Performance + People = Profit at Asheville’s Highland Brewing Co.

By: | Posted in: Green Plus News |

Green Plus isn’t only about environmental practices: It’s about combining planet + people + performance to bring about sustainable prosperity. Christopher Gergen and Stephen Martin cover how Asheville, N.C., based Highland Brewing Co.’s smart management keeps the beer rolling out and profits rolling in.

“The brewing business, though, can be brutal with its relentless competition, long hours and expensive capital investments. (Owner Oscar) Wong needed an edge. He found it by fully tapping into the individual talents of his people and, more important, getting them to work together. Though Highland has only 20 employees, its core team of leaders has stuck with the company since the late 1990s. Several of them started out as interns or entry-level workers before gradually moving into senior positions.

They learned about the importance of collaboration from day one through an experience all Highland employees share: short rotations through each of the company’s divisions. A new employee in accounting, for instance, will spend two or three weeks on the production floor.All employees steep themselves in the realities of inventory control, packaging and distribution.

“This is a small company,” Wong says. “It’s important to have them learn what goes on in the other groups, so they really understand the business and can pitch in if someone goes on vacation.”

Click here for the full article by Christopher Gergen and Stephen Martin for the News & Observer.

The Institute for Sustainable Development

We educate, motivate, and recognize smaller enterprises for their efforts towards becoming more sustainable. We’re here to offer tangible, practical tips and expertise in sustainability.
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