Beer Business Daily (by: Harry Schuhmacher)
Continuing the previous story on Tamarron’s COVID-time survey: they also conducted a suppliers-side rating of distributors’ performance and “adaptability” during COVID.
The main consensus here: “Overall, distributors have done a phenomenal job of adapting to the COVID 19 challenges in the following areas: establishing and adhering to safety protocols for their employees and customers; adapting service levels for off premise customers; and staying up to date on the evolving regulations, restrictions and re opening strategies of their local territories.”
Distributors’ strongest suit, it seemed, was “on public health and safety precautions,” where they scored “overwhelmingly” and “extremely high.”
Notably, 94% of suppliers also said the vast majority of their network was adapting service levels admirably for off-premise customers, by things like shifting personnel and efforts to keep high velocity skus (and shelves) stocked.
Distributors also largely scored well in certain types of communication, particularly sales and operations communication, with “nearly 80% of supplier responses acknowledging that more than 75% of their networks were consistently performing well” there.
Wholesalers scored just slightly lower than that on their ability to “[re-establish] service to on premise, making temporary organization changes and adjusting short term objectives.”
“The least consistent behavior related to servicing accounts on E commerce platforms.”
ALIGNMENTS/MISALIGNMENTS. The survey then cross-referenced the distributor and supplier responses to determine where both parties could do better, and where they seemed to be “misaligned” in efforts.
ALIGNED “OPPORTUNITIES” where both could do better:
-“Enhancing revenue / offsetting losses,” or how the tiers are working together to develop plans to make up for lost revenue or increased costs.
“Keg reimbursements and co-op funds may be considered here.”
-“Capitalizing on E-Commerce trends was the 2nd lowest scoring question for brewers and the lowest for distributors.”
And “last, but certainly not least, is the opportunity around inventory management – production, forecasting, ordering, etc.”
Both also scored in the lower levels for re-establishing the on premise.
MISALIGNMENTS. As for areas where performance is misaligned:
Regarding handling out-of-code on premise kegs: “Brewers received their highest score, while the distributor score was ranked 13th with only 65% of responses indicating that 75% of the networks were doing this consistently.”
“Relative to strategy & support communication at the leadership levels, brewers also outscored distributors – the brewer score ranked 4th among all questions, while the distributor score ranked 12th.”
Finally, “while distributors excelled at adapting off-premise service levels, brewers were slower to adapt their priorities in the off-premise. This question ranked 2nd for distributors and 9th for brewers.”