Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Red Stripe cutting jobs to focus on increased productivity

Published:Thursday | December 28, 2017 | 11:37 AMSteven Jackson

Desnoes & Geddes, which trades as Red Stripe Jamaica, will make eight positions redundant in the New Year with most choosing voluntary retirement, an official has indicated. 

It comes as the company launched a new plant to increase productivity.

"These initiatives resulted in some employees gaining new opportunities for growth and development through promotions, lateral moves and job enrichment. Regrettably, as part of these changes, eight roles were made redundant," said Ricardo Nuncio, managing director at Red Stripe in response to Gleaner Business queries.

"Red Stripe wishes to thank our eight employees who will exit the business at the end of December for their dedication and contribution to Red Stripe over the years and offer them best wishes and success for the future,” he added.

Nuncio added that the staff reductions are not directly related to the new plant which added 80 new jobs in the return of local manufacturing for the export market. 

“We will hire more than that as we expand towards 2020,” he said.

Red Stripe currently employs 340 persons with an additional 1,000 in Celebration Brands, its distribution joint venture with Pepsi.  

Nuncio added that over the past two years, Red Stripe has implemented a number of changes designed to ensure it holds the right tools, systems, organization and resources that will deliver its 2020 ambition.  

"In 2017, we rolled out a new enterprise resource planning system, HEI-Core Single Client and installed a new packaging line. We also continued to seek out more efficiencies through the simplification of complex processes, job redesign and streamlining our ways of working. As part of this drive at process improvement and to increase productivity levels, Red Stripe will also reorganize our shift pattern structure from 12-hour shifts, seven days a week to 8-hour shifts, five days a week effective January 2018," Nuncio added.

It comes as the company continues to improve efficiency levels at the island’s brewery owned by beer giant Heineken International. Red Stripe spent nearly US$18 million on its new line for the export market. 

The new line 8 will nearly triple the brewery's production to 26,000 cases per day or one million bottles of the Jamaican beer for the domestic and international markets. Also, the company now runs its plant on cheaper liquefied natural gas which powers over 90 per cent of its energy needs. 

The company's top export markets are the United States and Canada, with two million and 700,000 cases in annual shipments, respectively. As at July 2017, the company recorded 15 per cent market growth in the American focus cities of Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Atlanta.

- steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com