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Monday 10 September 2007

Management from the towers

Last year, InBev decided to move production of the beer Hoegaarden from ... Hoegaarden to Jupille. There were lots of protests, and I remember an interview on the radio where someone mentioned it would be impossible to produce the same beer, if only because the water used in Jupille had different characteristics. I immediately thought about this interview when I heard that production went back to Hoegaarden.

Although I have no insight on the way the initial decision was taken, I can imagine consultants looking at numbers, sure they know everything, although they don't even know how beer is brewed, and seeing clearly there is money spilled in inefficiencies. I can imagine managers following the consultants, not listening to people on the field or specialists in beer brewing.

In the end, the initial decision taken to limit cost, has cost lots of money: moving the production to the new site, but keeping some production on the old site powered by temporary workers (but with the impossibility to produce a lot because part of the installations where moved to the new site...), getting loads of production back due to bad quality, leading to a shortage, etc, etc

A good example of what happens when you loose touch with reality. Something that happens way too often with managers and consultants alike.....


Anonymous said...

Well said.

Elise said...

yes, managers (especially upper management) often think in numbers and flowcharts, unfortunately.