February 26, 2004
BudNet - Anheuser-Busch knows more about you than you think

Business 2.0 / CNN reports on Anheuser-Busch's "top-secret data network": 66,207,896 bottles of beer on the wall. Anheuser-Busch is the makers of Budweiser and several other well-known beer brands in the US, and the last couple of years they have apparently developed a very strong data collection network:

[...] several thousand reps and drivers serve as the eyes and ears of a data network through which distributors report, in excruciating detail, on sales, shelf stocks, and displays at thousands of outlets.

Called BudNet, it is the King of Beers's little-known crown jewel, and the primary reason that Anheuser's share (by volume) of the $74.4 billion U.S. beer market inched up to 50.1 percent from 48.9 percent during the past year [...]

According to dozens of analysts, beer-industry veterans, and distributor execs contacted for this article, Anheuser has made a deadly accurate science out of finding out what beer lovers are buying, as well as when, where, and why.

The last time you bought a six-pack of Bud Light at the Piggly Wiggly, Anheuser servers most likely recorded what you paid, when that beer was brewed, whether you purchased it warm or chilled, and whether you could have gotten a better deal down the street.

(via Fredrik)

The public front page of BudNet can be found via Google and accessed at budnet.com, and it advertises the following functions:

  • Account Business Reviews
  • BudNET e-Reporting
  • Chain Sales Reports
  • Customer Development Tool
  • Data Quality Reports
  • Efficient Order Writing
  • Repack Online
  • Retail Promotion Notices
  • Weekly Sales Forecasting
  • Wholesaler Administration Tool
  • Wholesaler Business System
  • Wholesaler Order Logs
  • Wholesaler Return Scheduling
Also Hosting:
  • Brewing Operations & Technology
  • BudExchange.com
  • Busch Media
  • ISV Systems Integration
The UK BudExchange seems to do similar things on a smaller scale: BudExchange.co.uk case study.

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