory tour, we have a chance to taste the product! Johannes made a good bartender, introducing us Ottakringer’s final product and filling our glasses full of it. While enjoying the beers and soft drinks, we discussed our visit (pending assignments EXCLUDED). On the last round, Johannes offered us a basket of bread to complete the drinks – that’s awesome! After enough drink and bread, we set off back to the hotel. We can’t wait to see what is waiting for us on day two of this exciting journey.
For now, enjoy the pictures of our happy faces.
Rainer presenting Shire premises
Johannes explaining Ottakringer Process