Catching up with BrewDog’s Supply Chain Team

Photo credit: BrewDog

In Customer Experiences with Soul, Maria and I explore the culture, values and approach to employee engagement at BrewDog, the cutting-edge Scottish brewery who revolutionised craft beer in the UK. We are therefore pleased to be able to share this story from BrewDog which explores what it is like to work within their supply chain team from many different personal perspectives.

As we write in our book:

Coherence is a quality which can run throughout whole organisations, both internally and externally, and across supply chains, business ecosystems the communities with which the person or entity interacts. We encounter counterfeit purposes when what the person or group says, what the person or group means and what the person or group does fail to coalesce as a unified whole.

For this reason it is really interesting to read these personal accounts, which help account for the way in which BrewDog have managed to grow as a business while still remaining true to their soul and original mission of “making people as passionate about craft beer as we are”.


Catching up with the crew who keep things running

Getting our beer into your hands involves hard work from a lot of people. Our brewhouse crew need ingredients, our packaging team bottles, caps and labels. Someone needs to be on point for everything to get exactly where it needs to be – and our many partners here and overseas need a point of contact to help them get what they need as well. And for all that – plus a whole lot more – we rely on our amazing Supply Chain team. So let’s meet them!

Morag Thomas Head of Supply Chain

Credit: BrewDog

The Supply Chain team is 25 strong, and at the helm is the awesome Morag – having worked her way up to leading the team within three years of starting out at BrewDog. She has overall responsibility for the four cornerstones of Supply Chain – planning, procurement, customer service and logistics. “My team of amazing people bust a gut every day,” she says, “Delivering awesome beer and service whilst driving improvements to keep up with our growth.”

This is a key point – Supply Chain crew have to be constantly on their toes to help everyone at BrewDog perform their roles. They really are at the centre of things, as Morag’s early-BrewDog CV attests – “I project-managed the installation of new brewing equipment, designed production data management systems, took on hop forecasting and contract management and improved production planning.” Oh, and Morag is also the current Alpha Dog following her truly epic 2016.

Ross Gordon Senior Buyer

Credit: BrewDog

Every time you flip the cap on a bottle of BrewDog beer, Ross will have been involved in getting both of those things for us. “My job is to procure the goods we need for packaging,” he says. “Everything from cans, bottles, caps, boxes, labels, kegs – you name it. I need to ensure we get the right deal, for the right cost, on the right terms, and that relationships with our suppliers are the best they can be.” Ross – who helped form the procurement department – gets us what we need.

As such, he is a master negotiator, often putting in hours of work with a supplier to ensure we get the best products without compromising on the quality of what we are after. “I mean I know to some people it’s just labels,” he says – but we use a lot of them here at BrewDog, and it’s down to unsung heroes like Ross to keep our stock level where it needs to be and make sure we have enough ordered for the future!

Christie Ferguson International Customer Service Specialist

Credit: BrewDog

Christie joined us at 18 straight out of school, and three years on has become a key part of the International Customer Service team – responsible for processing, arranging shipping for and then checking in with the status of all of our international beer shipments. “Any BrewDog beer you find on a supermarket shelf, bar or bottle shop across the globe will have crossed paths with our team at some point on its journey,” she says.

Arriving straight from her school days has given Christie a fairly unique viewpoint on working for BrewDog, being the first company she has worked for. “Recently I have realised how much I have learned in the short career I have had. BrewDog has such a fast paced environment but the people here are all so supportive. It’s fun waking up every morning knowing that you’re coming into work with your friends.”

Bruce Calder

Credit: BrewDog

Bruce discovered how different working for BrewDog is on his very first day with us. “The last induction I had involved reading operating procedures and being shown where the toilets were.” he says. “Here things were a smidge different…beer history lesson, beer school, amazing food, enthusiasm and that was day one!!” Then, to help him understand the teams he’d be working alongside, we also gave Bruce the chance to work in our brewing and packaging teams as well.

So as Bruce has developed into his role sourcing us what we need, when we need it, he has that background detail and familiarity with the other crews who will directly use the things he purchases. “The thing that has struck me the most [about working for BrewDog] is the attitude of everyone here and the desire to get shit done. It’s great to have so many like-minded people all in one place pulling in the same direction.” he says.

Louis Schyma Customer Service manager (UK & International)

Credit: BrewDog

In his near-four years at BrewDog, Schyma has seen first-hand how our company has grown as we continue with our mission of getting great craft beer to the people; when he started out, DogTap was the main office and Supply Chain consisted of him and two other people. “There have been some amazing experiences along the way,” he says. “To be a key part of a craft beer revolution is not something everyone can boast.”

“The opportunities in BrewDog are endless – such a fast growing, dynamic company it’s easy to see how with the right attitude, a steely resilience and hard graft anyone can progress.” For an example of this, look no further than Schyma himself – he has been awarded Top Dog in his team for the last two years as he delivers on multiple projects and ensures the thousands of delivery points for BrewDog beer across the UK and overseas are kept supplied!

This article was first published by BrewDog on 7th November 2017 (Say Hi to our Supply Chain Team) and has been republished with kind permission.

Main photo credit: BrewDog

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