Client TRACC Journey: SABMiller


The political ruptures of 1989 not only heralded an era of accelerated globalization, they also marked the start of a long-term business relationship between CCI and the (then) South African Breweries (SAB). As China, Russia, India, the nations of Eastern Europe, and Latin America began to deregulate and liberalize their economies, many brewing companies pursued a feisty acquisitions policy to establish footholds in these emerging markets.

SABMiller’s business relationship with CCI spans more than two decades, dating back to 1989 when the first presentation was made to the (then) SAB board.

But one brewer from South Africa knew that it would take more than clever deal-making for a company to grow sustainably — it required a belief in people, a brand-led culture and a long-term vision. Today, more than 20 years after embarking on an international expansion scheme, SABMiller ranks as the world’s only truly global brewer. SABMiller’s business relationship with CCI spans more than two decades, dating back to 1989 when the first presentation was made to the (then) SAB board.


SAB at the time was looking to “develop a shop floor continuous improvement approach that empowers and engages all levels of the organization in improving practices and sustaining performance improvement”.

SAB subsequently decided on the TRACC Solution to provide it with a way to build internal capability, and replicate best practice and learnings to create sustainable results.

Other reasons for selecting the TRACC Solution included the easy online access to the TRACC Best Practices (which enables multisite implementation), and the clear implementation plan and guides. Since then, the relationship has gone from strength to strength, and the TRACC footprint now extends into Latin America, USA, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and China.



1989 – 1999

The first 10 years
After a presentation to the SAB board in 1989, CCI commences with defining and testing the Best Operating Practices (BOP) model at the Chamdor brewery in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is followed by supporting SAB to implement the BOP model at breweries throughout the country. The mid-90s sees the development of guidelines for Successful Transition, Entrenching the Ethic and World Class Manufacturing (WCM) for supervisors’ training programs. The latter part of the decade consists of ongoing training and support.

There’s been a culture change. People now realize that there are better ways to manage the various processes and lines, and the number of quality awards we’ve received is visible proof of the prevailing mind-set. Despite volume limitations, our main aim is to remain in SABMiller’s top ten rankings.
— Rolando Caro, ILC Manufacturing Director, El Salvador

March 2000

This year marks the first ever sale of the TRACC Solution to the now rapidly expanding SAB, as well as CCI’s first foray into the Eastern European market. Best practice implementation starts at Kompania Piwowarska, Poland’s largest brewery. TRACC is translated into Polish, the first of what was to become 14 international languages.

Kompania Piwowarska realized a US$2.5 million return within 11 months of best practice implementation, and the potential for US$6.5 million in additional revenue through increased market share. Although not directly related to the TRACC implementation, Tyskie Gronie, the leading beer brand in Poland, went on to win the gold medal in the Small Pack Lager competition at the 2002 Brewing Industry International Awards.
2002 – 2004

In May 2002, SAB acquires the Miller Brewing Company, forming SABMiller. Two major new SABMiller projects come on stream – the Kaluga Brewery project in Russia, and BevCo in El Salvador. Work begins on the Russian and Spanish translations at CCI. Work also commences on the SABM Honduras assessment, followed by the translation of TRACC into Czech for the Pilsner Urquell and Radegast breweries in the Czech Republic.

In 2005, Industrias La Constancia (ILC), a brewery and carbonated soft drinks (CSD) bottler in El Salvador, becomes the first Central American plant to receive the Coca-Cola Phase 4 Quality Award, a management-driven measurement system of all plant processes and strategic objectives. This demonstrates the company’s commitment to WCM. It has since become the number one CSD plant in SABMiller’s global rankings, with the lowest syrup, sugar and pre-form losses, and the best factory efficiencies.

The TRACC Solution clearly demonstrates its remarkable flexibility when SABMiller selects it as the driver of its Global Evaluation of Manufacturing assessments (GEMs), intended to measure the maturity of its global work practices at 80 sites. The TRACC content is customized by SABMiller to include its own learning and knowledge, and is powered by the TRACC platform (digiTRACC). The GEM contract is subsequently extended to 100 sites.

2008 – present

The TRACC Solution makes further inroads into plants in Africa, India, Vietnam, and the Netherlands (Grolsch), as well as, Australia. In 2008, SABMiller and Molson Coors enter a US joint venture to create MillerCoors. In 2010, GEMs are extended to another 20 sites, bringing the total to 120. In Africa, SABMiller initiates a TRACC rollout at 26 breweries with a focus on performance and people development, combined with a desire to enable local managers to manage the breweries.

  • MillerCoors’ Shenandoah brewing facility received the Beverage World Plant of the Year award for 2008. (MillerCoors is a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company in the USA.)
  • Performance in the African breweries over this period included a machine efficiency improvement from 71% to 88%, and a significant reduction in the usage of energy and water. Four African breweries were listed in SABMiller’s global top 10 for machine efficiency, and also broke into the top 30% against the basket of 23 measures.
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