Drinks giant Diageo has opened a new customer service and regional technical centre in Panama City as part of a plan to transform its Latin America and Caribbean customer service and distribution model, and make it more efficient.
Panama was chosen as the preferred location for a number of reasons, including its geographic location and the availability of local talent.
Ewan Andrew, senior vice president for supply in Latin America and the Caribbean added, “Our investment in these new facilities incorporates the latest in environmental office design. It also brings together our commercial, customer service and technical, teams most of who are newly recruited from within Panama.”
The new facilities will cover functionality across three main areas: customer service, distribution and technical services.
The customer service centre will service distributor partners and other customers.
The distribution centre will warehouse and distribute products to customers across Latin America and the Caribbean. Formerly these orders were processed and shipped from Europe. The new distribution centre has been instrumental in Diageo’s ability to dramatically reduce the order-to-delivery timeframe.
The regional technical centre is the first of its kind for Diageo in Latin America and the Caribbean. It will focus on liquid and packaging development, product and process compliance and building industry-leading science and technology expertise.
“Latin America continues to be a key pillar for Diageo’s growth strategy,” said Alberto Gavazzi, managing director of WestLAC, Diageo Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We already have a longstanding partnership with the Motta Group, our distributors, in Panama and now we are fully established in the country. We have warehousing facilities in Colon, a regional customer service centre, and a state-of-the-art technical centre that will drive our innovations in product design and liquid development to sustain our growth and success in the region,” added Gavazzi, who assumes presidency of Diageo Latin America and Caribbean in July.
Diageo’s brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, and Red Stripe.