Fever-Tree is a British producer of premium mixers and soft drinks, founded in 2003. It is a publicly traded company and household name, whose products are exported to over 50 countries around the world. Before using Beacon, Fever-Tree was struggling to keep track of their shipments without a lot of hard work. With multiple carriers and forwarders moving their goods at any one time, they were juggling a huge amount of information that was spread over multiple systems. They were incurring delay related charges, and did not have access to a single source of tracking data they could trust.
What issues were they facing?
As with many businesses during the pandemic, an internal spotlight was shone on Fever-Tree’s supply chain, which was exacerbated by the global shipping crises in 2021 and 2022. Internal logistics teams relied on multiple carrier and forwarder portals for out-of-date information – checking a number of different systems for outbound and inbound shipments every day. Fever-Tree’s costs were surpassing their budgets, but they didn’t know how to reduce them, and without access to the correct data, they weren’t able to challenge their forwarders either. Their Logistics Manager, Sam Presland says, “we got to a point where we were near enough bleeding demurrage every week”.
What was the impact of using Beacon?
“We were drawn to Beacon initially because of the friendly user experience”, Sam says, including the ability to see live shipments on a map view. Soon they came to rely on Beacon’s tracking capabilities more and more, saving time on admin, searching for ETAs, and keeping internal stakeholders like other logistics managers, merchandisers, and business leaders in the loop. Beacon’s tracking data enabled them to save money on demurrage by keeping their inbound teams informed.
Equipping Fever-Tree with the insights to hold their forwarders to account
With accurate ETAs, Fever-Tree’s stock management, warehouse planning and customer lead times also got better, and empowered them to hold their forwarders to account. “We had a recent instance where a number of containers were rerouted from Chicago to Montreal, without the forwarder letting us know”, Sam says. “Because of Beacon’s data and insights we could update our hauliers, warehouses and customers as a result”.
Improved operational processes and SLA adherence
Sam says that before Beacon, “we couldn’t be sure that our forwarders were using the best allocation on carrier contracts. Now, we’re able to hold our forwarders to the SLAs that we set, and make sure they’re using the least expensive allocation first. We also use Beacon’s reporting suite to ensure we are not concentrating large volumes on single vessels; this helps us protect our warehouse planning teams and avoid additional costs in storage and D&D”.
Time savings and error reduction
After a smooth and easy implementation, Fever-Tree noticed the time-saving benefits of Beacon right away. “We’re able to spot inconsistencies and errors quickly, which means we can resolve problems much faster”, says Sam. Having a “one-stop shop” for all their information saves hours of manual checks and updates, and the whole team is now empowered to track live containers through the platform, and email notifications when they want.
Control over freight spend, and reduced detention and demurrage costs
Access to better data is also helping Fever-Tree proactively manage freight costs; “Now, if we see that capacity isn’t being utilised on less expensive routes we’ll ask our forwarders why, and advise on alternatives. We now understand our freight spend much better than before”.
With Beacon, Fever-Tree is able to give their customers and country managers accurate ETAs proactively, which they received great feedback on in the first six months. Within this timeframe, they also reported a reduction in detention and demurrage charges, which Sam says “are coming right down” too.