Supply chain pressures have led Brown-Forman Corp — maker of Jack Daniel’s whiskey and a number of other liquor brands — to restructure its technology leadership.
As The Wall Street Journal reported Friday (April 15), the shake-up happened last month, largely driven by supply chain disruption, particularly a glass supply shortage.
Based in Louisville, Ky., Brown-Forman sells its products in 170 countries, with brands that include Old Forester bourbon, Finlandia vodka, Fords Gin, and Korbel sparkling wine.
On an earnings call last month, Leanne Cunningham, the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, said Brown-Forman is also facing pressures from increased commodity prices, including agave and grain.
Andrea Teixeira, a JPMorgan senior equity research analyst, told the Journal that glass supply shortages have impacted the beverage industry as demand rose amid the pandemic.
“Our cost increases have been driven by our efforts to minimize the impact of the supply chain disruptions largely related to the glass supply constraints,” Cunningham said during the call.
To that end, the company has promoted Tim Nall, its one-time chief information officer, to senior vice president, chief global supply chain and technology officer. The company named Dan Muraski, a 12-year Brown-Forman veteran, to serve as its new CIO.
He told the Journal he wants to focus on efficiency in the supply-chain efficiency and the company’s data analytics capabilities.
“We can better inform our supply chain with better planning, so to me, that is probably the number one place where technology can play a role,” Muraski said. “There are probably things we could do to our processes around planning and ordering that we could do better.”
This news comes one day after the White House issued a report warning that supply chain issues would likely outlive the COVID pandemic.
The report cites shipping backlogs, product shortages, and record inflation as issues that preceded COVID and are likely to still pose problems even after the virus is mostly contained. That’s to say nothing of climate-change-related disasters.
“Though modern supply chains have driven down consumer prices for many goods, they can also easily break,” the Council of Economic Advisers said in the report.