18 April 2016

Is your Supply Chain ready for Canada’s Alcohol Market?

By Christine Botham | christine@bevproconsulting.com

“Burst strength”, “Packaging Standards”, “Floor Loading”, “LTL”, “Re-work”. Do these terms seem familiar? If not, are you confident your customers are receiving product in perfect condition, meeting all requirements, on-time and in full?

Within the Canadian Alcoholic Beverage market – and globally – the physical supply chain plays an ever important role. Supply Chain execution & planning are key to truly meeting your customers’ needs. They also provide the opportunity to optimize and create cost savings.

Issues like SKU proliferation mean brands must react to changing conditions and also meet provincial requirements in order to stay on shelves.

Issues that you may be facing in the market right now include:
  • Dynamic demand posing forecasting challenges
  • Pressure to meet sales goals and achieve turns targets
  • Special requirements for packaging, labelling and transportation in different jurisdictions 

During my experience in inventory management within the industry, timeliness was essential. Routinely, significant issues would arise that would compromise the ability to hit targeted release dates:  out-of-stocks, late readiness, or re-work. These issues could negatively impact sales and customer satisfaction.

Suppliers and Agents should be confident and aware of how the Supply Chain contributes to the ultimate success of a product.  The following are key considerations for you to be aware of: 

  • Are you utilizing collaborative forecasting? Be aware of all the tools and systems provided by the boards for effective forecasting.  Inform the buying and inventory teams of sales forecasts, inventory strategy and supply constraints, either via these tools or through alternative means. Your input in valuable!
  • Inventory Management is imperative. Turning Inventory is critical and profitable. Is your team using available industry sales and inventory data?  Are you using this data to determine if there are missed opportunities? Are you able to fulfill unprecedented demand in timely fashion?
  • There are robust compliance programs at many of the boards. These are in place to ensure the smoothest operation possible for the customer, enabling the timely movement of product from warehouse to store. Non-compliance is costly:  packaging or corrugate issues, labelling omissions, and QA shortfalls have substantial fines associated with them. These can be avoided.
These are some of the key factors that you should be considering when working towards a successful product strategy. Be aware of how forecasting, inventory management, packaging compliance and your holistic supply chain strategy impact the experience of the buyers, inventory managers, and logistics team.  Do they see your products as issue free, consistently available, and smooth flowing, allowing them to manage without worry, handholding, or frequent issue resolution?

Want to learn more about how to achieve supply chain success within the Canadian Alcohol Beverage Industry?  Call me at Bevpro Canada Inc. at 1 (416) 214-7743 or send me an e-mail at Christine@bevproconsulting.comWe are a team of former Canadian beverage alcohol Buyers, Inventory Managers and marketers whose focus is helping you understand and achieve success in the Canadian market.  We provide you with a customized strategy to maximize your success and help you meet your objectives within Canada.

Hope this is helpful.  I know we can be.

Our Experience is your Advantage.


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