Artisanal Spirits Company plc launches multi-purpose supply chain facility
Artisanal Spirits Company plc – owner of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) – has formally launched its first-ever multi-purpose supply chain facility, marking what it called a ‘real step change’ in its supply chain performance.
Andrew Dane, Artisanal Spirits Company plc (‘the Group’) CEO, was joined by Chairman Mark Hunter to declare the £2.5m, state-of-the-art Masterton Bond bottling plant at Uddingston in the Central Belt officially open, the Group having signed a 10-year lease on the facility in October 2021.
Masterton Bond was completed on time and on budget and has been fully operational since November 2022, with c.20,000 bottles produced prior to the year end. The facility employs 14 full-time employees on site and is operational from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
As well as ensuring that all the Group’s bottling requirements are carried out in-house, the facility comprises significant capacity opportunity to support bottling in line with the business’s growth rates, virtually removing the need for third-party bottling.
Production has increased exponentially since the facility became operational and the plant will also provide cask storage, fulfilment and distribution of the Group’s whisky and other spirit products – as well as the SMWS, the Group also owns J.G.Thomson & Co, producer of a range of outstanding small batch blended malt whiskies, grain whiskies, rum and gin.
Masterton Bond’s Central Belt location, adjacent to the main M8 motorway linking Scotland’s two largest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, has proved to be a recruitment asset for the Group, attracting highly experienced and knowledgeable bottling and production staff with a track record working with many major spirits production companies.
The supply chain optimisation facility is great news for the business’s carbon footprint, too, contributing to a significant reduction in the number of road miles involved in the manufacture and supply of the Group’s products.
Andrew Dane, CEO of Artisanal Spirts Company plc, which owns both the SMWS and J.G. Thomson, said: “I’m delighted to officially open Masterton Bond today. It seems poignant that, as we celebrate 40 years of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, we look ahead to an exciting new era of providing more whisky than ever before to our membership worldwide.
“Masterton Bond is in line with our long-term business plan, utilising funds raised from our IPO in 2021, to evolve our cask storage and bottling requirements. This excellent new facility reduces our dependence on third-party bottlers for production, storage, fulfilment and distribution – our sincere thanks to all our third-party suppliers who have worked with us and helped us to get to this point.
“This improvement to our capacity for bottling marks a real milestone for our supply chain efficiency and performance. We are forecasting an improvement to margin as well as a higher volume of bottle production.”
“Furthermore, Masterton Bond is already substantially reducing road miles involved in the manufacture and supply of the Group’s products, helping us lower our carbon footprint and tread more lightly on the planet.”
Gary McGrath, Operations Manager at Masterton Bond, said: “This is an important day to us all and the team involved in getting the facility ready. Our testing and optimisation of our production in the run-up to opening today has been successful.
“To date, we have already bottled over 70,000 bottles on the line and we will soon be making shipments to all our key markets internationally including China, the United States, Australia, Germany, France and Japan, from here in Uddingston.”