All communications between Heineken USA and its distributors via HOPS are encrypted with Secure Sockets Layer 2.0 software (Carlos, 1997). Distributors access to the WebSite Professional Web server is controlled by a password that is issued by Heineken USA. However, security is a major concern both for Heineken USA and its distributors. Concerns about confidentiality are a hindrance to both business-to-business and business to consumer Internet commerce.

Heineken USA further enhances efficiencies in its distribution process by using Remote Location Filing Program. Heineken USA imports its product from the Netherlands and delivers the beer to approximately 425 distributors across the U.S. Getting the product through Customs at the port of entry was a process that Heineken needed to streamline in keeping with the introduction and success of HOPS. The Remote Location Filing Program allows import customs entries to be filed electronically from a single location. In the case of Heineken, beer is imported through 11 ports. Customs paperwork is sent electronically to BDP International, which files the entries electronically with the appropriate customs authorities using the Remote Filing Location Program. BDP International from Philadelphia handles approximately 75% of the company's customs entries. Heineken has realized several benefits from this system. The average time to process a paperless customs entry is only one to two hours. Through the first half of 1999 an average of 666 entries per month were processed. The Remote Location Filing Program creates uniform filing in each port of entry, enhancing the streamlining effect of the process. This can have serious implications when a single violation can cost $10,000. In addition, distributors are kept better informed about the status of their order. Use of the Remote Location Filing Program has helped to enable Heineken to reduce the number of ocean carriers used from fourteen to four and the number of customs brokers from 50 to two.

Today, Heineken USA faces greater challenges than ever. Its web-based supply chain edge is gradually eroding, as their competitors easily adopt the relatively inexpensive web solution. Heineken USA is looking to further enhance efficiencies in its distribution network. The company has recently signed an agreement with Miller Brewing Company through which Miller will act as a consultant to Heineken on distribution capabilities, data analysis, and logistics. Currently, 60% of Heineken's product in the U.S. is distributed through Miller, although there is no agreement among the two that Heineken must use Miller distributors. There is a growing appreciation of quality over quantity, bringing an increase in expenditure on premium products that include Heineken. This is evidenced by the fact that slow growth in per capita consumption is outweighed by the continual rise in per capita expenditure (see Exhibit 6 and Exhibit 7). However, challenges for the future include regaining and retaining the position of number one imported beer in the U.S., which it recently lost to Grupo Modelo.

Annals of Cases on Information Technology
SQL Tips & Techniques (Miscellaneous)
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 367 © 2008-2017.
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