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Summing Up Bump Williams Consulting’s “3-Tier Growth Strategies” Survey for Producers

Bump Williams Consulting's top 10 growth strategies provide a reason for beverage producers to evaluate technology that can help achieve goals in 2023.

January 25, 2023

At the end of 2022, Bump Williams Consulting conducted its year-end “3-Tier Growth Strategies” survey, providing insight into the top growth initiatives for producers over the next two years.

The top 10 priorities for producers
  1. Beyond beer

  2. Partnerships/JVs

  3. Reassessing core portfolio

  4. DTC/E-commerce

  5. Chain focus

  6. Expansion/contraction

  7. Own-premise

  8. Reducing headcount

  9. Contract production

  10. Increasing media/marketing spend

As you and your business reflect on last year and make plans for the coming years, how do you plan to execute on your initiatives? Below, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can leverage technology to achieve your goals. 

Innovating Beyond Beer and Reassessing Core Portfolio

Starting off with the top 10 priorities for producers, Bump notes that producers have a somewhat scattered approach to growth over the next two years. However, the survey data shows that growing core beer brands is not one of those approaches, as producers reassess their core portfolios. Instead, innovation and ‘beyond beer’ initiatives continue to be top of mind.

Whether you are investing in Beyond Beer opportunities or reassessing your current portfolio, data is key. Figuring out what to make, how much, and when should not be a guessing game. If you’re still utilizing spreadsheets or paying for siloed data, it’s time to invest in data to make more informed production decisions. Leveraging inventory, sales, and production forecasting in combination with live, aggregated retail sales and inventory data from your distributors can help you make informed decisions about new product introductions and changes to your core lineup.

We use the reporting tool to pull real-time data during our weekly meetings to have informed discussions. The system also allows us to auto-send inventory reports to our contract partners which has been a big fan favorite and the fact that reports auto-generate for us has been a huge time saver.

Mauri Bartlett

Quality Assurance Manager, Yards Brewing

Exploring Alternative Business Models

In addition to innovation, producers cited growth strategies using various paths to market. While some plan to prioritize DTC efforts, others plan to focus on chains, own-premise approaches, or even contract production.

Whatever your approach, you don’t have to do it alone. As DTC and eCommerce channels expand, consider using a product information management system to ensure that distributors, retailers, and consumers always have access to rich up-to-date information about your products. If you’re expanding your distribution footprint, utilizing an online portal makes it easy for your distributors to place orders, while eliminating the manual work typically required to collect them. Inventory management is also more important than ever. To compete in today's market, you need to know what you have on hand and when consumers can expect products to be back in stock.

Bump notes that focusing on chains is a proven way to achieve long-term growth, but it also comes with challenges. Using commitment communication and tracking tools connected to your distributors' RAS ensures your commitments are being executed in the market while growing your chain presence. Producers using solutions like this have seen an 18% average placement completion increase, while distributors are saving an average of 4 hours weekly by eliminating outdated spreadsheet tracking methods.

Improving Efficiency with Technology

Bump points out that downsizing your employee base is at odds with other growth priorities such as expanding production, trying out new business models, and even increasing marketing spending. However, there are other ways to cut costs and become more efficient. Although reducing headcount may seem like the answer for many producers in the face of tightening market conditions, one of the tightest parts of the market is actually qualified labor. Instead of eliminating staff to become "more efficient" maybe it's time to use technology to make your existing team more efficient. With modern production tools, your employees can reallocate their time where it matters most. 

As you look at the year ahead and evaluate the strategic growth initiatives you’ve determined for your company, it’s essential to consider leveraging technology to achieve your goals.

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