Everyone’s favorite barley blogger, Harry Schuhmacher at Beer Business Daily posted a piece that really piqued our interest here at the GreatVines blog. Titled, “Distributors Cite Technology, Data Analytics as Change Agents Driving Modern Distribution”, the piece runs through a number of reasons why beverage distributors are embracing technology to help them better serve their customers. Here are the takeaway themes we felt were so apropos.
Many of the factors driving increased technology adoption among beverage distributors are the same as those driving technology adoption in most areas of business. For example, Harry points to the fact that there is a learning curve when it comes to becoming comfortable with the tablet/smartphone touchscreen interface. Yet, now that most personal and even business applications adhere to the tap and swipe protocol, even the older generations who are typically some of a salesforce’s most seasoned and knowledgeable resources are not as averse to using new tech as they were even 10 years ago.
Yet, beyond the relentless march of technology, there is a more significant reason why so many distributors are leaning on technology solutions in greater measure. Harry nails this too, identifying increasing complexity in the industry as a driving force behind adoption. In his inimitable style, Harry delivers this dynamic with brevity and wit. Speaking about why the industry can no longer afford to avoid utilizing technology to actively manage sales and distribution, Schuhmacher quipped, “More SKUs, more suppliers, more sophisticated chain accounts – it’s a shitshow out there”!
And it’s true. Managing a monster list of products across scores of labels and lines is just part of it. It is also as much about the evolving nature of how these products are taken to market. As Harry’s piece concludes, “Selling by geography is out, tailoring by channel is in.” In order to support that kind of approach, a tech tool like those offered as part of the GreatVines platform becomes absolutely essential! Segment your account universe and create goals and objectives specific to the needs of each category.
You simply cannot capture and properly record data, perform analytics on said data, and share the output in real time with sales teams across multiple territories without information systems and technologies.