The four core sales divisions of Premium Beverages, Food & Grocery, Hardware & Housewares and Food Service are complemented by shared service units within the organization classified as Support Services. They provide vital business support from day-to-day operations to strategic decision-making.
Pivotal to Brydens’ growth in recent years has been our thrust towards developing our Downmarket Distribution. Tapping into a larger percentage of Trinidad’s universe of customers, our Van Distribution Network sells food products and beverages directly to parlours, “mom & pop” shops, mini marts and convenience stores.
Noticing the potential of this segment, Brydens adopted an aggressive strategy of ramping up the number of vehicles and geography covered. Increased availability and visibility of our products serves as a springboard for our brands and demand continues to grow in spite of economic challenges.
The only challenge of the growth was our understanding of it. The absence of information on the customers and their buying patterns was an indicator of the hidden potential here and the efficiencies that were not being tapped. The introduction of the Beltek Mobile Sales System in September 2008 brought information to the forefront and allowed for informed decision making.
The system offers a fully automated wireless sales solution with GPS capabilities. Since the implementation of the system the Company has benefited from:
- Greater data analysis capabilities
- Timely and reliable deliveries
- Better time and route management helping increase distribution depth
- Better inventory control
- Heightened security through reduced cash receipts
- Quicker reconciliation process
The combined strategies of increased vehicles and sales automation have yielded significant results.
To deliver world-class execution at the point of sale.
OUR TEAM AND OBJECTIVES
Shoppers face countless options along their journey, and each one forces them to make a decision before they can move forward. Sometimes they opt for something healthy or convenient. Other times they want something inexpensive and tasty. This is the role of the trade marketing function – to understand and to influence shoppers along their path to purchase in favour of A.S. Bryden brands.
Our Trade Marketing department is one of the larger divisions consisting of 125 people in total. The merchandising arm is our largest function comprising of 118 people who service over 200 customers all over Trinidad & Tobago. The other functions include category management, retail innovation and shopper insights. These functions all work in conjunction with each other to ensure we continue to win in-store with display and shelf excellence.
The Company banks with several of the leading financial institutions in Trinidad and Tobago, including, but not limited to Scotiabank Limited, RBC Bank Limited, Republic Bank Limited, Citibank (T & T) Limited, First Caribbean International Bank, First Citizens Bank and Bank of Baroda.
Financial information is regularly updated with Dun & Bradstreet, where an account is maintained (857200059) and available for easy credit references.
As a critical enabler of the Company’s mission to be the “preferred distributors of premium local and international brands” we have a vision of being a world class Distribution Centre. Our path to success first requires us to be effective at what we do and then move towards greater efficiency in our activities. Improving efficiency becomes increasingly critical as we approach challenging economic times.
With exceptional growth, aggressive business plans and the desire to effectively supply the market and exceed the demands of an increasingly sophisticated customer base, we undertook in 2014 to relocate the Hardware and Housewares warehousing activities to two warehouses at the Fernandes Industrial Complex (FIC). The combined square footage of this location is 53, 815 square feet (5,000m2).
Our Main Distribution Centre located at Lapwing Drive boasts a versatile 100,000 square feet (9,290m2) of ambient, chilled and bonded storage. The facility is located less than ten minutes from the capital city and the primary port, Port of Spain, providing close proximity to this key business hub. Our bonded warehousing also provides us exporting capabilities that our competitors cannot provide. We also benefit from being located on the same premises as our administrative offices, thereby ensuring visibility and involvement of key management within the Company.
Below is a summary of key statistics relating to our Distribution Centres (Lapwing & FIC):
- Over 120 monthly and weekly paid workers
- Over 1,200 containers emptied each year
- Over 8,500 delivery vehicles dispatched each year
Brydens uses a Warehouse Management System that is fully integrated with our commercial and accounting systems. This has been a key enabler of our Distribution Centre’s vision. The tool ensures optimal stock rotation, lot / expiry control, location management, real-time stock visibility, improved use of available storage space and visibility of critical information.
Each employee in the warehouse is equipped with a hand held Radio Frequency (RF) terminal that updates all product movements in real time. The result is improved quality and timeliness of information, seamless order processing, picking and verification, greater productivity, better stock rotation, less product expiry costs and improved fill rates (customer service).
TRANSPORT / CUSTOMER DELIVERIES
Our standard order cycle is 24 hours from receipt to delivery anywhere in Trinidad or Tobago. We also have specific arrangements with key customers that allow us to offer a same-day service based on agreed time for order receipt.
To attain the depth of service across the two islands, we have designed a hybrid distribution model consisting of vehicles owned and operated by Brydens as well as vehicles owned and operated by private transport contractors. The network offers over ninety (90) vehicles of different sizes suited to the specific needs of the products, customers, channels and geographies served.
Our Distribution Centre can boast the following productivity improvements in 2016
- Food & Grocery – 92%
- Hardware & Housewares – 96%
- Premium Beverages – 96%
- Food & Grocery – 91%
- Hardware & Housewares – 94%
- Premium Beverages – 96%
Turnaround time for offloading containers was 1.6 days in 2015 and so far in 2016 we are at 1.4 days. This has resulted in a reduction in demurrage.
THE WAY FORWARD
The Distribution Centre has invested heavily in equipment and systems and as we move forward our focus will shift more towards process and people development, thus building the competencies required to have a team of professionals capable of serving our customers and principals alike.
Present economic trends will also encourage an even more aggressive pursuit of efficiency in our distribution operations that will help us maintain a competitive advantage versus other local distributors.
Brydens has consistently been aligned with technological developments and trends in the business world. The impetus is not on getting the best available, but rather the best fit. There are many high performance systems available, but it is very important to
Brydens that our systems are used to increase productivity and maximize efficiency.
Brydens’ hybrid network uses the robust IBM Power 8 technology for core applications with innovative and relevant enterprise software S2K from VAI. This is supported by the Dell Equallogic Storage solution in a fully integrated virtualized cluster. On the agenda is the implementation of Microsoft Azure as our disaster recovery and IaaS solution.
While S2K distribution application provides employees with critical tools to perform their respective functions on a daily basis, the management team enjoys the best of business intelligence software to interrogate their database information for better decision-making. In 2016, we anticipate the migration to the new Microsoft Power BI software.
Brydens has developed and maintained a small but elite IT support team that is motivated and focused on performance. The Group has invested and continues to invest in hardware and software to meet the demanding needs of their distribution and retail businesses. The investment in appropriate IT personnel has made the transition smooth.
Implementation of an integrated S2K Warehouse Management System had significantly enhanced business delivery performance in 2008. In 2015 this was further complemented by the introduction of S2K Sales Forecasting for supply chain and S2K Mobile Order Entry app for salesmen on the road. In 2016, Direct Sales Distribution (DSD) is utilizing the integrated S2K Mobile Van Route app.
Brydens continues to grow stronger in all their markets. The use of technology in business may be the new norm, but we have been doing that for many, many years. This will be the trend forward as we continue to be innovative.
The Logistics Department at Brydens covers freight movement into and out of Trinidad, i.e.: shipping, customs, insurance coverage and transport to our warehouse. Managing the inventory, customs and documentation for bonded activity also falls under the Logistics umbrella.
Our contribution to the Company’s vision to be a world class distributor, is making our spectrum of quality brands readily available for distribution to our valuable customers. Providing timely, accurate and complete information to our internal and external customers is the driving force propelling our actions to attain excellence in our daily operations.
We have recently implemented additional security procedures involving GPS technology to monitor the shipments’ movement from the port to our facility. On average eighty (80) shipments are cleared on a monthly basis. Our synchronized efforts strive to attain clearing times within five (5) days of the vessel’s arrival. Through our network capabilities and developed relationships with the various authorities our goals are made easier to achieve despite the challenges of environment.
Our customer base includes the various Embassies, Diplomats, Consulates, Honorary Consulates, Office of the President and all the In-bond Duty Free Shops.