Distributor Productivity Summit 2018

August 6, 2018

This year, the Distributor Productivity Summit (DPS) welcomed over 60 wholesalers and covered a range of topics including optimizing productivity, better hiring practices, efficiency, and utilizing data technology to streamline warehouse operations. Representatives from Beer Business Daily, Wine Spirits Daily, Beer Board and NBWA attended to speak about current hot topics in the industry.

Encompass, along with Tom Yale, Director of IT at United Distributors, also had the opportunity to share how Vision QA has improved accuracy in loading orders and reduced returns in their warehouse.

Here are some highlights of DPS 2018:

Sustainability with Double Green

Molly Reilly, CEO of Double Green, raised some important questions on how wholesalers need to be aware of sustainability within their organizations.

First off, suppliers and retailers are already making big promises to reduce their carbon footprint. While this is good, it is now the wholesalers' job to uphold this sustainable level and continue reaching for new goals. Wholesalers are also already doing a good job of reducing their carbon footprint by consolidating multiple products and delivering bigger drop sizes.

So, what else can one do?

Reilly also mentioned that a company doesn't need to buy "new shit" to make a difference. Some options are painting the roof of your warehouse white, and finding ways to make trailer refrigeration more efficient. Lastly, activities to increase sustainability are important and worth sharing. Create press releases and post about new developments, because people want to know!

Reduce Supplier Count and Increase Sales

Reduce supplier count and increase sales... seems like an oxymoron, right?

Not this time.

Mitch Turner, Sales Director for Major Brands, shared his story of how losing their biggest brewer was actually great for their business. The important thing to note is that both big brands and small brands are worth evaluating frequently because both are prone to negative and positive profits.

At the time, this particular brewer had high volume with Major Brands, but as time went on, the brand's volume was slowly decreasing along with their revenue and profitability.

By losing this brewer, Major Brands found an opportunity to invest in new brands who carried positive growth with greater profit. So remember, always evaluate big and small, and think big picture.

So, You Wanna Be a Weed Distributor?

Out of all the presentations at DPS, Nick Rinella, COO of Verdant Distribution, caught lots of attention speaking about how Verdant became a cannabis distributor. Cannabis distribution is a brand new market for everyone, but it surely cannot be ignored. The key to Rinella's success came from working through tons of regulations and logistical hurdles.

Beverage/alcoholic distributors introducing themselves into the cannabis business may seem like a daunting task, but according to Rinella, it is completely doable.

Increasing Visibility with Vision QA

Encompass, co-presenting with United Distributors, also had the opportunity to share a success story. The presentation highlighted how United utilizes Vision QA for increased visibility on product shipped from their conveyor, reduces mis-picks, returns, and items not making it onto trucks.

The moral of the story is that distributors can have a high SKU count, (greater than 5,000 SKUs in United's case) while matching or exceeding the industry average for ship accuracy. Many consultants argue that SKU rationalization is key. While this should be done, fear of complexity should not keep you from adding valuable suppliers.

Don't let complexity and challenges of the logistics supply chain drive your sales strategy. With the right technology and processes, your warehouse can keep up with your growing business.

Vision QA is an Encompass solution introducing image based quality assurance. This feature creates all around transparency in what is how products move around the warehouse, and when and how they are shipped off. Features include:

  • Match Label to Case Image - Combine barcode scans and images for each item

  • Record Top and Side Case Image - Images are tied to invoices

  • Vision QA pass/fail reads in less than 70 ms

  • WCS interface with Conveyor, Sorter and Encompass

United experienced success through Vision QA with a less than 3 month return on investment (ROI), and a 89% decrease in shrinkage. Overall, Vision QA provides accountability for all distributors, and creates confidence in identifying errors and delivering consistency to retailers.

Distributor Productivity Summit 2018 was a huge success for all of those in attendance. The Encompass team was honored to be a part of the Summit, and looks forward to next year!

Did you miss out on DPS this year or want more information on Encompass Vision QA? Check out this video of how United Distributors utilizes this warehouse solution!

Wavy Background