New Strategies For Distribution
Sarah Theodore  
It’s a new year, and I’m sure all of you are heading into 2006 with new goals. If one of those goals is to improve your distribution, I’ve got good news. Beverage Industry is launching a new project this spring, a conference that we will host in conjunction with our sister publication Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery called DSD Strategies, the Direct Store Delivery and Marketing Conference.
DSD represents a large part of beverage distribution, but it has a number of executives and analysts scratching their heads these days over how to adapt to huge changes in the retail environment. Several large, prominent retailers have shifted to their own warehouse and delivery systems, while others are finding traditional DSD more time-consuming and less effective than it was a decade ago. But DSD is an important part of food distribution, as indicated by a recent study by the Grocery Manufacturers Association. According to GMA, the DSD system makes more than a half billion DSD deliveries to food retailers each year, a figure that is eclipsed only by the U.S. Postal Service in the number of items delivered. The study indicates that large retailers receive 1,100 DSD deliveries, or 3 million items, each year, and small-format retailers receive 12,000 DSD deliveries, for 80,000 items. Large-format retailers report that 66 percent of the volume for their Top 20 categories comes from the DSD system.
Despite the numbers, the study points out that improvements could be made to help retailers and distributors make better use of the system. Too much time is being spent at the docks, for example. Distributors spend nearly as much time checking in products and waiting to be received at stores as they do on value-added services such as stocking and merchandising shelves. Best-in-class retailers have created flexible receiving windows to reduce delays and free up delivery personnel for activities that can help reduce out-of-stocks, merchandise products on the sales floor, and create a stronger retail execution. In addition, deliveries to smaller retailers are far less likely to make use of electronic invoices, creating inefficiencies and taking up valuable time.
Beverage Industry’s DSD Strategies Conference is designed to address potential improvements in direct store delivery. Hal Kravitz, vice president of business development and chief revenue officer at Coca-Cola Enterprises, will keynote the conference, and we’ve teamed with distribution expert Stan Makadok of Century Management Consultants to create educational opportunities for anyone involved in DSD, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers and suppliers for categories such as beverages, snacks and baked goods. The conference will be held May 3-4, 2006, at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. More information can be found at, or give us a call, and we’d be happy to fill you in. Hope to see you there! BI
Sneak Peek
Corporate profile — Heineken USA
Special report — Health & wellness trends
Beverage R&D — Flavor survey
Category Focus — Ready-to-drink coffee & tea
Bonus — Ad readership survey
Annual soft drink report
Beverage R&D — Formulating diet drinks
Packaging — Case packers and wrappers
Logistics — Asset management