The history of Sambrook's Brewery
Duncan Sambrook founded Sambrook’s Brewery in 2008 when there were just five breweries operating in London. With his vision of bringing brewing back into the heart of London, Duncan pulled ex-brewer David Welsh out of retirement and back into his dungarees and wellies.
They wanted to offer something different – a local London brewery that sourced and sold everything locally; including hops from Kent and malts from Wiltshire.
Together they converted an old photography studio in Battersea into the brewhouse, and in November 2008 the very first cask of Wandle rolled out the doors.
Today, Sambrook’s Brewery has expanded to Wandsworth Town; offering tours at Battersea, and a new tap room and visitor centre at Ram Brewery.
Despite their growth and success, Sambrook’s Brewery faced sudden, significant challenges posed by COVID-19. The businesses that Sambrook’s Brewery previously sold to were quickly shutting down, leaving them with a significantly reduced customer base.
The team at Sambrook’s Brewery reacted fast, seeing there was an opportunity to sell to individual customers, at their homes, during the crisis.
They quickly launched their home delivery services – serving to new customers anywhere on the M25. They utilised their previous vehicles that had distributed to businesses in this area, and within just a couple of weeks had gone from almost zero business, to a healthy flow of customers.
However, Sambrook’s Brewery started facing significant pressure to plan routes. They had spent 12 years building relationships with their customers; with solid and predictable delivery dates and times via fixed routes.
The B2C model was very different, with dispersed addresses throughout the local area. As Sambrook’s were bringing in an increasing volume of orders, they were soon spending hours each day planning deliveries and routes. This resulted in long working hours and often delays in getting the team of drivers out on the road.
Sambrook’s knew there had to be a better solution.
They spoke to their brewery management software, BrewMan, who recommended MaxOptra due to it’s route optimisation functionality, and ease of integration with the BrewMan system.
Sambrook’s Brewery were up and running with MaxOptra in just 2 days. They received support from the Implementation Team, who helped the team to get to grips with the system and also buy into the process.
“MaxOptra really made us challenge what the best routes are. We previously relied on our Transport Manager’s local knowledge of London – dividing routes by postcodes. MaxOptra looks at routing completely differently, focusing on the addresses closest to each other for the fastest route, and taking us out of a postcode mindset.
When you see the guys get back and beat their predicted time, you know that the routes must be right!”
The future for Sambrook's Brewery
Sambrook’s Brewery are excited about using the MaxOptra system long term, particularly as they have now been opened up to a whole new customer base.
They plan to continue delivering to both B2C and B2B customers post-lockdown – expanding their customer base and effectively managing the process.
They are already planning on getting more out of the system once they have more staff back in the business. Notably, they want to get the most out of reporting, review, and feedback functionality – to continue advancing and improving their distribution offering, and growing the Sambrook’s Brewery business.
"MaxOptra really made us challenge what the best routes are. We previously relied on our Transport Manager's local knowledge of London - dividing routes by postcodes. MaxOptra looks at routing completely differently, focusing on the addresses closest to each other for the fastest route, and taking us out of a postcode mindset."