The information contained in this report was compiled from several conversations and visits with beer distributors, CSD bottlers, and from my own personal experience as a former executive with a beer distributorship. Much of the information has been published in previous issues of the Distributor Productivity Letter, our monthly newsletter designed to add a nickel a case to the bottom line of distributorships. There are essentially only two ways in which distributorships increase the profits they make: by increasing sales and/or margins, and by leveraging their people and assets to a higher performance. The two feed off each other.The third way, which is to stop servicing the entire market (i.e. delivering only to profitable accounts) is simply not an option for those distributorships who want to remain in business long-term. It is usually a last-ditch effort to stave off bankruptcy and termination. However, short of pulling back on service, there are several ways to add profits to your organization, and we are going to explore just a few of them here (Note: Subscribers can get this report free. Email to get it emailed to you)

Warren Buffett is the second richest man in the world. Under the assumption that you don’t get to be that rich by being a dumb-dumb, I decided to read a recent biography of his life (The Real Warren Buffett by James O’Loughlin) and see if I could apply some of his driving principles to the beer industry. Here’s what I came up with.

Ready to re-carpet the office? One distributor reports that he switched to modular carpet tiles and has been very pleased with it.

When I interviewed Joe Thompson of Independent Beverage Group recently, one of the things he told me stuck in my head. He said there was a serious talent hole in the beverage industry ..

So you know what your company’s hard assets are worth. But how to calculate Blue Sky, the intangible assets that are the icing on the cake and where the true value resides?Many use a per case formula, with A-B distributors getting the highest multiple, then Miller/Coors, then Miller only, then Coors only, then all others. … Continue reading “Calculating Blue Sky for Your Company”

Faust Distributing swaps out their bricks with Palm Pilots and finds they are easier to use.

Lower Your Price – of course this is the quickest way to increase sales, but I don’t recommend it.Prevent Out-of-Stocks. Schedule more Point-Of-Sale crew drives – You may think that your suppliers are the only ones that create demand, but POS at the point of purchase is equally important (see DPL Jan. 2002). Max out … Continue reading “7 Quick Ideas to Jumpstart Your Sales”

Look out. OSHA administrator John Henshaw said that a National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics would be created to advise the agency on a number of issues involving the development of industry- or task-specific guidelines, a frightening prospect.

Out-of-stocks are the second worst crime to a supplier (the worst being old product). The problem, of course, is that in order to never have O-O-S, you would have to dramatically increase delivery call ratios or add hot shot routes. That can get very expensive. Here are a few ways to fight back.

And it ain’t just money. Some of the results may surprise you, such as 84% of workers said that performance evaluations were very important to them.

Without adding staff.

It would seem to make sense that you should assign merchandising labor according to account volume. While it makes sense, rarely does this method work in practice.

Rerouting is tough, but it needs to be done every few years.

The supermarket is dead. Wal-Mart opened its 1,000th supercenter last year and Costco has expanded into five more states, need I say more? But wait a minute. Can it be true? Supermarkets, excluding supercenters, experienced a 3.5% increase in dollar sales according to the 55th Annual Consumer Expenditures Study. Industry observers cite the increase of … Continue reading “The Supermarket is Dead, Or is it?”

(Without getting thrown out).