How Predictive Maintenance Can Make You Feel Good About Your Next Beer

The next time you take a cold beer out of your fridge, think about Eduardo Esquival and how people like him are helping reduce your ecological footprint.

“We want to deliver the best beer with the least environmental impact, and the best way to do that is to keep our vehicles running as efficiently as possible,” he says.

Eduardo is a fleet manager at La Constancia, a company that has been delivering quality beer in El Salvador for over one hundred years. Today they are part of the AB InBev family, the largest brewers in the world.

Why it Matters

Eduardo is responsible for the maintenance of hundreds of vehicles. Ensuring they run efficiently reduces costs as well as carbon emissions. Eduardo’s team also saves money and energy by tracking purchase orders and inventory so they know exactly what spare parts are in stock, eliminating waste when it comes to transportation and storage.

And there’s the secret to sustainability: It’s really about the fuel that’s not burned, the water not consumed, and the waste that never occurred. In a nutshell, it’s about saving instead of spending.

La Constancia’s fleet is serviced by Grupo Q, Central America’s largest vehicle service provider, which monitors all their data and schedules all their maintenance.

“We’re a family business that’s been around for over 65 years,” says Federico Quirós, COO of Grupo Q. “We are deeply committed to our customers because we want to be around for another hundred and more.”

Quirós goes on to explain what drives the company: “We’ve had good times and bad. There have been civil wars, political upheavals, regulatory changes. We’ve survived it all by focusing on the customer.”

The main challenge is to understand the industry and the trends and be ready before customers even know what they want. But there are many factors to consider. Quirós thinks it will be a while before he’ll be selling e-cars simply because Central America is lagging behind in terms of infrastructure and power supply. But when they do get there, business will be very different.

“E-cars don’t need lubricant, and service will be more spaced. In fact, we may not be selling cars at all, because people will be sharing instead of buying. And we still have a lot of used cars,” he says with a chuckle, though he’s certainly not refering to the Fairlady 2000 Datsun ‘63 roadster that is the pride and joy of the family’s antique car collection in the showroom. “That one belonged to my Dad!”

People Make a Difference

To provide the best possible service to customers like La Constancia, Grupo Q is digitizing their services with cloud solutions from SAP. For Quirós, technology is the enabler and people make things happen.

Grupo Q has almost half a million customers.

“We need a 360-degree view of every vehicle owned by every customer. We need to know what is going on at every step. Is the customer happy or not? The data must be 100 percent accurate,” explains Quirós.

SAP Customer Experience will enable Grupo Q to manage huge amounts of information and have a unified view of all customer data from vehicle details such as engine type to the availability and the location of every single asset. This is crucial for scheduling preventive maintenance for companies like La Constancia that have large fleets of trucks.

“It’s not enough to have the right spare part in the right place 99 percent of the time!” he says. “It needs to be 100 percent. And yes, we need technology to do that, but more importantly, we need people with a service mindset, people who do the basics the right way.”

To attract and retain the best talent possible, Grupo Q is implementing SAP SuccessFactors, the complete human resource management system from SAP that covers everything from payroll to employee engagement in the cloud. The system helps Grupo Q find the right people among their 2,400 employees who can be trained to use new tools like SAP Customer Experience quickly, so they are up to speed with the analytical skills needed to deliver superior services like predictive maintenance to customers.

Building a Better World

Meanwhile, at La Constancia Eduardo Esquival and his team continue to dream big. In the better world they are helping to build, the environment is cleaner thanks to proper resource management and low carbon emissions. For them, sustainability is not just a set of good intentions, it’s a way of life that touches their community and their business relationships.

With the implementation of new tools and technology at Grupo Q, Eduardo knows that now the company can count 100 percent on predictive maintenance that will save them time and money so they can focus on what they do best: producing and delivering beer!


This story also appeared on SAPVoice on Forbes.