light upon the operations of Swan Brewery as observed in the site visit. In addition to the information collected at the physical site, the corporate website is used as a reference to link the practices with description. It will help explain how effective the website is in communicating the operation of Swan Brewery to its visitors. This evaluation is important for the management to decide the changes required in the website and make it more attractive and self explanatory to the visitors.
There can be another purpose of this exercise as well. As the operation’s strategy of any organisation is confidential, they are sensitive towards its publicity. Organisations tend to keep their operational plans and schemes unique to them so that they can maintain competitive advantage in the market. The operations and standard operating procedures determine the cost associated with the production and operations and it helps organisations differentiate their offers from those of competitors serving in the market.
Introduction to Swan Brewery
Swan Brewery is a brand in beverage industry, is highly famous in the market of Australia and New Zealand. The roots of this brewery are found in a small scale production unit which was established by a young entrepreneur named as James Stokes (Australianbeers n.d). He named is as Swan Brewery because it was located near the Swan River (Brew n.d). It was a beautiful site and many other complexes were located around it.
After receiving favourable response from the target market, the production site was transformed into a large scale factory which was fully automated and equipped with latest machinery and tools. This automation was done keeping in view the advancements in the production industry to save cost and meet the demand which was on continuous rise. The production was taken over by a multinational company hence the issues of investment were resolved. The name of multinational company is Lion Nathan (Lion 2012) and it is involved in production of multiple local and international brands of drinks.
Swan is one of its local brands, however, famous in the target market which is spread in multiple countries.
Brewery Site of Swan
The major observation at site of Swan brewery was related to its consciousness towards quality culture. There are many reasons for this focus on quality as observed at the site. Described below are the few reasons.
Swan Brewery is part of multinational organisations whose customers are spread all over the world and rank the beer high for its taste, quality and price. In order to retain the valuable customers and increase market share, the management is focusing on many other brands to explore and offer to the customers. The management is also interested in corporate customers who may make long-term agreements with Swan Brewery to supply fixed large quantity over the period of time. In order to stay competitive and attractive in the present dynamic and challenging market, quality is the only tool to fight against the corporate adversaries.
Another reason for promoting corporate culture at Swan Brewery is related to the type of service and product offered to the customers. It goes without saying that beverage is a product and the main variable to satisfy the customer is quality of that particular beverage. But, an important point to ponder in the case of Swan Brewery is related to offer of beverage at the restaurant.
The site of Swan Brewery has a restaurant with lavish appearance and catchy offerings. It offers handcrafted beers to the customers. These handcrafted beers are made in the microbrewery. The staff members at Swan Brewery call it boutique craft beer. It is prepared by trained brewers who have specialised training and qualification in the field of brewing. It is no exaggeration to mention that the brewers serving at Swan Brewery have international qualification which increase their demand for other breweries located in many other countries.
Swan Brewery offers a unique experience to its customers, in addition to the quality beverage. Hence, the customers pay for the environment which is offered to them while enjoying the beverage. In order to maintain quality atmosphere at site, the management takes serious measures. It is because, it makes the front office of their business and customer satisfaction is directly linked to it. In the light of this argument, it can be concluded that Swan Brewery is offering both product and service to the customer and quality must be enacted in both these constructs.
It is also important to note that connection between service and product may offset the drawbacks of each other. It is quite possible that people may visit it just to enjoy the environment at the restaurant and take a glass only. It is also possible that the passers by stop at the restaurant to have a chit chat with each other in the pleasant environment of restaurant. In this case, even if the quality of beverage is little subsidized that day, the wonderful experience may make up for the deficiency.
The relationship can be proved vice versa as well. The excellent quality of drink may attract customers to visit the site regardless of its environment. It is commonly seen at the food streets that people gather around the stall which is famous for taste but may not offer any sitting arrangement.
In case of Swan Brewery, the quality culture promoted for quality of beverage and quality of environment offered may pay the organisation in terms of goodwill (Australian Brews News 2011). It can become the major source of attracting the customers.
Another important observation at the site of Swan Brewery is related to quality of production of beverage. The countries, in which the beverage is imported, are highly quality- conscious hence it is evident that production of Swan Brewery would be complying with international quality production standards. Furthermore, the beverages are exported to far and wide areas of the countries; hence the packaging and distributing functions are also standardized.
The site of Swan Brewery is designed keeping in view the quality of production and product as well. The quality of drink is highly dependent upon the temperature where it is kept. While, on the other hand, the production temperature may be different from the standard temperature requirement of keeping the beverage in its finished form. Thus, in order to ensure quality in each and every step, serious planning has been done to implement concepts of total quality management.
Another observation at the site of Swan Brewery is related to cleanliness and hygiene. These two factors are particularly important in foods and beverages industry. Quoting the example of McDonald, which is a fast food manufacturer, cleanliness is regarded as their core value and competitive advantage. The management of McDonalds regards the factor of cleanliness as the priority in operations management. Being part of the food and beverages industry, Swan Brewery has similar type of consideration for cleanliness (TripAdvisor 2011).
In addition to the observation at directly related factors of production, product and service of Swan Brewery, another important observation is about consideration towards corporate social responsibility. Swan Brewery is concerned about environmental betterment and efficient use of water and energy resources (Sustainable Energy Group 2012). It is interesting to note that the management of Swan brewery has directly linked its corporate social responsibility with the concept of saving. It is how, the management is well aware that the business they are operating creates much waste and this waste is bound to contaminate air and water resources. The management has taken serious initiatives to control waste and arrange for its disposal in a manner that it does not put any unfavourable burden on the society or the environment. By implementing the concepts of waste reduction techniques right in the process of production, the management ensures cost saving as well.
As mentioned earlier, the site of Swan Brewery is fully automated; it is easy to determine the material and time requirements of production cycles. With due consideration towards waste reduction, total quality management and corporate social responsibility, the management is successful in leading the win-win situation for all possible stakeholders.
This observation was unique to Swan Brewery. It was a factor which was unexpected to be present in any organisation in the modern world. It is because, the dynamic world has posed serious challenges to many organisations and they are unable to sustain. In the face of cut throat completion, the obligation of corporate social responsibility appears as an additional expense in the accounting books of organisation (Schwartz 2011). It is always an unwelcomed expenditure and organisations tend to find exemption from it.
Despite all the economic threats and challenging condition posed to the corporate industry, Swan Brewery manages to stay profitable and goes a step ahead to fulfil its corporate social responsibility as well. It accepts its responsibility as if it is one of its main functions and could lead to positive impact on its accounting books. It proves to be like that. Swan Brewery has succeeded in making much savings through linking environmental protection with the practices of waste reduction. It does not only help the staff members to manage the operations in a better way but also gives it a strong competitive advantage in the beverage market.
It can also be concluded that the secret of quality production lies in the fact that Swan Brewery has clearly defined policies for its priorities and the employees have to abide by the management decisions. For example, the finance department cannot propose reduced expense on waste controlling mechanism as management looks at it with the perspective of saving (Wood 2007). It helps it improve product and service quality which in turn leads to better sales and customer satisfaction.
The suggestion for other organisations related to beverage industry is focus on cleanliness and quality. There is a general suggestion for every commercial organisation that they should link corporate social responsibility with any of their core functions so that they can place themselves at the position better than the competitors. It can help them win customer loyalty (Hawkins 2006) and better image in the eyes and minds of other stake holders as well (Kotler and Lee 2005).
The website of Swan Brewery is designed in a professional manner which contains rich material about the quality of beverages produces by it. It also gives a deep insight into the offerings at Swan Brewery but it does not disclose any corporate secret which may be stolen to be used against it.
1. Australian Brews News. 2011. “Australia’s Best Beer.” Accessed Sep 22, 2012. http://www.brewsnews.com.au/2011/06/australias-best-beer/
2. Australianbeers. n.d. “Swan Brewery.” Accessed Sep 22, 2012. http://www.australianbeers.com/history/swan.htm
3. Brew. n.d. “Swan Brewery.” Accessed Sep 22, 2012. http://www.brew.com.au/brewery/swan-brewery/
4. Hawkins, David. 2006. Corporate Social Responsibility Balancing Tomorrow’s Sustainability and Today’s Profitability. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
5. Kotler, Philip and Lee, Nancy. 2005. Corporate Social Responsibility Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Cause. USA: John Wiley & Sons.
6. Lion. 2012. “Lion Nathan announces intended changes to Management.” Accessed Sep 22, 2012. http://www.lionco.com/2009/09/25/lion-nathan-announces-intended-changes-to-management/
7. Schwartz, Mark. 2011. Corporate Social Responsibility An Ethical Approach. New Zealand: Broadview Press.
8. Sustainable Energy Group. 2012. “The Swan Brewery: Water and Energy Efficiency.” Accessed Sep 22, 2012. http://seg.curtin.edu.au/local/resources/casestudies/swan-brewery.pdf
9. TripAdvisor. 2011. “Old Swan Brewery Restaurants: Restaurant Reviews.” Accessed Sep 22, 2012. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g255103-d727469-r115229078-Old_Swan_Brewery_Restaurant-Perth_Western_Australia.html
10. Wood, Douglas. 2007. The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing Quality Cost Programs: Reduce Operating Expenses and Increase Revenues. USA: ASQ Quality Press.
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