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Business Analytics Webinar; Re-Imagining Business Analytics to Drive Business Transformation

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Business Analytics WebinarEstablished in 1844 the Iconic Pabst Brewing Company is the owner of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Lone Star, Old Milwaukee and Schlitz to name a few. A 168 year old startup is in the midst of a business transformation - moving from a manufacturing company to a sales & marketing company. Join the discussion to hear the CIO discuss how they are approaching the transformation and how they are leveraging technology partners to shorten their roadmap from 5 years to 18 months.

This Business Analytics Webinar video is from the Proformative webinar "Re-Imagining Business Analytics to Drive Business Transformation" held on September 19, 2012. The webinar features presentations from Ben Haines, CIO, Pabst Brewing Company and Jennifer Maddox, Product Expert, Tidemark.


Business Analytics Webinar


"There's a number of learning objectives for today's events. We certainly want to help CFOs and CIOs working together to help understand one another's requirements to deliver the business transformation growth that they're both tasked with. We are looking forward to hearing today from the real world and also from a subject matter expert about formulating strategies to get more business users involved in financial and business planning so that that can be done more easily, more quickly, more effectively at your company.

Of course, we'll help you understand how you can leverage business analytics across your enterprise to help your company perform better. At the end of the day that's what we are all very much interested in figuring out.

To get us started on that path, it's my pleasure to introduce Ben Haines. Ben is the Chief Information Officer of Pabst Brewing Company. As CIO for the iconic Pabst Brewing Company, Ben is responsible for overall IT strategy and execution. Keeping a very close eye on emerging technology and the changing technology landscape, Ben is determined to ensure that IT is innovating and providing business value in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Prior to joining Pabst, Ben spent nine years with Red Bull leading teams across Asia-Pac, Europe and the Americas. With a grounding in IT hardware and service delivery he quickly moved into the application and business intelligence space delivering [inaudible 00:01:28] solutions, mobile applications with mobile portal and a collaboration platform.

Ben, we're really happy to have you here with us today for our Business Analytics Webinar. Thanks so much for joining, and at this point I'll ask that you please take it away.

Ben Haines: Thank you, Joe, and welcome everyone to the webinar. Let's jump straight into the agenda here.

I'll give you a quick overview of Pabst change and how we're looking at change. Things are moving at a very fast rate in business and IT needs to be keeping up. Performance management is a topic for every business, and I'll talk a little bit about how we're improving the overview of performance management and adding value to the business.

The transformation that we're undertaking at Pabst is rather huge and we have some very good examples of where we're moving quickly and getting on with the business and adding value and a few lessons learned and where we're coming from.

A quick overview of the industry. The beer industry is rather large in the U.S. and we'll go through very big 800-pound gorillas with Miller-Coors and Anheuser-Busch and then there's this little other 15.8% which is all the other craft brewers are very popular at the moment, and Pabst is a roughly 2.9% share. We're small in the big picture here and we have to think a bit differently about how we do things, how we won't have the resources that a Miller or a A-B all have, and we're definitely thinking differently and looking at different tools.

One of our biggest advantages is our size and we can move a lot quicker. We're not stuck with a lot of legacy and we have a very, very open and entrepreneurial ownership group that's keen to move things forward. We're using our agility to our advantage. We're using a lot of cloud solutions to help us move things along quickly.

Pabst was started back in 1848. The actual first beer was 1844, so we're kind of like a 168-year-old start-up. That's how we approach things at the moment. A great history.

Back in the day, Pabst was one of the largest brewers in America, and over the years we've slowly moved out of the brewing business and they sold, it must have been 20 years ago, sold all the breweries to Miller-Coors actually, and we contract brew most of our beer now with Miller, and we focus on sales and marketing and distribution.

We distribute through roughly 600 distributors. We're not allowed to sell direct in the alcohol business, and we have the network of 600 distributors, Miller-Coors and a sales and marketing team internally. We have roughly 35 brands and some very, very well known and popular brands like Schlitz, Colt 45, Old Milwaukee, Lone Star, and of course, our flagship is PBR.

Looking at change and over the last 150 odd years things have changed a lot and you'll see just in the marketing we used to do, and I think some of the marketing that used to happen probably couldn't happen now with some of the messaging I've seen, but we're moving from the traditional space of marketing and traditional messaging into the new age of social. The brands are looking a lot different. It's very hipster, we're happening and things are changing and we have to be changing as a business, as well. The consumer wants things quicker, business wants to grow faster and we can't be doing the old way in the IT or finance like we used to in advertising. Change is here and we're moving very quickly.

Editor's Note: Take a look at more recorded webinars from Proformative: Corporate Finance Cloud Technology Webinar, Corporate Performance Management Webinar, Job Interview Skills Webinar, Successful Job Interviews Webinar and Alternatives To QuickBooks & Spreadsheets Webinar.

If you have a look at the role IT plays and its performance and overall company performance, we have to be providing solutions. I think this message has been forgotten a lot by IT professionals and we're ground in providing the, buying the best servers and spending all our capital on making all the lights work nicely and making sure everything's on and then we walk away.

The focus has to be on providing solutions to our business customers and helping them move things forward and these days it's not about the service you buy, it's about the solutions you deliver. We're moving very quickly with cloud solutions to that space and changing the conversation around "How much capital do we need to spend? Let's take three months to buy the servers and then another three months to work out what we're doing." Now we're talking in weeks about providing solutions and it's quite exciting actually to be able to do that now.

We need to be differentiating in our business and processes and those solutions can help us differentiate. This is another thing that ties into laptops and servers and the email. Not everyone can do that these days so you need to be looking at "Where can we differentiate? Where can we make that difference?" I can't provide our business people a better laptop than any other company can, so it's commoditized. There's not a lot of differentiation going on in that space. We're focusing our team on moving away from that, keeping the lights on and into solutions and providing those systems.

We have to be commercially responsible. That goes without saying, but sometimes we, IT, has to play the overall security role and remind marketing and sales that they have to be conscious of where their information is and how they're using it. That's the security aspect, and we need to be commercially, not just wasting money and making sure we're getting our return and the business readiness. So, once again, is getting solutions out fast, ensuring they're ready to address their needs and drive the business forward.

I have a very, let's say, cynical look on IT over the years. I think we've failed up until now. We've spent a lot of money. We've had our three-to-five-year plans and we've put in some really big solutions that have cost a lot of money and not always delivered. My personal experience is in a previous company. We had 18 months to install a global portal, then we had to upgrade it, and then another year later we had to spend another big round of money to move it to a different platform. Then we had another application come along and we had to . . ."

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