Customer Showcase: How Distell Increased Their Basket Size with Aforza

Dominic Dinardo, Aforza Co-Founder and CEO, recently had the chance to talk with the Head of Distell Sales Centre of Excellence, Craig Price, about the challenges Distell faced in the market and the need to transform.

Who Are Distell?

The Distell Group is South Africa and Africa’s leading alcoholic beverage and brand business, producing and marketing wines, spirits, ciders and other ready-to-drink beverages, sold across the world. With a diverse portfolio of brands, including Nederburg wines, Savanna cider, Amarula liqueurs, Hunter’s cider, rich with provenance and authenticity, Distell employ approximately 4,400 people and have an annual turnover of $1.8 billion.

Their mission is to craft distinctive alcoholic beverage brands, enhance memorable moments and inspire responsible enjoyment. Additionally, Distell has aspirations to be:

  • #1 cider company globally

  • #2 alcoholic beverages company in South Africa

  • The leading regional alcoholic beverages player in Africa

  • Diverse in geographic base and step-change growth

  • Driving scale not possible through organic growth

  • Dominant regional alcoholic beverage brand and RTM owner

To accomplish these goals, Distell needed to transform their commercial organisation and create a step change that was not possible through current business as usual. As Craig Price, Head of Distell Sales Centre of Excellence, explained, "When it came to retail execution, we had to realise that when our rep was arriving in the store, they weren't offering the customer a great experience." This needed to change.

The Challenges

"We struggled to target key customers, either for lack of information or lack of the ability to execute tailored programs with precision,” says Craig. "When we showed up at customers, we weren’t able to aggregate or illustrate our investment in their success.”

Distell had difficulty effectively and clearly communicating with field sales teams and across functions. It also lacked cohesion and unity when designing trade programs for execution at scale. In conjunction with the traditional challenges and hurdles facing the consumer goods industry today, the alcohol beverage category is saddled with an additional set of obstacles, and where Distell operates is no different. Distribution channels can vary significantly from region to region, Price says, as can consumer behavior, customer sophistication and legislation.

“Alcoholic beverages can be purchased for immediate consumption on-premises, or in the case of premium wine or spirits, for long-term storage,” he explains. “This makes consumer behavior wildly different from outlet to outlet. The alcohol beverage industry may be one of the most complex end-to-end value chains in the world.”   

The Aforza Solution

The company partnered with Aforza to digitize its retail execution, trade promotion management and marketing capabilities, chief of which included facilitating multi-directional information flows. The partnership marks the first time all of Distell’s trade-facing units operate on a single platform, providing visibility to its finance team on the real-time impact and performance of promotions, and against baseline, predicted and actual figures. As a result, Distell can now collect and analyze data at the point of purchase more quickly and on a much larger scale, while swiftly planning, adjusting and optimizing promotions.

Learn more about the challenges that Aforza has solved with Distell, in this conversation between Craig Price, Head of Distell Sales Centre of Excellence, and Dominic Dinardo, Aforza’s CEO, as they discuss the incredible results during the interactive Q&A from our recent webinar.

Some of the exciting step changes Distell have been able to achieve include:

  • A full Customer 360 view at their finger tips

  • Instantly check customer credit score

  • Place orders offline, from anywhere

  • Get a live view of stock available

  • Access prices & discounts at any time

  • Upsell & Cross-sell for stock outs

The Business Impact

Now, just 8 months after implementation, Distell has fully digitized its retail execution, trade promotion management and marketing capabilities with all trade-facing units operating on a single platform.

They are now seeing significant results across their business with the sales orders increasing in basket size as they master every selling moment with sophisticated product mixes tuned to the needs of local market. Craig also called out 'game-changing' results in the field, with offline usage being key in the South African market.

Not to mention the notable uptick in their entire customer experience, as the previous long, disconnected call times for customer enquiries are now 'aligned and seamless' with one source of truth. The success of their reduced handling times is evident in Distell's improved NPS (Net Promoter Score) and positive customer feedback.

And, according to Craig, it's been incredibly valuable to have access to a platform where new capabilities can be deployed as needs arise. This has allowed Distell to move away from a traditional waterfall methodology, with slow rollouts and outdated functionality, to out-of-the-box, rapid implementation with Aforza.

We hope that you enjoyed this webinar; to learn more about how Distell's new digitized approach to REX & TPM is advancing, click here to read this article from Consumer Goods Magazine.

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