2018 Annual Convention Education Sessions | NBWA: America's Beer Distributors

Sunday, Sept. 23, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Developing an e-Commerce Sales Strategy

Sponsored by the Beer Industry Electronic Commerce Coalition (BIECC)

Online ordering, home delivery, curbside pick-up, mobile apps, the buying options for beer consumers continue to evolve. Whether on-premise, off-premise or online, retailers are expanding e-commerce and using tools such as EDI, EFT and more to improve their business. Join the BIECC and hear how fellow distributors work with online retailers to maximize beer sales while still working within the established beer distribution system.

Health Plan Language


Jason Dixon

In this session, the basics of a Plan Document and Summary Plan Description will be discussed. These plan materials are not only required by ERISA, but outline the various benefits and procedural requirements for plan participants. Understanding what is required and what might be problematic is crucial. Abbott will share best practices and recommendations for plan materials – the keys to having a successful, compliant, and cost-effective benefit plan. The session will conclude with a discussion of various case studies and why having clear and compliant plan materials matters. This session will arm attendees with the skills necessary to draft a comprehensive plan document and summary plan description.

Monday, Sept. 24, 8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Are the 4 P’s of Your Business Still True Today?

In:trench Consulting Group

Matt Dahlstrom and Grant Barrett

Price, Product, Promotion & Placement: The 4 P’s have been a staple of our industry for decades. But as the executional challenges of the market have evolved, our use and interpretation of these fundamental building blocks have also progressed. Join Matt Dahlstrom and Grant Barrett in a conversation about a new strategic approach to targeting the right products, into the right places, with the right promotional efforts to ensure success with younger consumers’ new demands in the new Experience Economy.

The Talent War: How Creating an Inclusive Culture Is Key to Your Organization’s Success

Amanda Laden International

Amanda Laden

With a robust job market, companies are now looking for employees that exhibit the skill sets necessary for the job, as well as grit and the ability to fit into the organization’s culture. Yet, companies are failing to keep pace with changes in the workforce and most don’t have innovative people-strategies that create a welcoming culture and attract a diverse pool of talent. Leaders and managers need to have their finger on the pulse on their organization’s culture – the environment, how people add to or detract from the culture and how to hold the organization accountable in staying true to the company’s values.

How Best to Invest: Turning Warehouse Performance into a Competitive Advantage


Greg Ellis

*Distributor Members Only * When addressing warehouse demands; construction, racking, mechanization and automation are topics of everyday discussion in the beverage industry. To truly ‘right size’ a warehouse, it is essential to define all financial factors which will be affected by a warehouse investment. Decisions such as best use of existing space, construction, size and type of expansion, clear height type of MHD, automation, labor and flexibility to accommodate the unknown all have significant implications. A comparison of investment versus multi-year operating costs must be performed to adequately define the operational and financial viability of a warehouse investment. Spending too little or too much will have a negative impact on bottom-line profitability. Through a review of material handling and storage technologies, warehouse sizing attributes, layout principles, pick-area strategies, financial modeling and distributor case studies, PDC will demonstrate the scientific approach required to determine the optimal combination of capital and ongoing operating costs. 

With More Distributors Choosing Warehouse Automation, Is It Right for You?

Cirrus Tech Inc.

Matthew Boykin

Distributors are choosing automation for their warehouse to gain efficiencies, space, reduce labor, decrease damaged beer and improve their picking, receiving, replenishment and storage process. We will look at the types of automation that distributors have implemented in the last 12 months.

Drugs in the Workplace

Fisher Phillips' Law Firm

Howard Mavity

Under federal law and most states’ laws, employers have the right to require employees to report to work free from the presence of unlawfully-used drugs and to take adverse action against them if they are in violation…for now. A number of states have passed new legislation and various state courts have held that under a few states’ laws, the employer has a duty to accommodate the marijuana usage – a position that ignores safety hazards and performance issues. Howard Mavity will discuss the current legal environment of drugs and potential changes you need to watch. Mavity will cover safety concerns and possible action points, as well as the potentially devastating opioid epidemic already harming many industries and demanding new responses.

Cider Is Back!


Danny Brager

Nielsen will cover recent off- and on-premise cider trends and the importance of regional and local market knowledge. The panel discussion will include the executive director of the US Association of Cider Makers, a distributor, a larger cider maker with a national brand, a regional/local cider maker, an off-premise liquor store and/or an on-premise retailer that sells cider.

Balance Your Portfolio to Improve Return and Reduce Risk

Ippolito Christon & Co.

Andrew Christon

Distributors must adapt to innovation and disruption to survive and thrive. Adding and divesting brands pursuant to a well-designed strategy is a distributor’s clearest path to success and longevity. Should you add NA’s, wine, and spirits? And how do you protect the value you help build? A portfolio full of “Golden Cases” creates a one-stop shopping experience at retailers that benefits all a distributor’s brands. However, a cumbersome ordering process, inventory headaches, hot shot delivery increases and sales personnel distractions can make the addition of new brands “less golden.” This session with Andy Christon and attorney Keith Hoccheiser will help you examine these questions and potential solutions for hedging against termination without cause or unfair payment for unprotected brands.

Maximizing Profitability with SKU Rationalization


Keith Peterson

With the recent increase in the number of breweries in the US and the focus on targeting millennial tastes with variety, “SKU proliferation” has become an issue for distributors when it comes to warehouse space. Identifying underperforming SKUs is necessary to maximize profitability and make room for as many successful/core brands to fit on the warehouse floor.  In addition, do you know which suppliers are affecting your sales performance? Are you losing PODs because of out of stocks? Are short codes and breakage driving your customers away? In this session, Halo will show you how to use analytics to benchmark and track your suppliers’ performance, as well analytics and planning to track margin percentage, cost and volume of sales to get to the bottom of which SKUs need to be cut.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Developing Sales People Consistently and Constantly

CM Profit Group

Tom Fox

Developing your sales team can’t be an occasional occurrence, it needs to be an everyday occurrence. You might think that’s nearly impossible given all the demands on your sales reps and managers, BUT it is possible and Fox will walk participants through how to incorporate a blended approach to developing people that will transform your company’s culture.

10 Benchmarks to Drive Efficiency and Improve Profitability

Verno Consulting

Wes Verno

As beer wholesalers become more data-driven and profit-conscious, executives are constantly looking for new ways to analyze their company and compare themselves to other wholesalers in the industry. In this seminar, Verno Consulting will present the top 10 benchmarks that drive efficiency and improve profitability. Using data collected from hundreds of wholesalers across the country, Verno will explain how each measurement is calculated, the strategic and operational importance of each measurement and key strategies wholesalers can use to improve their company’s ranking compared to the industry benchmark.

Strategic Facility Design and Warehouse Optimization


Robert Grace

Facility design involves more than just warehouse configuration. It also calls for strategic thinking that identifies long-term goals, sales strategies and a significant amount of cooperation among all parties involved. A company’s supply chain processes, technology, labor, materials handling equipment and long-term business goals should effectively dictate facility design. In this seminar, attendees will learn about how to synchronize the physical and material flows of a distribution center with the data and information to create the optimal warehouse layout. A three-step methodology will be presented that illustrates how to optimize your facility. The end result is a balanced, cost-effective distribution center design that meets the organization’s requirements.

Best Practices for Distributor Price Management and Promotion Communication


Walter Pickel

Today, distributor pricing communication is inefficient and can lead to costly mistakes on both the retailer and distributor sides of pricing management. Distributors are required to utilize many different methods of pricing communication including but not limited to retailer-specific spreadsheets, retailer-owned pricing portals to communicate pricing changes and promotions. Based on distributor interviews, supplier conversations and retailer and distributor case studies, the presenters will explore existing price communication process and present potential solutions that can be used by distributors, retailers and suppliers to communicate pricing more efficiently and effectively. The goal is to explore a standardized distributor pricing process in order to reduce inefficiencies and man-hours, while improving the accuracy, timeliness, and security of pricing to maximize profitable sales growth of the distributor’s pricing strategy.


Recent Franchise Cases and How They Impact the Future of the Industry

Madigan, Dahl & Harlan, P.A.

Michael Madigan

In the last ten years, there has been a significant increase in the number of franchise disputes between suppliers and distributors. For instance, some litigious suppliers have challenged franchise laws on constitutional grounds. Purchasers of suppliers have also sought to terminate existing distribution agreements This has resulted in lawsuits under “successor” provisions of franchise laws. As consolidation has occurred at the distribution tier, suppliers have refused to consent to the acquisition of distribution by a proposed buyer. In addition, as beer distributors have expanded their portfolios to include soft drinks, energy drinks and water, franchise disputes have arisen under general franchise laws between those suppliers and their distributors. This seminar will discuss the underlying theory of these challenges, the outcome, the impact that these cases have had on the industry and the legal challenges that we are likely to see in the future.

Best Practices in Supplier Interactions

Baker Tilly

Jack McCraine

In the ever-changing and often volatile landscape of distributor and supplier partnerships, what adjustments have you made to your sales and service strategy? What processes can distributors implement to optimize, streamline and improve supplier interactions? Baker Tilly’s craft specialists will share solutions to improve relationships with current suppliers and effectively manage the increasing variability of your beverage portfolios to address, align and maximize the full power of deliberate annual and long-term business plan.


Tax Reform Today: What You Need to Know for Your Future

K Coe Isom

Jim Rein

For the first time in 30 years, Congress has made changes to tax legislation. The new rules are creating significant shifts in how businesses are taxed and having a profound impact on how family businesses are structured and how they do business. K Coe Isom's experts have traveled to Washington, D.C. to provide testimony to Congress and have finished an extensive analysis of the ripple effect across American businesses. Jim will educate attendees on what tax reform could mean to them and the next generation of their family business.

Beer Growth and Three W's: Women, Wellness and Winning at Retail

Brewers Association

Julia Herz

Beer is the number one fermented beverage in the U.S. based on sales, preference and variety, plus it leads in both economic and cultural contributions. Numerous opportunities exist to grow the number of beer appreciators and occasions even further. Join Julia Herz, craft beer program director at the Brewers Association, as she overviews the three W’s and practical ways beer distributors and industry stakeholders can grow beer.