Archive for the ‘3-Tier System’ Category

April 26, 2015 · by Beau Redstone · 3-Tier System, Analytics

Browser homepageThe GreatVines Analytics platform is a comprehensive Business Intelligence environment providing the only true end-to-end Sales Execution & Management insights in the Beverage Alcohol industry. This post will be the first in a series focusing on integrated CRM analytics using GreatVines.

Shipments and depletions are the backbone of any Beverage Alcohol sales analytics platform. While virtually all suppliers have their own unique way of viewing this information, it all boils down to how much product was sold at what frequency to what distributor and what is subsequently being done to get that product closer to the consumer. Here are some of the things suppliers typically do with this data:

  • Summarize it in a variety of ways across product line and sales hierarchies.

  • Roll it up up to larger geography and brand hierarchies, in some cases creating custom rollups of key product or distributor groupings.

  • Alter the volume numbers to reflect industry standards for that particular market segment – converting physical cases to 9L cases on the wine and spirits side, and converting physical cases to case equivalents on the beer side.

  • Painstakingly generate shipment and depletion goals to frequently measure against actual sales volumes and – depending on the adequacy of target attainment – either dig deeper to find poor performers and determine root cause, or dig deeper to find top performers and identify what’s driving increased sales.

  • Massage the data to determine what distributors are overstocked on certain products and what distributors don’t have enough products.

  • Try and project what future distributor inventory will be based on historical shipment and depletion patterns.

All of this data typically manifests itself in a myriad of summary and supporting detail reports that all bear a striking resemblance to this:

The next phase of analysis begins with gaining an understanding of how distributors are servicing the retail outlets that sell these products to consumers.

The data collection services provide summarized invoice sales from distributors to retailers. This data is generally  known as ‘Retail Account Data (RAD)’ or ‘Sales to Retail (STR)’. Things get more interesting in this set of data because it affords the ability to view product sales more granularly, and by a variety of channel classifications. Sales are analyzed to determine the health of the national account business for instance, or to determine if the channel split between on- and off-premise is adequate. Sales are also analyzed by any of a slew of other attributes that are either associated with the data (store classification, sub channel etc.) or that can be derived by performing calculations on the data (accounts sold, points of distribution, velocity etc.).

In key markets, lists of ‘Key Accounts’ are often used to group and measure sales performance. Analysis is performed to determine gained and lost distribution, and account lists are generated providing insights on where one product(s) has been selling but another product(s) hasn’t. Depending on the data service provider, insights are also generated from distributor invoice sales dollars, and the currency of data is almost real time.  The possibilities of slicing RAD and STR are virtually limitless. An example top-line RAD/STR report might look like this:

Here at GreatVines, we have both the analytic tools and the business intelligence expertise to help customers achieve any of their analytic goals, and we believe our flexibility in providing both industry standard and client custom solutions within a powerful business intelligence platform sets us apart from – and above – the competition.
If you would like to see more, or have any comments or feedback, please feel free to drop me a note at beau. or in the comments section below.
August 27, 2014 · by Jim Thompson · 3-Tier System, Sales Strategy
“The key to this business is personal relationships” -- Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) quoting famous (but fictional) sports agent Dicky Fox

“The key to this business is personal relationships” — Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) quoting famous (but fictional) sports agent Dicky Fox

We live and work in a relationship-driven business. The key drivers are not merely transactional. What we know about our customers and partners is vital to build strong relationships and repeatable success. More importantly, when your team members move on to new territories, or worse – new jobs, those relationships often go out the window. Continuing with the sports theme for a second, I often give the example of knowing your customers’ favorite teams. It is horribly awkward to walk into an outlet and attempt to build rapport by bragging about a team your customer despises.

GreatVines certainly did not invent the concept of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). We have, however, taken over 50 years of combined expertise in the “adult beverages” industry, and partnerships with leading technology providers, to develop a solution which captures all the critical steps of the selling process. While basic individual attributes like spouse, children and sports teams ARE important, GreatVines takes this further by capturing tastes and preferences, results of promotional events and trainings, verbal commitments to order, plus much more, all summarized at the Account level. We see this information as actionable data that should be used to drive the relationship forward and accomplish strategic goals and objectives. As we like to say: “Using Technology to Sell More Cases”.

Tom Cruise, in the film “Jerry Maguire”, titles his sports agency mission statement “The Things We Think And Do Not Say”. Putting this in the context of a sales professional, I think of it more like “The Things We Do And Do Not Write Down”. Sales representatives as well as managers, should record every interaction. What was discussed? Was there interest expressed in new products? Is the target demographic of this Account changing? Today these insights might be “phoned in” or sent by email. When was the last time you ran a summary report based on emails you received?

Most sales professionals in our industry manage over one hundred Accounts, each with multiple decision makers and influencers. As a sales manager, you might call randomly on hundreds of Accounts with over a thousand individuals associated. If you are incentivizing your sales team based on their sales execution and not only case volumes, the metrics which drive those incentive payouts should be based solely on what was recorded in the system. Your business deserves more than paying for anecdotal information about your customers.

Jim Thompson is Co-Founder and CTO of GreatVines, as well as an avid home brewer, private pilot, musician, and evangelist for disruptive technologies. Although generally not a sports fan, he has watched “Jerry Maguire” a thousand times, and is often reminded that “dogs and bees can smell fear.”

June 14, 2011 · by Jim Thompson · 3-Tier System, Analytics, News Native App brings visibility by the case to beverage alcohol industry

GoodData Depletion Dashboard

GoodData Depletion Dashboard

GreatVines today announced that it has selected GoodData to power the analytics for its innovative beverage selling solution. For GreatVines, dashboards and ad hoc reporting are Powered by GoodData, combining licensed sales and depletion data across multiple distributors from Nielsen with CRM data for key accounts, sales activities, brand activation and visibility. Thanks to GreatVines and GoodData, producers and distributors no longer have to struggle with complex Business Intelligence products to unlock the power of market and channel data.

“Embedding analytics into sales CRM processes is central to our product mission,” said John Collins, CEO of GreatVines. “GoodData immediately impressed us with their scale and flexibility; the fact that it so easily integrated into the platform was a great bonus.”

GreatVines – built entirely on the platform -embeds analytics into every step of the sales process, so reps can see historical trends, analyzing data by brand, label, package, territory and more. With analytics across all three tiers, companies can make more evidence-based decisions on sales strategy and trade promotions. Thanks to GoodData, GreatVines customers get:

  • Pre-built, interactive dashboards that summarize the health of your distribution channels, with the ability to easily drill down for practically unlimited detail
  • Contextual reports tracking accounts sold, retail sales, points of distribution, shipments and depletions – all in one place without struggling with Excel or on-premise databases
  • Licensed wholesaler account and depletion data from Nielsen directly visible in the CRM environment.

“Only GoodData can deliver on the flexible and powerful analytics requirements of apps,” said Roman Stanek, Founder and CEO of GoodData. “We were built to help companies like GreatVines make analytics a central part of their products.”

“The best part of working with GoodData is seeing metrics come alive for our customers,” said Collins. “For many customers, this is the first time they’ve been able to marry sales activities to results.”

About GreatVines
GreatVines creates innovative software on the cloud platform for managing sales, trade marketing and order fulfillment for companies in the Beverage Alcohol industry. Notable clients include Kendall Jackson, Rémy Cointreau USA and Craft Brewers Alliance (Widmer Bros, Kona Brewing, Redhook). GreatVines also provides consulting and implementation services for suppliers and distributors of wine, spirits and beer through the 3-tier wholesale system. GreatVines is an ISV and OEM partner of and VAR partner of Nielsen’s Beverage Data Network.

About GoodData
GoodData offers the world’s most powerful Cloud BI Platform, providing our customers and partners with operational dashboards, advanced reporting and data warehousing at a fraction of the cost and complexity of other approaches. GoodData is trusted by companies like Enterasys Networks, Capgemini, and Software AG, and embedded into offerings from cloud innovators like Zendesk, Get Satisfaction and Pardot. GoodData is headquartered in San Francisco and located in the cloud at

March 16, 2011 · by John Collins · 3-Tier System

We were recently interviewed and asked about the differences between Direct to Consumer CRM and Trade CRM, particularly for wine producers.  Wine producers are unique in the Alcoholic Beverage space in that they are allowed to sell directly to some of their consumers through e-commerce, wine clubs and their equivalent of a factory outlet store – the tasting room.  These efforts are labeled “Direct to Consumer.” We at GreatVines are often asked to be involved in Direct to Consumer CRM opportunities, but our focus is on Trade CRM, Analytics, and Order Entry for producers and distributors.

Here are the high level observations I came up with when asked about the differences between Direct to Consumer (DTC) CRM activities and Direct to Trade (DTT) CRM activities.

  • DTC CRM focuses on consumers. DTT CRM is not as “flat” in that you focus on Retailer, on-Premise accounts, Distributors, National Accounts. DTC marketers need to convince customer to buy product.  DTT efforts need to convince Distributor to take and support product, retailer to bring it in and promote it, AND consumer to buy it!
  • DTC CRM relies on consumer purchase and demographic information, DTT CRM relies on trade sales data from syndicated sources like Nielsen/BDN
  • DTC CRM marketing efforts can result directly in a sale, DTT CRM requires more complex tools to provide visibility into actions and measure results from activities
  • DTT CRM involves the three tier system directly, tools used need to address the added complexity and lack of visibility that comes from the Winery not controlling the entire process.

Naturally we at GreatVines think our system contains a set of tools ideal for navigating this complex space, focusing on visibility of both efforts and results.

March 4, 2010 · by Jim Thompson · 3-Tier System, Events

Come visit  GreatVines at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association 67th Annual Convention and Exposition in early April 2010. We will be in Booth 507 demonstrating our cutting-edge solutions for Sales Management and Order entry, Supplier Portal Reporting and much more! Hope to meet you there!

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