Iowa Beverage Executes Strategic Rollout of Encompass Retail Insights and Increases Revenue 16%

Iowa beverage uses Retail Insights technology and a great rollout plan to accelerate growth in revenue while combating labor and product waste challenges.

December 7, 2022


What Is Retail Insights? 

Retail Insights connects distributors to live retail POS (point of sale) data and enables sales organizations to increase revenue by eliminating manual inventory processes, building better orders, and mitigating out-of-stocks to maintain a market advantage.

Iowa Beverage began leveraging Encompass Retail Insights in 2021. In the same year, they received the prestigious Molson Coors Distributor Excellence Award for exemplary sales and distribution performance. The company has its people and their passion for technology to thank. Since leveraging Retail Insights, Iowa Beverage has seen an increase in revenue and a decrease in product waste.

Iowa Beverage’s Rollout Process Expedited Adoption and Generated Significant Time Savings

Like so many other distributors, Iowa Beverage’s sales reps’ spent 75% of their time on monotonous, non-selling functions. In conversations with Encompass support, Iowa Beverage realized their sales force could be substantially more effective if their reps were freed up to perform more meaningful tasks.

A lot of sales is centered around secondary tasks, so sales reps have steps that take the majority of their time to get to the point where they can maximize productivity for the company. Reps have to walk into an account, take inventory, handle merchandising, ensure data is accurate… and then their skillset begins.

Alex Brewington

VP of Operations, Iowa Beverage

Iowa Beverage turned to Retail Insights to combat sales inefficiencies and maximize productivity. They began to strategically roll out a Retail Insights program with three key considerations in mind:

  • Data Accuracy

  • Data Accessibility

  • Sales Rep/Employee Adoption

Encompass consulted with Iowa Beverage and helped them take a retail chain-first approach to leverage Retail Insights by connecting to all of their Target and Walmart accounts. This ensured they would see the largest revenue growth more quickly. Starting large also provided a stress test to ensure they would meet their data accuracy, data accessibility, and adoption goals.

Iowa Beverage leaders then selected one account manager whose accounts were primarily Target and Walmart locations and worked with Encompass and the individual to ensure they were accessing accurate data at connected accounts.

Within two weeks of utilizing Retail Insights, the Iowa Beverage Chain Account Manager was already reallocating 30-45 minutes (50% of his time!) at each Target account to revenue-driving activities.

Given the early success, Iowa Beverage then activated all other Target accounts in their territory and identified an internal project champion to ensure the success of the program, and to increase adoption amongst their sales force.

The account manager who was the first to use it became an ambassador for Retail Insights and spoke in front of a company-wide general sales meeting. When our sales reps heard it from their peer, they trusted it more. From the beginning, we had a narrative that this would save reps a ton of time and enable them to sell more. This rollout process helped adoption in totality.

Alex Brewington

VP of Operations, Iowa Beverage

Iowa Beverage used the same approach for Walmart, piloting a subset of Walmart accounts, ensuring data accuracy and accessibility, and then activating company-wide Walmart accounts.

Reps started asking for Retail Insights because they heard it was saving so much time. We had a groundswell of support and went full force when the opportunity arose.

Alex Brewington

VP of Operations, Iowa Beverage

Retail Insights Ignites Revenue Growth at Connected Accounts

Iowa Beverage saw a big jump in revenue at connected accounts. Year-to-date, the time saved with Retail Insights has influenced sizable revenue growth for Iowa Beverage.


Iowa Beverage Addresses Labor Challenges

Retail Insights changed the way Iowa Beverage reps are operating, making sales positions at Iowa Beverage more desirable so they can more effectively recruit and retain top talent. Now, sales reps are making more commissions and strengthening the organization’s ability to hit goals by way of revenue-driving conversations.

Retail Insights allows us the data to have quantitative business discussions with retailers. ‘Hey, we've got a promotion coming up. You carry 13 days of inventory. We think lift will be 30%, I'm going to bump this SKU up to 17 days of inventory, which is this many cases.’ You can start having conversations that are business-related and quantitative in nature versus subjective.

Alex Brewington

VP of Operations, Iowa Beverage

Additionally, inventory data transparency and visibility have strengthened Iowa Beverage’s ability to adapt to a shifting labor market.

Regardless of industry, the workforce is moving consistently in the sense that you have turnover. Consistent, accurate inventory from Retail Insights allows us to expedite the learning curve for new employees.

Alex Brewington

VP of Operations, Iowa Beverage

Retail Insights data also provides a consistent stream of accurate inventory depletions, so when sales reps take time off, it’s easy to backfill roles and service the associated accounts to keep both customers and employees happy. 

It becomes seamless in terms of PTO, any kind of leave. It allows us to be sharper in our people management functions.

Alex Brewington

VP of Operations, Iowa Beverage

Supply Chain Visibility Enables Mitigation of Out-of-stocks and Reduction of Product Waste

Product waste is an industry-wide frustration. Without the proper insight into how products are moving at the consumer level, producers make too much or too little, distributors hold too much or not enough product in warehouses, and retailers have overstock or empty shelves, leaving money on the table across the supply chain.

What Retail Insights can provide is a look at actual inventory in accounts, which affects the days of inventory you carry on hand at the warehouse. If you have 30 days of inventory in accounts and 30 days of inventory in your warehouse, that's 60 days. Now, you're seeing everything downstream. You're going to get stuck on a lot less product and your waste dollars are going to get reduced.

Alex Brewington

VP of Operations, Iowa Beverage

Retail Insights provides real-time visibility into how products are moving at the consumer level, enabling retailers and distributors to make smart, fast adjustments to meet demand. The results are stronger customer relationships, higher levels of employee satisfaction, and company-wide revenue growth. 

The resounding impact of Retail Insights for Iowa Beverage continues to grow as they connect to more and more accounts.

Find out how you can leverage Retail Insights to achieve growth like Iowa Beverage. Speak with our team today.

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