-> 2008 -> Marrying Old and New Technology on Islay

Saturday, 21/Jun/2008

Marrying Old and New Technology on Islay

Picture of Bruichladdich distillery on Islay seen from the pier

While my new digital video camera is being charged before I can start using it I thought I do some quick Islay blogging. Technology blogging. Computing Business is not a publication where I would really expect an article about Bruichladdich whisky distillery on Islay. Yet there is one, titled Over a barrel (also syndicated in WhatPC?). But thinking back to something I had read a few months ago I had a hunch what this might be about:

Back in March I had found a press release ‘Bruichladdich Distillery Company orders £200,000 TROPOS ERP Supply Chain system from SSI’. My hunch was right, the entry was about Bruichladdich implementing a new ‘Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)’ system. While they still run the actual distilling process with the same Victorian technology from over a century ago they are not shy to also embrace new technology.

They jumped on to ‘Web 2.0’ by starting the Bruichladdich Blog. Internally they started small:

“We started out with some spreadsheets that became bigger and increasingly complex until they just did not work any more,” says Reynier.

At first glance it might not sound too complex to run a small distillery like Bruichladdich, but reading about all the varieties of barleys ordered from different sources makes you start thinking it might be a bit more complex. Then considering all the different expressions Bruichladdich creates having to be shipped to many different countries makes you understand why running this on spreadsheets is not a sustainable option.

Fingers crossed the implementation of the new system runs smoothly and Mark can continue focusing on making excellent whisky instead of having to fight with unwieldy spreadsheets.

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