The use of data analytics has been critical to navigate the pandemic and build a path back to profitability for Victorian brewery, Hawkers Beer.

When Covid-19 hit, the independent brewer encountered an onset of challenges such as understanding and managing cash on-hand and dealing with extreme fluctuations in demand and supply.

The forced closure of pubs and bars, coupled with the cancellation of major events also threatened to devastate its business, with 90% of its revenue coming from selling beer to these venues.

Faced with a need to transform its business model to focus on direct-to-consumer, Hawkers Beer partnered with The Data School to use Alteryx Advanced Analytics to optimise its business processes. The brewer has now expanded the use of data analytics across its sales and product teams to improve forecasting and reach new customers.

“We’re one of the only independent craft breweries in Australia using data analytics – we don’t have the resources like some of the big boys,” Hawkers Beer CEO and co-founder, Mazen Hajjar said.

“Alteryx is ultimately a great equaliser in that sense. It gives us more power, with less resources. We have the ability to perform advanced analytics to our data without a whole department of data analysts and scientists.”

Through predictive data analytics, Hawkers Beer can adjust its production when there is high inventory, long production or replenishment lead-time, as well as variances in demand for its product. By performing cash flow forecasting, the brewer was able to analyse its real-time data and make the decision to temporarily withdraw from the Queensland market last year to strengthen its bottom line.

“The ability to understand our areas of profitability and where we should focus our energies is the difference between simply surviving and thriving during Covid-19,” Hajjar said. “By addressing data we’ve been able to manage inventory levels and cash flow more efficiently. We’re more profitable and our bottom line has changed completely, so much so we’ll be out of debt in 15 months.”

By blending and cleansing data with its existing SAP system and combining other data sources, the brewer has uncovered new insights on customer segments, as well as new marketing and sales opportunities.

“Since its inception, Hawkers Beer has made its mark on the Australian craft beer industry as a disrupter. We are proud to partner with Hawkers Beer on its data automation journey, to help the company better manage and influence its cash flow and take the guesswork out of customer conversion and engagement so that the world can drink better beers,” Alteryx Australia and New Zealand country manager, JJ Phillips said.