Editor's choice
17 Jan 20

Adriano Negrao, AB Inbev: “Digital transformation is our key enabler”

For international consumer goods and brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), managing its vast supply chain network and logistics operations is a tall task.

With 20 years of supply chain experience and degrees in Civil Engineering, Business Administration, and Supply Chain Management from highly accredited schools, Adriano Negrao is doing his part for the company in Latin America.

As Vice President of Logistics for the Middle Americas region, he manages a network of more than 30 production plants, 20 verticals and 400+ Distribution Centers in more than 15 countries. Among them are Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and others within the Caribbean Islands.

Following Mr. Negrao’s keynote address at Fleet LatAm Conference 2019 in Mexico City, we had a chance to meet. These are takes from a brief talk we had a few weeks thereafter.

Fleet LatAm editor Daniel Bland and Adriano Negrao at Fleet LatAm Conference 2019 (source: Fleet LatAm)

First of all, could you tell me a bit about the vehicle fleet in your coverage area?

Negrao: Sure, besides having a network of more than 7,000 Delivery trucks, we have a fleet of more than 3,000 Long-hall trucks, including single and double trailers. We also hold a fleet of approximately 1,600 forklifts at our warehouses.

What key goal is AB Inbev seeking to accomplish in 2020?

Negrao: To optimize logistics in our region, volume growth needs to be supported by a strong S&OP (sales and operations planning) process, something that we continuously provide. As for our goal, we are starting a logistics transformation in 2020.

We want to continue building an organization that is safe and efficient, but we are also focused on transforming it to be more customer centric with efficient processes that are supported by innovation and technology.

We believe that digital transformation is a key enabler in transforming each pillar of our operations: Planning, Transportation, Customer Deliver, Warehouse, Data & Analytics.

What are some of the innovative technologies AB Inbev uses in its fleet operations?

Negrao: One of our goals is to achieve zero accidents in our fleet and we believe that technology will be key to reaching this goal.

Currently, our fleet is equipped with telematics, seat belt sensors, and safety alarms in order to control and prevent unsafe behaviors such as speeding, heavy breaking or using risky routes. Most of our Delivery trucks in the countries we operate in throughout the region are set up with telemetry.

In Mexico, we are also piloting a DashCam in our trucks to monitor the delivery crew during the day. It focuses on driver behavior, seat belt usage, cellphone usage and security overall.

Furthermore, we have been strengthening telemetry and transport management through artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision algorithms. For one, we have designed mobile applications that allow for more agile communication between all parts of the supply chain, and that are integrated into the rest of our systems.

Another thing we are doing right now is developing technological solutions in our transport processes that helps reduce CO2 emissions going into the environment. Besides using electric trucks, this is being accomplished through trip optimization platforms which better manages kilometer usage per unit.

The use of technology in logistics has evolved at an accelerated pace in recent years and this has opened up new opportunities for the future that were previously unimaginable.

Are electric vehicles (EVs) a feasible option in fleet?

Negrao: We are piloting EVs in countries throughout our coverage area but also in other regions so that we can understand their performance, maintenance and to determine total cost of ownership (TCO) and feasibility.

As for the initial investment of EVs, we seek to offset this through the reduction of fuel and maintenance costs. It is important to mention that we now have renewable electricity in many of our operations and this is part of our plan to make EVs more feasible in terms of TCO.

Authored by: Daniel Bland