“Message In a Bottle”
The 30 million bottles of wine and spirits a year that have to be transported from the AMKA Group's central warehouse in Jutland make original thinking essential. Logistics manager, Anders Ellitsgaard Larsen is convinced of that. So his goal is to try to create the best possible experience for customers through improved logistics.
As the Nordic region's biggest wine importer, the AMKA Group needs logistics solutions that not only work but are constantly under development. The Group's central warehouse in Hørning, directly south of Aarhus covers 13 000 m2 and houses 5-6 million bottles of wine. AMKA's logistics organisation delivers wine and spirits to the Group's own companies and customers but also (for example) wine to private individuals on behalf of external partners throughout the whole wine industry. From the central warehouse south of Aarhus, PostNord transports large and small deliveries to wholesalers, stores, restaurants and private individuals in all the Nordic countries.
Quality is a top priority for AMKA in relation to both goods and delivery.
"If you order from us, you expect to get your wine delivered in proper packaging and in good condition. You're not just buying wine. You're buying an experience," says Anders Ellitsgaard Larsen. "It is therefore hugely important that customers get exactly what they are expecting when they receive wine from AMKA's central warehouse."
When the financial crisis struck, scarcely ten years ago, AMKA, like the majority of other companies, had to think outside the box to make their finances work. "The goods we sell are luxuries rather than essentials. So we had to see where we could make savings without compromising on the quality of our goods. That's why we focused on the logistics," says the logistics manager. "For example, previously, our private customers would get their goods delivered the same way as for the big wholesale deliveries, by lorry." In collaboration with PostNord, AMKA agreed to split deliveries into two sections. The main section would now comprise all large deliveries transported by lorries, while PostNord Express would handle all the private deliveries. "It wasn't practical for anyone to have those big lorries driving around in residential areas. Now everyone is doing what they're best at," says Anders Ellitsgaard Larsen. This made the solution both cheaper and more efficient. Lastly, it gave customers a better transport price.
Looking beyond AMKA's vast expertise in wine, they are also setting their sights on various quality beers and spirits. Their subsidiary, Beer Enthusiast, originally established in Norway by a group of beer aficionados, now forms the basis of AMKA's import/export of speciality beers. The focus is on having a strong Nordic profile with the best quality beers from across the whole Nordic region. Among them are: Ø-bryg from Denmark, Austmann from Norway, Malmgård from Finland and Slotskällan from Sweden. It is therefore quite likely that the next time you wet your whistle with a beer you bought in a speciality store, that beer will have been supplied by Beer Enthusiast. As the logistics manager points out: "It is the total experience that makes the customer want to buy from us again."
AMKA - at a glance
- Established by Anna-Marie Søndergaard and her husband Karsten in 1978.
- The Nordic region's biggest importer of wine.
- Central warehouse in Hørning stocks 5-6 million bottles.
- Supplies stores, restaurants and private customers.
- Sells 30 million bottles of wine, beer and spirits divided across 11 countries.
- Represented in 11 countries by subsidiaries.
- The AMKA Group has a total of 130 employees in those 11 countries and comprises 18 individual companies.