This is a guest post by Anuj Krishan, Chief Operations Officer at B9 Beverages, creators of BIRA 91 draft beer.


At BIRA 91 we are firm believers in using cutting edge technology to enhance consumer experience as well as make our back-end operations more efficient and data driven. In a short duration of about one year since our launch in Delhi in Feb ’15 we have been able to establish India’s largest draft beer network. We have rolled-out our draft dispense platform in over 1000 outlets across 5 cities surpassing the large incumbents in our industry by a wide margin. Technology has played a crucial role in this outcome.

About a year back we tied up with BookMyStorage to handle warehousing and logistics for our draft beer machines and consumables. Given our draft-led go-to-market strategy this is a critical ops function for us. Imagine a bar on a weekend in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village or Mumbai’s Lower Parel packed with patrons looking forward to a fun filled evening. Just as the party is coming to life our draft beer machine stops working because the CO2 gas has run out. This is a dreaded scenario for us. Not only does it mean lost sales but also disappointed consumers and an annoyed outlet partner. We are constantly striving to eliminate such issues by deploying the latest tech platforms and enablers.

To ensure that the last mile fulfillment is high-quality and technology-driven we encouraged BookMyStorage (BMS) to integrate with HyperTrack’s tracking-as-a-service platform. After reviewing the HyperTrack product and then testing it in the lab BMS reached out to its transportation partners to pilot the technology. Truck drivers in big box retail in India carry feature phones and are new to the world of smartphones. BMS had to implement a behavior shift to get truckers to use a smartphone app to mark the dispatch and delivery of BIRA consignments. This involved solving for asset ownership incentives comfort with technology and selling the transport partners on the power of technology.

HyperTrack’s platform enables BMS to track the progress of drivers as they are out on their milk-run delivering our draft machine consumables and spares to bars and restaurants. Unscheduled stops stuck in traffic disconnected from network out of battery deviating from destination etc. are useful statuses to know in real time and then be able to replay at a later date.

Initial results have been promising. We have greater visibility on shipments expected delivery timelines and any critical exceptions. The ability to monitor progress in real-time results in higher productivity and good behavior in and of itself.

Over the next few months BookMyStorage will roll out tracking across all its vehicles. HyperTrack’s dashboards will be made available to us through BookMyStorage’s own dashboards. Similarly bars and restaurants waiting for their spares to arrive will be able to track the vehicle as it makes its way to them on a map with an accurate ETA.

We hope to ensure that down time for our draft machines is minimized. Also providing this added visibility through the latest technology cements our relationship with our B2B outlet partners. So the next time you are enjoying your favourite BIRA draft beer chances are that our logistics and technology partners – BookMyStorage and HyperTrack – have played a crucial role behind the scenes in getting that refreshing glass in front of you.