Melissa Muirhead 

DB Breweries





When Melissa Muirhead visited a new high-tech brewery overseas she was astounded by the set-up. “The company had started with a blank sheet of paper and a lot of money, so they were able to design the most efficient brew house and packaging line possible.” It was a different environment to DB Breweries, where Melissa is the Talent and Organisational Development Manager. “Our Waitemata brewery started out in the 1930s as a small wooden building and expanded over time. It’s a bit like spaghetti junction with all the conveyer belts everywhere.” But the latest equipment alone did not equal performance – Melissa learned the Waitemata brewery was nearly three times more productive. Why? Because of people. “If you lose up to half your staff every year, you’re going to spend all your time and money training people how to do the basics. Turnover at our Waitemata site is far below average and we develop our people to take their skills to the next level.” DB Breweries works with Competenz to deliver apprenticeships and training in food and beverage processing, health and safety, manufacturing and sales. “I’ve always said it’s great to have equipment and machines and technology, but if you don’t invest in your people, it’s a lost opportunity. It had never been so obvious before.”