The craft beer market has exploded recently and will continue to grow well into the future. Without knowing what specific challenges each brewery faces, it is difficult to address a ‘general issue”. Suffice to say, your suppliers need to get closer to you, their customer, and ensure they are working diligently to help keep you competitive, informed and help you grow your business. Some questions that might be worth asking if you want to continue to thrive in this competitive market:
1) What new packaging designs have had a significant impact in your industry?
2) With pricing stable in many markets, what specifically are you doing to help reduce my overall costs?
3) How can I reduce my overall inventory and utilize that space for finished product vs raw materials?
4) What are you doing to ensure my product stands out on the shelf and reflects my company’s difference?
5) What steps do WE have to take to help you help us?
6) Do you understand enough about my business to ensure my product remains above my competitors?
Although these seem to be basic questions, you need to take the time to get in depth here and really find out where you stand relative to keeping positive change and growth at the forefront of your business. I would challenge you to make sure all your suppliers, regardless of the product or service they offer, are doing the “right things” for YOUR business. If you determine they are not, maybe it’s time to see what is missing and who can help you.
As an Associate Allied member of the NYSBA, we face these challenges every day.