About Hobsons Brewery

Hobsons Brewery is a local, independent brewery that produces award-winning, regional ale available in both cask and bottle.

With over 30 years of brewing under their hat, Hobsons has grown into a leading brewer in their region. Winning multiple accolades across cask, keg, and bottle categories.

Sustainability and locality are a big part of what Hobsons Brewery stands for. In fact, their commitment to sustainability has been recognised by SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers), with Hobsons winning SIBA Best Green Business in 2010 and again in 2021. They have also been awarded the Blue Marches Water Efficiency Award 2020 for their commitment to being Green.

The challenge

When it came to route planning for customer delivery, Hobsons’ previous process was very manual, based mainly on handwritten notes and spreadsheets. And lacking in the most efficient, cost-effective routes possible. 

Additionally, as an independent Brewery, Hobsons has a fleet of containers, casks, and kegs that require tracking with key measures of improved utilisation and reduced replacement expenditure. When it came to tracking their containers, Hobsons tried various solutions, including barcodes and scanning devices. However, they came across various challenges, barcodes weren’t sticky enough, and readers were easily broken.

The result was a lack of efficient delivery routes to supply their customers, and poor tracking and collection causing a regular loss of containers, which resulted in spending thousands each year on 2-300 replacements. 

The solution

Hobsons Brewery initially worked with MaxOptra to improve their distribution efficiencies, specifically their routing and the efficient allocation of vehicles for customer deliveries.

After the success of this process, Hobsons went on to utilise MaxOptra’s integration with iSpaniel, a simple yet powerful container tracking, tracing, and management solution, designed specifically for brewers. 

With the use of iSpaniel, Hobsons Brewery were able to effectively identify the combination of an individual container location, contents, and collection profile in real-time.

This is achieved with a robust tag, attached to the container, which holds the unique identification of the container and references its contents. The container is then tracked through each stage of its life cycle by the scanning of the tag by brewery staff, delivery drivers, and pub operators using a smartphone loaded with the iSpaniel app.

However, Hobsons wanted to improve their process even further, with a goal of boosting their ‘Fill to Fill’ to <6 weeks, circa 42-36 days. To achieve this, they needed a process that allowed them to collect their containers quickly and efficiently. 

Thanks to their success in using MaxOptra for improving routes, Hobsons Brewery chose to use MaxOptra’s integration with iSpaniel to advance their cask collection. Once casks were identified by iSpaniel, their locations are fed into the MaxOptra system which goes on to produce an efficient and cost-effective route for collection.

The results

Initial usage of MaxOptra to produce more efficient routes proved highly successful, with miles per HL of beer delivered boasting an improvement of 7% since introduction. And of course, these more efficient routes reduced mileage and therefore CO2, a key achievement for Hobsons Brewery.

The iSpaniel system combined with MaxOptra route optimisation produced further impressive results for Hobsons. Prior to the use of iSpaniel and MaxOptra, their utilisation measure was approximately 51 days from “Fill to Fill”. After using the systems, this was reduced by 17% to 42 days. 

Furthermore, the ease of using the MaxOptra system and mobile app has made the cultural and procedural shift at Hobsons Brewery a breeze. The easier the new functionality is to use, the easier staff uptake is. 

The future for Hobsons Brewery

The integration of iSpaniel and MaxOptra has opened up discussions as to how Hobsons can further advance their entire logistics operation.

In the near future, the Brewery plans on utilising ePOD functionality for better tracking of delivered items and payment options. And the potential of further benefits from MaxOptra by using the system for logging and collecting returns and ullage. 

Get in touch

For more information on the MaxOptra and iSpaniel integration, please contact us below:

MaxOptra

Tim McCarthy – Sales Manager

c: https://calendly.com/tim-mccarthy

e: tim.mccarthy@maxoptra.comMaxOptra logo in navy blue

m: +44 (0)75905 77723

t:   +44 (0)1273 855877

MaxOptra.com

8 Golden Square, London, W1F 9HY, UK

iSpaniel 

Bill Webb – Sales Director

e: bill.webb@ispaniel.comiSpaniel logo in blue

m: 07787 537665

t: 0345 017 8149

ispaniel.com

New Farm House, Cleobury Mortimer, DY14 8RD