Digital Advancements and Adoption Strengthen Relationships in the Alcohol Industry

New data and information connects alcohol suppliers, wholesalers and retailers to better meet the demands of today’s end consumer.

NEW YORK, October 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Rapid advances in technology have affected the way all industries do business, and the wholesale alcohol sector is no exception. As the industry seeks to stay on top of rapidly changing trends or stay ahead of the latest advancements, Breakthru Beverage Group continues to identify opportunities to use digital advancements to support sales organizations, personalize the customer experience and better connect the industry ecosystem, transforming the wholesale business without losing the relationship-building practices the industry was built on.

“When my great-grandfather got into the wholesaling business in 1945, a salesman would go to the bars, taverns, and shops in his local town and deal with prices, outlets, and orders. ‘other customer needs’, said Danny Wirtz, Vice-President of Breakthru Beverage Group. “Wholesaling has come a long way since then, with mobile phones and iPads, e-commerce platforms and digital-focused business tools to help us deliver the right brands to the right accounts to effectively reach the end consumer at right time. And yet technology does not replace relationships, it allows us to work differently and strengthen relationships in new ways.”

Like the supply chain of the future, the business organization of the future is equipped with the tools, data and information to serve today’s consumer with precision. This is a highly skilled multicultural and cross-functional team that is more insightful, specialized, channel-focused and agile than ever.

Breakthru’s unique enterprise-wide SAP system gives its sales organization exclusive tools for automation and sales excellence, such as dashboards with live inventory information, pricing and report data. These tools are digital assistants for sales advisors and equip them to work with a team that includes marketers, mixologists, data analysts, and other experts.

But the company always pushes further. Breakthru aims for efficient administration and account management to build the business organization of the future.

“A business consultant can spend up to three hours a day collecting checks, placing orders and servicing our customers’ logistics needs instead of being a consulting partner,” said mike boswell, digital and e-commerce VP. “Customers expect our B2B platforms to be more like a B2C experience. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Breakthru sees the customer experience changing with its proprietary e-commerce platform, BREAKTHROUGH NOW. Now live in nine markets, BREAKTHROUGH NOW enables customers to run their business 24/7 in a complete self-service model. And they do just that and more:

  • 25% of all e-commerce orders arrive after hours or on weekends when sales teams have gone home.
  • Instead of calling or texting their sales advisors, customers view their order history, pay their bills and track their deliveries online.
  • Breakthru customers spend over 50,000 hours exploring products on their own, making them more informed and engaged with Breakthru’s portfolio.

These kinds of specialized digital solutions are now the foundation of relationships within the alcohol industry, replacing the handshake agreement of yesteryear. While no one will ever surpass the value of an in-person meeting and a smiling salesperson, today’s successful relationships rely on using technology and knowledge to help partners grow their business. The wholesale level is in a unique position to use this valuable data and information to generate successful partnerships and bring all three levels together.

B2B e-commerce is already the alcohol industry’s digital sales assistant, and its effectiveness will only grow as these platforms move from one-to-one experiences to highly personalized experiences tailored to individual customers. For businesses to stay on top of consumer trends and continue to meet and exceed their own goals, it is essential that all three levels leverage technology to strengthen and empower sales organizations, adapt services to the end consumer and become more connected than ever.

“We are grateful to have access to the information and technology we use today, but we must use it intelligently to maximize the benefits for partners, as well as our own,” said Wirtz. “Breakthru is doing some really exciting things to make our data and insights actionable for all of our partners, and we look forward to collaborating across the industry to raise the bar for customer service and experience.”

About Breakthru Beverage Group

Breakthru Beverage Group is one of the leading liquor wholesalers in United States and the biggest broker of Canada representing a full portfolio of alcoholic beverages of spirits, wine and beer. Breakthru is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and supports a wide range of notable organizations as well as local charitable initiatives across its North American footprint. Across all markets, Breakthru aligns an agile and insightful approach to sales, marketing and operations. Family ownership is active in the business and committed to being stewards of heritage and champions of innovation. For more information, visit www.BreakthruBev.com.

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