The most connected brewer in the world | Manufacturing enterprise technology

Heineken is one of the largest brewers on the planet, operating in 190 countries where its Heineken beers and ciders are sold.

It is a family brand for many with an excellent reputation. But that’s not enough in the current market climate – the company has recognized the need to ensure the resilience and adaptability of its operations in the future. This led to the formation of its EverGreen strategy, a company-wide five-point plan to drive superior growth, fund that growth, raise the bar for sustainability and responsibility, become the best brewer connected and unleash the full potential of its people.

To support this strategy, Heineken turned to its digital and technology (D&T) organization to drive enterprise-wide resilience and agility. The team was challenged to integrate thousands of business-critical applications in the areas of payments, logistics, inventory management, etc., while connecting dozens of operating companies distinct, some of which still relied on local or legacy commercial systems. Finally, it needed to connect 350 global and local brands in over 190 countries – a formidable task.

Resolving burst data streams means smoother overall operations

According to Guus Groeneweg, Heineken As a product owner for digital onboarding, becoming the world’s most connected brewer means “providing all internal and external customers with real-time access to data provided by onboarding assets, and ensuring that those onboarding processes operate efficiently, consistently and without interruption”.

Establishing consistently fast, reliable, and robust integration processes across various business functions is no easy task for a company that frequently sees data flood in from geographically dispersed sources. This “burst” of data flow – driven by orders following the launch of a new brand of beer, for example – can overwhelm integration platforms that rely on point-to-point communication via synchronous APIs. . This can lead to duplicate orders, lost orders, lost revenue, and ultimately unhappy customers.

To meet these challenges and achieve its ambitious digital transformation goals, Heineken took an event-driven approach to integration. In short, it underpins its legacy API integration and management technologies with a dynamic and robust event-based architecture layer that will deliver data from external parties, prevent data loss, mitigate system failures, and ensure business continuity in the event of a cloud or iPaaS outage. .

Event Infrastructure Strengthens D&T’s Cloud-Based Strategy

Two years ago, Heineken facing challenges related to the growing volume of orders it was receiving. This increase has put a strain on its cloud integration infrastructure, sometimes resulting in duplicate and lost orders. They needed a solution, and fast. Event-driven integration was the answer. By event allowing its integration platform, HeinekenProcesses have become more robust and reliable.

“Adopting an event-driven approach has increased the efficiency of data being moved and how it’s done,” Groeneweg explained. “In the old days, Heineken would see hundreds or thousands of point-to-point scenarios, but now they’re leveraged with the 1-to-many integration patterns, where an application only has to produce an event (like a beer order) once, and any other system applications (production, shipping, fulfillment, inventory, payments, cloud data lake, etc.) can simply subscribe to what they want to receive and get it when it’s published.

“We are also leveraging event-driven integration to increase the efficiency of our application development process. With an event broker in the mix, our application teams can focus on building great applications without worrying about messaging or event delivery infrastructure. All the capabilities of our digital onboarding strategy are in place. We enable all required integration models through a limited set of integration platforms, from interfaces between local systems in Vietnam to interfaces from global ERP systems to local CRM systems. Now we are focusing on moving towards reusable integration assets.

“It’s really needed, with some big standardization programs that we are now rolling out in over 190 countries. Going from over 70 different ERP instances with different data models and process definitions to a lightweight kernel with a loosely coupled architecture but tightly integrated; from a wide range of fragmented solutions to modern cloud-based platforms that optimize end-to-end ways of working in a specific domain.”

Event-driven integration is the glue that binds end-to-end processes together

For event-driven integration to work, the entire process must work properly and efficiently; it is what allows all the processes and applications in the value chain to communicate in real time.

“Consider this chain of events – a large supermarket chain in New Zealand places an order through HEINEKEN’s B2B portal, the order is processed in the back-end with payment information, beer is delivered, packaging from the brewery have to roll out of the label printer, etc,” Groeneweg said. “Each of these activities is supported by multiple integrations between the front-end and the back-end. All of these digital integrations are developed, operated and monitored by HEINEKEN’s global digital integration team.

As consumer habits change, business operations must adapt – and quickly

There has been a paradigm shift in consumer expectations and power. Today, customer experience is a driver of differentiation. The need for real-time, secure transactions anywhere in the 190 countries where Heineken is active changed the integration to an activator.

Heineken The event-driven digital transformation has given the brewer a competitive edge, enabling it to operate smoothly around the world with excellent experiences for customers, consumers, suppliers and employees. Additionally, it enabled the brewer to rapidly deploy scalable plug-and-play solutions and leverage timely business insights at scale.

Event-driven integration is now a critical strategic capability for Heineken to advance. The company sees more and more use cases coming, in IoT, analytics, customer-facing applications and more.

Real-time data as a service to all stakeholders

Heineken seeks to use its capabilities to create seamless digital interactions across the entire value chain and empower all HEINEKEN software users, internal and external, with the information they need to make smart decisions.

“To achieve this, event-based integration should be used to deploy a global observability solution that makes data-driven insights available to operational teams in real time. This allows us to instantly power our business with the right data, for the right consumer, with the right application, when they need it,” Groeneweg continued.

Event integration ultimately keeps EverGreen’s business strategy on track

Like many large organizations with a globally distributed supply chain, customer base, workforce and IT infrastructure, HEINEKEN is on a journey of digital transformation to become a better connected company.

Guided by the principles of its EverGreen strategy, Heineken takes the bold and progressive steps necessary to help them keep the pulse of every customer; adapt quickly to new or changing demands; and stay ahead of this very dynamic market.

With event integration, this becomes a reality.

Chris Wolski is Vice President of Solace.

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