Parsec Automation: beer production & supply chain challenges

This Oktoberfest, we hear about beer production from Parsec Automation’s Ryan McMartin & how technology can improve supply chain forecasting

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival, held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. The festival started in 1810 and runs from late September to early October, where approximately 7m litres of beer are drunk and countless pretzels are eaten. It’s a supply chain that must be carefully managed, from the beer manufacturers right to the beer kegs. 

One person who knows more about this, is Ryan McMartin, Product Marketing Manager at Parsec Automation, which is the developer of TrakSYS™, a real-time manufacturing operations management software platform, deployed at thousands of factories in over 140 countries. 

“TrakSYS aggregates data from multiple sources to deliver real-time, actionable intelligence that helps manufacturers reduce production costs, decrease lead times and improve profitability,” he says.

McMartin has spent over 20 years of his professional life working with the world's leading manufacturers, to assist them with their digital transformations. 

“I’ve spent time as a data systems analyst for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and as a solutions architect for PlanetTogether (a production scheduling software developer and implementer). As Parsec’s Product Marketing Manager, my primary goal is to help our customers and partners understand the benefits of adopting manufacturing execution software (MES). Many manufacturers today make critical decisions while relying on obsolete or, in some cases, nonexistent data, which ultimately leads to missed opportunities and limited returns. We live in a time where the analysis of real-time data is not only attainable, but deeply advantageous.”

McMartin was led to the industry due to his interest in automation and optimisation.

“No other software industry lends itself more to encompassing that than MES (manufacturing execution system). MES lies at the heart of collecting and orchestrating the data on which manufacturers rely to streamline their operations. We live in a digital world and I want to help manufacturers realise their digital potential.”

Here, he discusses the cultural significance of beer and how technology can improve forecasting and prevent supply chain shortages. 

Beer manufacturing

Revolutionising brewery efficiency and top quality beer

“Beer, as a beverage, holds a profound significance in various cultures around the world,” says McMartin. “As an MES, TrakSYS plays a critical role in helping breweries maintain efficiency, quality and compliance throughout the production process, thus helping brands consistently deliver their finely crafted beverages to their customer base.”

TrakSYS has been designed to give beer manufacturers a competitive advantage in today’s crowded marketplace.

“Unique to TrakSYS is the ability to create constraint-based production schedules that promote Just-in-Time production. This allows brewers to adapt to shifts in demand and reach their goals without bearing substantial additional costs. TrakSYS also helps breweries reduce the time required for bottling and canning—a critical factor for staying competitive in the market. Beer producers also benefit from sharp, contextualised insights into their inventory management, like visualising tank storage capacities and ingredient sourcing, which yields tastier products and happier customers.”

TrakSYS offers several key features that help manufacturers meet customer demand more effectively. 

“First and foremost, it assesses how well manufacturing processes are already performing by collecting data from various machines and processes in their production. These insights let breweries enhance operations without having to start from square one. Is there a particular ingredient that always seems to be delayed? Does a particular step in the production process often lead to delays or downtime? TrakSYS identifies these areas for improvement, helping manufacturers fulfil orders with efficiency and accuracy.” 

It also allows manufacturers to keep notes on operations, assign tasks, send important notifications and much more. 

“Essentially, TrakSYS allows manufacturers to concentrate on meeting high demand with confidence, rather than being preoccupied with their internal processes.”


How beverage manufacturers can use technology to improve forecasting in the wake of supply chain shortages

An MES tracks historical data, letting beer producers plan ahead for recurring spikes in demand, like the July 4 or Labor Day holidays - and Oktoberfest. 

“Simplified resource planning gives manufacturers a clear view of where materials are, their current status, and any interruptions. This approach helps prevent delays caused by inventory backlogs and enables businesses to surmount shortages by working with secondary suppliers when necessary. With real-time data to inform the present and historical data to inform the future, beverage manufacturers can confidently build forecasts and minimise any production gaps.”

There are a lot of exciting things going on behind the scenes at Parsec and McMartin looks forward to continuing to help customers. 

“We look forward to operating as efficiently and effectively as possible, expanding the knowledge and adoption of MES in general and furthering our mission of making the management of manufacturing operations as simple as possible.”

Cheers to that!

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