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Enterprise Architecture Success Story

Learn how a beverage company leveraged Lightwell's EA expertise to optimize its IT solution investments, improve alignment, increase agility, and empower their teams for better business outcomes.

Business Challenge

A Digital Strategy and Aggressive Automation Opportunity

With 250 locations spanning 50 countries, a large global beverage and brewing company was faced with challenges achieving consistent automation across its operations. While brewery automation was occurring at many levels, it was very localized with hundreds of different technology solutions and vendors. As a result of this technical diversity, the company struggled with higher complexity, and silos of data that prevented the effective use of modern analytics.

To drive a consistent approach, the beverage company launched a digital automation strategy targeted at enabling a “Supply Chain of the Future.” The team leading the effort focused initially on building the automation strategy and justifying the considerable investment required. Gaining alignment with a diverse group of decision makers around the automation solutions and securing the required funding were critical first steps—but presented huge planning and communication challenges for the team.

Unfortunately, after 18 months and a significant investment of resources, time, and effort—the strategy was still being ignored and underfunded. The company faced the possibility of continued divergence among their technology investments, with a lack of consistency and a significantly smaller ROI than it could achieve with a more cohesive strategy.


Lightwell consultants had been working with the company on an application architecture initiative and recognized the major challenges the digital strategy team was facing. Subsequently, they proposed a new approach to the company’s leadership that would help to overcome them.


After gaining a more in-depth understanding of the company’s processes, technologies, and goals, Lightwell worked closely with the company’s digital strategy team to develop a business capability model for brewing, packaging, and vertical operations. This model was then linked into the company’s existing process frameworks and KPIs, enabling effective benefit and financial impact analyses.

For each application targeted for brewery automation, effective communication around impact, costs, and benefits was critical. To facilitate this, the Lightwell team fully described and documented the company’s 50-plus applications through a catalog of business capability change statements.


1-Enabling the team

Enabling the team to plan numerous scenarios for solution investment and rollout across a 4-year program

2-Providing a flexible approach

Providing a flexible approach that could be adjusted quickly to changing corporate dynamics in planning, adoption, and budget availability

3-Empowering the TeamEmpowering the team to optimize the annual investment for achieving the most benefits

Looking to the Future: Establishing a Best Practice Investment PlanningBeverage-Company

Enterprise Architecture and Business Architecture are all about the alignment of investments to strategy. The Lightwell team was able to prove the benefits of business capability planning, and for the digital strategy project, it led to a complete turnaround in funding and support. The company is now fully investing in this program and using capability-based planning as a model for the future.

In addition, the company has since expanded the original capability model and has moved to adopt this as a corporate best practice. It has become the foundation of planning for the full supply chain—from sourcing to production to distribution.


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