Back in May of this year, it was reported that Bowen and Bowen was lagging in production and couldn’t keep up with the Belize’s demands. There were complaints about shortages with Bowen and Bowen products, from soft-drinks in the plastic bottles, to soft drinks in the glass bottles, and even acute shortage of Crystal water products.
In an interview with Belize City media Bowen and Bowen Senior Executive Hilly Martinez confirmed that, in regards water products, the company was behind in production and just could keep up with market’s demand during the hot months of April and May. As for the glass bottled soft drinks, Martinez mentioned they had a major breakdown with a machine called the crowner, which puts the aluminum stopper on the bottles and had to order the replacement part from Germany which also caused delays.
There were also reports that franchise inspectors from Costa Rica had recently given a bad review of the bottling operations; to that rumor Martinez said, “That’s not so”. Martinez affirmed that the company passed the quality control audit – and their problem was just capacity production.
Today, two months after these rumors and shortage problems Michael H. M. Bowen, President / C.E.O of Bowen and Bowen sent out the following press release dismissing the outrageous rumors about the product shortage.
“To Our Employees, Friends, Customers, and Associates:
In the recent weeks there have been many rumors about Bowen & Bowen’s status. These rumors range from speculative to outrageous, and we unequivocally state that these rumors are unfounded.
Undoubtedly, the root of this speculation is the perceived shortage of product. The truth is, at Bowen & Bowen we are upgrading our computer systems and production lines to better serve our customers. These upgrades have disturbed the flow of our supply chain.
First, we upgraded the bottling line at Belize Brewing Company. This upgrade required us to shut down the Brewery bottling line for two weeks to complete the installation which consisted of installing:
*a new filler to improve quality,
*an All Surface Electronic Bottling Inspector (ASEBI),
*an Electronic Full Drink Inspector,
*a repair and upgrade of our pasteurizer,
*and, new conveyors.
Second, we are upgrading our software to an Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) called SAP. When we first contemplated SAP we were told Belize was not ready for such an advanced system. We refused to accept those statements. We believe in Belize! We thought, and still believe that if companies all over the world can implement SAP, there is no reason why the hard-working, well-educated workforce in Belize couldn’t successfully implement this system; so, for the benefit of our consumers, our customers and our associates, we went forward with the application of SAP.
As the old adage states, things get worse before they get better; when we switched over to SAP on June 1st, the first week was long, frustrating, and tiresome. The second week was moderately better, but the system held us back on distribution, production, and sales. By the end of the second week, it was clear our team was learning SAP, and our lines of supply and distribution were improving. We were learning the systems, and feeling more comfortable. On June 16th, we stopped all movement and performed a countrywide physical stock count to correct the SAP indicated inventory. From that point forward, things have continued to improve. We are still learning, and every company who has launched SAP has gone through a process similar to what we are experiencing. From here forward you will continue to see improvements.
Bowen & Bowen is also aggressively investing in its distribution vehicles to make sure we can deliver product to every corner of the country. This year we bought seventeen (17) new route trucks, four (4) towheads, four (4) trailers, and six (6) tractors. This has not only improved the look of our Fleet, but will better serve our customers by ensuring trucks are always available.
Nothing happens without people. This has been a team effort, the biggest change in Bowen & Bowen in over three decades, and an incredible endeavor made possible by a very dedicated and valuable staff.
We started out mentioning rumors, and now we’ll state who we are and where we’re going:
*We are Bowen & Bowen; Proud to be Belizean,
*We are Bowen & Bowen; Improving,
*We are Bowen & Bowen; Investing in Belize, and
*We are Bowen & Bowen; Striving to better serve our customers.
Bowen & Bowen will always continue to improve, and we thank you for your patience during this process.”
Michael H. M. Bowen
President / C.E.O