Shropshire brewery targeting £2.6m turnover after growing online sales

A brewery is predicting turnover of £2.6 million for 2021/2022 after receiving grant funding to help the business grow.

Hobsons Brewery team
Hobsons Brewery team

Catherine Bray, manufacturing growth manager for the Manufacturing Growth Programme, has supported Cleobury Mortimer-based Hobsons Brewery to access free support and grant funding toward the cost of a business improvement project.

Using MGP grant funding, a consultancy project was implemented to support the brewery in the development of an effective digital sales solution to enhance its online business.

The project included the design of a new e-commerce platform from which the company can showcase and sell its products, creating user journeys and interactions that enhance the buying experience, improve engagement with the end consumers, and drive awareness of the Hobson’s brand.

It will also help to drive foot traffic to offline sales at the taproom, through the promotion of special offers and events throughout the year.

A second project was also conducted which was an IT consultancy project to assist the brewery to create a bespoke integration for its cloud-based inventory management system. This will help to improve the efficiency of digital sales for both B2B and B2C customers. The project will improve product synchronisation and product stock synchronisation as well as providing real-time data for order processing.

The cloud-based inventory management system is expected to increase trade sales, with the launch of an online B2B portal. This portal will offer trade customers a quick ordering method that doesn’t require picking up the phone and cuts down internal order processing admin.

In the near future, Hobsons hopes to integrate the inventory management system with a route planning and optimisation software. The integration of these two programmes will further reduce manual order processing and planning, with the aim to move as much of the order process as possible to online software.

Nick Davis, Hobsons Brewery founder, said: “The Manufacturing Growth Programme has enabled us to maximise efficiencies through the implementation of innovative digital software and an optimised e-commerce website. Without the programme we would have struggled to source the required funds to implement both projects, the MGP has allowed us to get the new systems up and running at a crucial time, with online sales on the rise due to Covid-19. The MGP team have supported us across our journey, guiding us through grant application processes and answering any queries we have had along the way.”

Established in 1993, Hobsons is an independent brewery that produces award-winning regional ale available in casks and bottles. The business is dedicated in producing ale using the finest quality local ingredients teamed with sustainable technologies. It has earned national and regional awards for flavour, and ‘green’ accolades for innovation.

The business has set out to maintain a traditional business environment whilst growing and evolving with its market. A part of this evolution involves digitalising all its systems.

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