Ep. 033: PowerTalk – Chain Gap Closing & DDSOF

In this PowerTalk Tracy describes and explains the definitions, systems, and cycles for great execution in chain accounts as it relates to “gap-closing” for chain features. If you’re new to a chain route or responsible for overall chain execution at your distributorship you’ll want to sue this episode for new hire training over and over again! He’ll review Nielsen’s DSOF metric and why this metric doesn’t work well for distributors, hence introducing a new metric for success, Distributor Display Support of Feature, aka DDSOF. Also Tracy shares his favorite podcast episodes at the end – since we’re all listening to more podcasts now, while driving around all day selling beer!

Ep. 033 Transcription transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Ep. 033 Transcription was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

I am not Mr. Lebowski. You're Mr. Lebowski, I'm the Dude.

Yeah, I tell you what, you can take a good look at a butcher's ass by sticking your head up there. But wouldn't you rather take his word for it?

Stay home and eat all the freakin' chips. Kip!

Napoleon, don't be jealous 'cause I've been chatting online with babes all day.

We have a pond in the back. We have a pool and a pond... Pond'd be good for you.

Welcome to the iSellBeer podcast with Tracy Neal, a production for sales reps and distributors who are driving around all day selling beer and the official home of the iSellBeer Nation Facebook group. And now your host, the 1989 winner of the John M. Studebaker Wheelbarrow Race in Hangtown, California, Tracy Neal!

Tracy Neal:
All right. Displays and DDSOF. Before I even get into DDSOF, actually back up another minute before I even get into Displays. I hope everyone out there is having a good month. We know that a lot of crazy stuff's going on with COVID-19. I hope that you and your families are safe and healthy. I hope that you're able to do your jobs. I know that across the industry there have been several people who have been challenged with either direct infections or knowing something that's been affected. And let's just say our industry has stepped up and really proud to be part of this industry, although I am also compassionate and empathetic to those that are having severe challenges, whether they're health challenges or personal challenges or even financial challenges, because they're certainly out there. Let's keep all those people in mind. But I have faith that this industry will rally and we'll all do a great job bringing it back to where we can go out and just sell more beer. So let's jump into Displays and DDSOF. I gonna to put DDSOF over here on the right hand side, on the shelf for a moment and we're just going to talk about Displays. So first of all, what is a Display, right? The Display is a, an incremental location of inventory of product for sale outside of the standard inventory. So outside of basically the shelf set, right? That's a Display. And, you know, one of the old things that we used to say back in the old days is if it's not priced, it's not for sale. You know, it's got to have a price on it because the last thing a shopper wants to do is pick up a six pack or a 12 pack or something because they love the brand. And then they get up to the register, they find out it's six or seven dollars more or sometimes even a dollar more than what they thought it was. They look silly and they look cheap returning. That's embarrassing. So a lot of times shoppers, they won't pick it up if it don't have, doesn't have a price on it. So we like to say if a Display is not priced, it's not for sale. And if it's not for sale, frankly, it's not a Display. So let me back up a little bit into, where did Displays come from? Like. Like what? How did Displays get invented? And of course, I'm, I'm not necessarily the authority on this, but I did some research online and I am kind of on the older side of this industry. So I've been around a while and I've known why Displays came about. They came about as added inventory as a result of rain checks. So back in the 60s and 70s, the grocer used to put something on special. And let's just go with a can of beans. Let's talk about green beans for a minute. Got jolly green, giant green beans and these green beans, let's say they were 69 cents and the local grocery store would put them on sale for 59 cents. Well, back in the old days, that was kind of a bait-and-switch model, right? Because they'd have six cans and they'd sell at 59 cents like that. And of course more than six people would come to the store in search of the beans and they wouldn't be able to find the beans. So it was a bit of a bait-and-switch model. So at some point in time, the government decided, you know what, grocers, you can't do the bait-and-switch model pricing on our customers. Therefore, if you put something on sale, you have to guarantee that it's going to be there. And if it's not there, you owe your customers a rain check. Now, I'm old enough to remember that in the rain check days, I remember my mom getting rain checks at grocery stores where she actually went there to buy something that was on sale. It was out of stock. And you would get this little piece of paper saying that if you came back next week, you could get it on the sale price, even though the sale price has now expired. So that's what a rain check was. It was a physical piece of paper. You do it it kind of the customer service counter or the camera counter or the fishing department counter. Oftentimes the fishing department, the camera counter were kind of the same area. But you'd go over there and you get what's called a rain check. And it was it was somewhat inconvenient. And of course, it was labor intensive for the grocers. They had to have someone there. They had to have someone keep track of all these things. And it probably screwed up their accounting systems as well, even though they were probably not on computerized accounting systems. Anyway, the rain check was a real pain. So to eliminate the rain checks. Retailers started taking that extra space at the end of the aisle, an extra floor area to say, hey, you know what, if Cheerios is on sale and we're marking them down 80 cents and we know that that's gonna be a high demand. I'm going to need a Display of 200 units of Cheerios over here to meet demand. And in doing so, they're able to maintain their shelf sets. Right, without changing the shelf set every week. And yet they would have an area where shoppers could shop from it. But more importantly, stocking clerks could restock the shelves from the Display. All right. So that's a lot of where Displays came from. It goes back to rain checks. And, of course, it's evolved into becoming, you know, having a lot more benefits in today's day and age, like the incremental location. The, I think Constellation Brands calls it points of interruption. Right. So point of interruption would be that if you're in the paper towel aisle and you see twelve packs of Corona, then that's an interruption point. Right. Maybe that individual had no intention of going down the beer aisle, but they see the particular beer stack there and they think, you know what, I needed to get some beer for this occasion that I forgot about. I didn't come to the grocery store for beer, but now that I've been reminded with this point of interruption, it makes it easy. And I don't have to make a choice because it's the only brand here in this brand falls into my acceptable brand set, you know, spectrum, you know, of a brand that I would drink. Therefore, I'm just going to make a quick, easy choice. And by the way, it's on sale. So I'm gonna grab it. And that's another thing that's happened over the last 20 or 30 years is that American consumers have been conditioned to think that if it's on Display, therefore it's on sale, which most the time is accurate. Therefore, it's the best deal. In other words, there's no way I could be taken advantage of of anything on sale. And that's just kind of a mindset. The consumer has when you shop the perimeter of the store, when you shop the end caps of the store, when you shop the Displays. The mindset is, well, it's on sale. It must be a good deal. So now that we've defined what a Display is, I guess we could talk. There's there's kind of two types of Displays, right? There's a there's a planned Display. Right. Maybe a better word to say is prescribed Display, but there's a planned Display where, you know, some is expecting you to get it. Maybe the stores ask expecting you to ask to get it because it's on a planner. It's on a Med Zen, it's on action alley, whatever you want to call it, out there for different retailers. And then there's the Ad hoc Display. Right. And the Ad hoc Display is when you happen to have five cases of Sierra Nevada pale ale in the back room. Maybe it's not on sale. Maybe it's not on ad. Maybe it's not on planner. But you know that you've got extra and you know, you could sell it at frontline price and you just kind of go ask the manager, hey, can I put the Sierra Nevada over here for a Display? And that would be an Ad hoc Display, meaning like nobody's tracking it. It's not really part of an ad. And it's really just because you're a great salesperson that you asked for that opportunity. You saw the opportunity in the back room. You asked for it, you put it out. Ad hoc Displays are awesome. And again, keep in mind, you do not have to have a price feature to have an Ad hoc Display. The purpose of the Ad hoc Display is to get the inventory out of the back room and get it on the floor. And if you get it on the floor, it will sell. So get it out there. The Ad hoc Displays are always great. Unfortunately, sometimes our our industry gets too caught up in tracking and rewarding and incentivizing around all the Planned Displays. And I know for a fact there are a couple Display tracking systems out there that are competitors of the iSellBeer platform that are incapable of tracking the Ad hoc Display. That's one of the really good features we have, is that we could track all the Planned Displays and we track the Ad hoc Display. So let's talk about the chain cycle. Right. So the change cycle is very beneficial to beer. And when I talk about chains, I'm talking about large format grocery chains. So I know Wal-Mart tends to start things on a Sunday. And I know that most of the big drug stores, they start their things on Sunday. And I know that a lot of the C stores, one month long programs as opposed to week to week, but in large format grocery from coast to coast. Well, you're talking about Von's in Southern California or Publix in Florida or Myers up in the Great Lakes area. A lot of these big, large farm format, grocery. They run their ad cycles from Wednesday to Tuesday. And what that means is that the ad price breaks on Wednesday. Right. And it's good through Tuesday. This this ad break cycle is very beneficial to beer because beer is not necessarily a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday product. It is a Wednesday through Saturday product where a majority of the volume sold. So having that ad cycle Wednesday through Tuesday is very beneficial. And it just so happens that the grocery market drives that and the beer industry's real benefit benefactor to that. So now let's get into DDSOF. So, DDSOF was invented by me and I invented it because I wanted a better way of tracking DSOF. So before I fully explain what DDSOF is, let me back up and explain DSOF. So DSOF is a Nielsen term. OK. And it stands for Display Support of Feature. And what that means is if you have a feature. Right, for this conversation, I'm gonna say a features a price drop. If you have a feature, is there a Display to support it? And this Nielsen number comes out and it's shown in a in a percentage. Right. So it could be anywhere from 40 percent to 60 percent and 92 percent somewhere in there, a percentage. And what that means is if there are, I'm just going to use Vons again. Southern California Vons as an example, if there are 30 Vons within the footprint of a distributor, your denominator of the fraction. Right. Because a percentage comes from a fraction back backing up to geometry here. I know some you guys know this, but let's just talk about geometry. A percentage comes from a fraction. Right. So one over two is 50 percent. Right. And three over four. Seventy five percent. And when we have a three over four, what we call the three is the numerator. Right. And what we call the four is the denominator. And I had to hesitate because I went all the way back to my high school rule. Right. D is for down. So denominator's on the bottom. That's how I remember that. Numerators on the top, down or denominator is on the bottom. Right. And that's a fraction and fraction gets converted to a percentage. So if you have 30 stores in a marketplace and you get 10 out of 30. Right. Ten divided by 30 is 33 and a third. Right. So you've got basically 33 percent of the stores have Displays. Now the DSOF for Display Support of Feature is widely used in the large chain states of the beer industry. If you're not in maybe Texas or Florida, Arizona, California, if you're not in one of these big chain states, it's highly possible you've never heard of DSOF. However, over the last few years, more and more distributors are becoming more and more into chains, meaning that their sales mix is moving more towards the chain channel or the large format grocery channel. And so it's becoming a bigger deal. And as a result of what's going on with COVID-19 right now, the consumer is shopping more at the large format grocery store than they are the C store and the liquor store. So I would expect this trend to continue across the industry. Large format grocery stores are going to continue to grow and get more market share of beer sales over time. And it's going to become a bigger and bigger deal for distributors no matter what state you're in to be paying attention to DSOF. Right. Display Support of Feature. So. Here's the problem with DSOF, right? I told you before, DSOF is a Nielsen term. It comes from Nielsen. So one of the first problems is a lot of distributors don't subscribe to Nielsen, right? All the suppliers do, but the distributors don't. So what that means is when a distributor learns about a DSOF number that's low or has an opportunity to be improved. A lot of times that number is being fed to them by a supplier who at the same time is usually complaining about the number. Right. Like, your DSOF number is low. You stink. You guys didn't execute on this Display. Conversations like that. That's how DSOF is introduced to distributors. So as a result, distributors hate DSOF numbers. Right. And there's more reasons why Display Support of Feature is not distributor friendly. So I don't blame distributors for not like it. First of all, it's not the same footprint. Right. So DSOF is done by Nielsen, which is a TV and radio ratings company. Right. And TV and radio measure what's called a DMA. And I forgot what DMA was I used to know. But anyway, DMA like for San Francisco Bay Area, it's the San Francisco Bay Area. Right. Which is like 11 million people and it includes four or five major cities. But when you go to the San Francisco Bay Area and you talk to the beer distributors, it's actually six different beer distributors supporting the San Francisco Bay Area. So the problem with DSOF the Nielsen is when you look at that number for a DMA, right, or for a large demographic of a city, you may find an opportunity where there is less than perfect execution. But you don't know which distributor to talk to because they're not labeled. The Nielsen footprint does not match the distributor footprint. That's the first problem. There's for these number two. Here's another reason distributors hate DSOF from Nielsen, the results are delayed. Right. So DSOF numbers come out from Nielsen one, two, three weeks after the Display period. In other words, these are lagging indicators, not leading indicators. Right. Leading indicators of things you can do in the middle of game time. Right. So imagine you're an NFL quarterback and you're in the middle of the Super Bowl. All the information you get during the game. Those are leading indicators because you can actually go make a change and you can change the outcome of the game. All the coaching and feedback and statistics that you get on Monday morning, those are lagging indicators. So when Nielsen delivers this information to suppliers and then suppliers share it with distributors, one to three weeks after the feature period has closed, there can certainly be some healthy conversations about how to get those numbers better. But nothing that anybody does can actually change those numbers. Those numbers are locked in there, signed, sealed and delivered, and there's nothing anyone could do about them. All the conversations about opportunity and improvement are for the future numbers that you can't really apply to right there. So that's another thing. Delayed results. Number three, this is one of the biggest one is that the sample data is extrapolated. So I failed statistics twice. And on my third time, I finally passed it. I had two for college. So I'm kind of an expert in why statistics doesn't make sense, because I don't get it either. But here's how statistics work when they send someone from Nielsen out to the grocery store to count things. If you have 30 Vons in Southern California, the Nielsen person does not go to 30 Vons. They go to about anywhere from four to six of them. And they have to go to them randomly, which means you almost need like a random number generator or a wheel to spin on where you go. And that's how they actually do it, because statistical probabilities. There are statistics, algorithms that say that if you do go to the stores randomly, then you need to only go to four to six stores in the data or the results that you get from those four to six stores. You can extrapolate, which means guess, right? You can extrapolate and you could apply that number to the population. The 46 stores is called the sample. The 30 stores is this population. So statistics say if you take a random sample, you can apply that to a population with a degree of confidence. And a degree of confidence is like this. We have a ninety five percent confidence level, meaning there might be a five percent error. So here's what Nielsen does. They take those 30 Vons stores. They pay somebody to go to five of them and write down the information. That person goes to those five Vons stores and they come back with 61 percent DSOF. Right. Sixty one percent of the stores that had a feature also had a Display supporting that feature. Then Nielsen publishes that number. A supplier gets a hold of it. A supplier runs over to the distributors. Hey, you guys suck. This is terrible execution. I thought we talked about this ad. I thought we had all the POS. I thought we had a we had the sales meeting and I brought in the donuts and I told you everything we were gonna do to do great on this ad. And I had to beg the buyer to. And we're only at 61 percent. And then, of course, the distributor says, where do you get that number? Well, I got it from Nielsen. And I have a 95 degree confidence level behind it. And of course, then the then the argument ensues because distributors are saying, wait a minute. First of all, Nielsen doesn't represent my footprint. Nielsen data is delayed. Nielsen data is sample data extrapolated with a degree of confidence to represent a population. And oh yeah, by the way. Number four, reason why distributors hate DSOF from Nielsen is that it is a surprise from suppliers. Right. So they're not prepared for it. They don't own the data. They're not researching themselves. So they don't know. There's not the only thing worse than getting hit with a baseball bat in the head is when you don't know it's coming. Right. And that's complete surprise. So that's the challenge with Nielsen DSOF And I recognize these challenges. A former supplier that used to work with distributors and somebody was a pretty large chain, markets of California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, stuff like that. And then, of course, I worked with a lot of people that were in Arizona, Texas, and now we have distributors in 35 states across the country. So a lot of the training that we do when we go out is talking about DSOF and how we can use this as a distributor sales organization. How do we take DSOF and apply it to our organization to make it benefit us so that we don't we don't get beat up by it? Right. So I invented this new acronym. I call it DDSOF. Right. The Double D. At the beginning stands for Distributer Display Support of Feature right. And Distributor Display Support of Feature. DDSOF is a little bit similar and a lot different than DSOF. Let's talk about the similar part first. First of all, it's the same math. And what I mean by that is we're talking about a fraction with a numerator and a denominator. And we're going to convert that into a percentage. That's the math involved in DDSOF. So if it's the same math as DSOF. Right. Here's the second part of DDSOF. It's only going to cover your exact distributor footprint. So if you have 30 Vons in your or 30 H-E-B or 30 Publix at 30 Myers in your store or in your distributor footprint, then the denominator is going to be 30. Right. And it's going to be exactly those 30 that you have. Right. The other thing is we're going to talk about real time availability. So DDSOF is in real time. What that means is that either your brand manager or your chain analyst or your sales manager or somebody in the organization is responsible for collecting the binary effect. Right. Binary means yes or no. Right. So do you have a Display supporting this feature? Yes or no? Someone's going to record that and they're going to come up with that fraction. Right. That can be done with software. It could be done with spreadsheets. It can be done with text messages. It can be done with Nextel. Beep, beeps. You know, however you want to do it, but collecting all this in real time, it's also going to include the total population of the accounts. I mean, we're gonna get results from all 30 accounts, not just five or six. Right. And this data is gonna be controlled and owned by the distributor. Right. So it's gonna be really easy for the distributor to control this and not getting blindsides. And this also is gonna be a leading indicator as opposed to a lagging indicator, because when distributors collect DDSOF. They can look at a fraction, that looks like 16 out of 30. And they could say, OK, well, we're missing four stores. Where are those four stores and who doesn't have them? You either jump on the phone or jump on the text or jump on the software and go out there and solve it. And by the way, the iSellBeer platform that we sell, this is this is our bread and butter. Right. I mean, this podcast is not to sell our software. So my sales pitch is going to end right now. But I would just tell you, this is our bread and butter. This what we do every day around the country, and we're the best at it. Getting back to DDSOF you know the whole point of measuring this and again, if you're a distributor that maybe doesn't have a lot of resources, maybe you you only have ten or twelve or six sales reps. You don't need expensive software to do this. You can do this on a spreadsheet. You can do this on pen and paper. Right. But it's called the gap closing cycle. Right. So the gap closing cycle means what are you doing to close the gaps of the DDSOF. Right. And here's here's the theory behind that. If you have 30 stores in your market, your your sales reps probably don't need help getting displays in the first 15, maybe even in the first 20 or 24. Who knows? But there's the low hanging fruit. There's the agreeable set store manager. There's the stores with good, strong history. It's really easy to get those Displays where your team is going to need help is in the last 20 percent of stores. Right. So in this case, 20 percent of 36. So for this example, to say in the last six stores getting 24 out of 30, pretty easy beginning those last six. There's always something going on that's causing everybody to struggle. And you're not able to get those before the Wednesday price break or sometime before the end of business on Wednesday. So there's a couple of things. Couple of stages here to the gap closing cycle, right? I'm gonna call it four stages. The first one is launch. The second one, it was report. Third one is measure. And the fourth one is deploy. So when you launch to go get Display supporting features. Right. That's when you're going out. You're getting that low hanging fruit. You're getting those first 24 Displays out of 30 are pretty easy. What you do then is you report back. That's stage two. You report back to somebody. Somebody is collecting this information, whether it's a spreadsheet, clipboard or some software. They're collecting that information. And then they are measuring, which is step three, which simply means they're looking at the fraction. Right. And based on the results of that fraction, if it's anything less than 100 percent, step four is to deploy resources. Right. If you have a sales rep who's not getting a Display out there in a chain market and, you know, there's an ad and there is supposed to be a Display having a conversation, that sales rep can really that's you deploying the extra resources. Hey, I'm your manager. I'm here to help. What can I do? And sometimes the answer might be, hey, it's going in in an hour or it's going in tomorrow morning. Right. And it may be really easy. But in other times, it may be. You know what I've got? I've got a substitute buyer, my buyers out on maternity leave or a new buyer that came in from the produce department who doesn't like to Display beer or the store's closed or the floors are being cleaned and they've got inventory. There's a million excuses out there on why there's not a Display and sales reps. If you're struggling with this, please reach out to your supervisor and your manager. Part of their job is to be there to help you close these gaps. If you were perfect and you got 100 percent on this all the time, you wouldn't need managers. So your managers and your managers, managers know that this is a function in their job. They're there and they're expecting to be able to help you to do this. And there was you know, this is a short time period from Wednesday morning to, say, Friday morning when this couldn't get done. So the sooner you you smell a problem or the sooner you you identify that there's a risk to you not getting the Display that you're supposed to to support this feature. The sooner you reach out, the better. So when it comes to gap closing, most distributors across the country do anywhere from 60 to 80 percent DDSOF pretty quickly, it's that last 20 percent that we were talking about. And if you're in a distributorship, gap closing is the number one ROI for your labor on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Let me repeat that again. Gap closing. Right. And definition of gap closing is out there. Getting Displays were Displays should be to support features and chains. Gap closing is the number one ROI for your labor, right? Not your labor like you as a person, but your team, whether you're talking about sales reps, merchandisers, supervisors, management team, brand support, whoever they all cost money to distributor. And the number one way to recoup their daily costs is to help them help others in gap closing. And why is this true? Well, if you think about it, selling tap handles, that's a great effort. There's always a place for that. But the ROI doesn't come as quickly in selling and tap handles. Selling the new points of distribution. Also a really critical thing when it comes to brand building and expanding the business. And I am certainly saying that it is worthy of your time to sell points of distribution. But the ROI on immediate sales to consumers does not come back as fast as closing gaps. Closing gaps is the number one thing you can do. A couple reasons for this. Number one, it's already expected and it's already invested. What I mean by it's already expected is that when somebody sells in a Planogram or a feature or a manager special or Med-Zen and or whatever you call it at a chain store, it's expected when that conversation is confirmed between whether that's a distributor and a buyer or a distributor and a supplier and a buyer. Right. They're looking at the denominator of 30. And the assumption when they make the handshake in the office is we're going to get 30 out of 30. Right. Nobody ever says, by the way, can I have a Fourth of July price discount? And I hope to get 23 out of your 30 stores with Displays. No, the assumption is always 100 percent. So it's expected. Additionally, it's already invested in. There's a couple ways that this Display that we're trying to gap close has been invested. Number one, it's been invested in by price. Right. Not only has the distributor, but oftentimes the supplier is carrying part of the price discount. That price discount is real money and it counts as an investment towards getting this Display. In other words, the price discount might not be there if there weren't a Display plan behind it. So you invested in price, but then you're also invested in in terms of the time and the communication that it took and sometimes even thematic POS. Right. So Super Bowl is another good example where a lot of breweries come up with special thematic POS for Displays. All that money is spent in September, October, November for Displays in February. So they've already invested that time. And it's expected to happen. That's why closing gaps will get you the best return on investment. That's why it's the number one thing that for frontline supervisors. And I'm using the definition of supervisors as people who manage sales reps. That's why it's the number one thing that supervisors should be doing. Wednesday afternoon, all day, Thursday and Friday morning, if they need to, to get to 100 percent, because getting to 100 percent is going to help your decision maker at the retail chain give you more features in the future. Let me explain that a little bit. A really great brand with poor Display execution behind a feature. Will not perform as well as a really average brand with perfect execution. In other words, if you take an average beer brand, I'm not going to use names here. I don't want to make enemies with anybody. But if you take an average beer brand and you get 100 percent execution, right. That brand is going to outsell a great beer brand that gets 60 percent execution. And that's going to play into the future of this brand's ability to be promoted at this chain store for potentially the next two to five quarters. Because when that distributor chain manager or the supplier chain manager goes into that buyer and says, hey, remember brand X that we put on sale for Labor Day? Let's run that again for Super Bowl. Well, here's what the chain buyer does. They go back to their Labor Day sales and they go back to Labor Day execution levels and they look at it and say, yeah, you know what? We did sell four million dollars with the product, but execution levels were at 64 percent. But this other distributor, was it 91 percent execution level. So I would imagine even if their brands not as good as the buyer, I'm thinking I'm going to go with the distributor that out executes because we're gonna sell more product. So that's how the decisions and gap closing. That's how the execution, this this industry is all about execution in that those execution levels will pay massive dividends. So not only are you closing the gap and getting instant ROI today and taking advantage of the investment and price investment in POS, you're investing in the probability that this brand is going to get higher priority to be featured and displayed in the future. And that is just win, win win. And the win win win is so great. It just continues to pay dividends. And a lot of times I have friends outside the industry. Right. And sometimes ask, what do you do? You know, we track Displays and they say, oh, I never buy beer on Display. It's warm. What's what's such a big deal about a Display? You know, if you're in this industry, I'm sure you've heard that before. You'll you'll meet somebody your own age and they will say, I never buy beer warm. So why is the Display such a big deal? Let me explain why it's a big deal. Display is the holding power, right? This is the the the floor inventory for your brand. So on a busy sales period, whether it's a regular Friday or Saturday or it's a holiday period, a lot of stores are going to have out of stocks. And the reason they have out of stocks is because they have to play this balancing act between days of inventory on the shelf versus choice. Right. And right now in our industry, I'm not saying this is a good, bad or ugly, but it's just it is what it is. Right now, our industry or the buyers in our industry are choosing to provide choice over days of inventory. And what that means is that a large format grocery buyer would rather offer more brands in the cold box and go out of stock on some of them than to offer greater holding power to the stronger brands and never run out of stock at the expense of having less brands. So again, retail buyers want more choice for the consumer. That's just where the pendulum's at these days. And what that means is there will be out of stocks because not every brand has, what they call it DOI or Days of Inventory on the shelf. Days of inventory on the shelf comes in a in a number, you know, sometimes between point seven or point eight, all the way up to maybe eight or 10. So like example, if you have, you know, Corona 12 packs in there and you have 14 of them in the case, that might be one point six days of inventory. And what that means is on average, they will sell out of those 14 units and one point six days. Right. So you can imagine as you're looking at the cold box and by the way, that the folks that do the shelf resets and all the reset captains for all the breweries and the reset captains of the distributors, and they have all this great software. Right. And when they look at shelf set schematic on the computer, it'll show the logo of the the the beer product. But it also show the number of the days of inventory. The challenge you have with introducing a new brand is that new brands don't have a lot of sales history and they don't have as much market demand or pull as we call it. And if a new brand doesn't have pull and you have the holding power of, say, three, six packs, sometimes three, six packs of a new brand could be eight and a half days of inventory mean that every eight and half days they sell three, six packs. That's not necessarily the most the strongest use of space, but in some cases that's necessary to get new brands out there because a retailer that's not constantly offering new brands are having that kind of brand selection. A lot of times they believe that their consumers will go elsewhere if they're not offering those kinds of new choices. So that's how days of inventory works. And here's the reality. Whether you have a 30 pack, can domestic product or a 12 pack bottle import product when you have a special price on that product. And consumers are saving money. You will never have enough days of inventory to match the frequency of your deliveries. Right. Even if you're delivering every day, if you deliver it every day to a store, that means that store is doing a whole lot of volume. You put it on special. You're still going to go out of stock. What this means is when features are made, when features are offered and price discounts are made. You have to have increased inventory somewhere. Now you can put it in the back room. You can bring in two extra pallets. The challenge with those extra pallets is the only people allowed the back room of a large format grocery store. Are the employees. And oftentimes that's not necessarily the front end manager. And those aren't the cashiers because they're busy up front helping make the transactions flow and keeping track of everything and watching for shoplifters and stuff like that in the back room on the weekends. A lot of times you don't have a receiving clerk on Saturday and Sunday. So the back door shut. Nobody's back there. This leaves it to the kind of the flex employee. Right. The Flex employee that helps clean up the spill on aisle five. Sometimes they're helping as a bagger. Sometimes are going out and getting the shopping carts. They've got all kinds of things. Right. And that flex employee, one of the things that they are told is don't leave the store floor if you're doing something on the store floor. You can always help a customer. But if you go in the back, you can't help a customer. So the store essentially just went down one employee. When you step in the backroom. So flex employees, a lot of times they don't like to go in the backroom because they're younger. They're less experienced. They don't have a lot of, you know, power or authority. They have to do what they're told and running in the back room to to find things to restock out of stocks in the beer aisle. Frankly, it's a lot of work on a Saturday because you don't just run in the backroom and grab two or three things. You have to move the Pepsi pallet and then you have to move the paper towel pallet and then you have to move the Pepperidge Farms goldfish pallet. Right. And then you break something. And by the time you move all that, you get a thing of a loudspeaker, says Tracy to check stand four please. Tracy to check stand four. And you're sitting there like, crap, I've made no progress digging into the beer, right? And after a while you give up, but when you have these Displays out on the floor, then your flex employee can do their job, which is just stay on the store floor where they can answer questions and help customers find things and also do your job, which is to help replenish the store, the shelves. Right. So having those the beer, what we call the beer runner, right in front of the cold box. Those are outstanding because the number of steps that a flex person, flex employee has to take to restock your brand is usually less than two. Right. Having it in a lobby is also good, even though that may be 60 steps away, but at least it's on the store floor. So that's the importance of Displays. And before I shut down, I'm just going to recap DDSOF and the Gap Closing Cycle. So. Oh, by the way, I've got a bonus for you guys coming to podcast bonus. So DDSOF is Distributor Display support of Feature. It's a fraction with a numerator and denominator cut into a percentage. Right. In the four stages of the gap closing cycle which should happen. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and potentially Friday are launch, report, measure, and deploy. Again, it's launch, report, measure, and deploy. Right. And the four reasons why distributors don't like DSOF. And I'm telling you this. You can defend yourselves when you have a conversation with a supplier. And the supplier says your DSOF was blank. It was this unacceptable number. Right. And what you could say is, well there's four things about Nielsen DSOF the distributors don't like. Number one, the geography that Nielsen uses is not, does not match the footprint. It said to a TV and radio DMA, it doesn't match my distributor footprint. Number two, those results are delayed. So while we can have a good conversation about them, I can't do a thing about them right now. Number three, they are a sample data that's extrapolated to represent the population with a degree of confidence. And number four, those numbers are from the suppliers, not the distributors. So I don't like to be surprised like that. That's DSOF, okay? And then there's DDSOF. Right. Ours is just the opposite. The Distributor Displays Support of Feature. So that's all I have for Displays. I hope you enjoyed this. If you if you're a longtime veteran or you've been in the business for a few years, I apologize if some of that was redundant. But it's good to get everybody on the same page. The importance of Display's being priced and having thematic POS out there and especially closing the gap cycle. Right. The Gap Closing Cycle of getting them up there to support it because remember, an average brand with perfect 100 percent execution will outperform a wonderful brand with less than perfect execution. Now I've got a podcast bonus for everyone. I figured, you know what? I've been listening to podcast literally since 2004. And I know it was 2004 because I know which house I lived in and I know how I downloaded it to my generic MP3 player. And I had a bunch of podcasts there. And I actually went to a hotel in Hawaii and I left my podcast player in my little podcast player below by the pool, and I lost it. And I know where I was. I know what year it was. I've been listening podcasts for a long time. I never thought I'd have a podcast because I didn't think I have anything to say. But now I have a lot of podcasts that I listen to. And so I thought since the iSellBeer Nations out there driving around all day selling beer. Right. At the risk of giving you some really good podcasts to listen to other than the iSellBeer podcast, I want to share with everyone some of my favorite podcasts so that you might enjoy them. Okay, first of all, I'm going to try and recommend actual episodes, not just a podcast, because if I send you the direction of podcasts, they've got 300 episodes, you might get lost or be bored. So, first of all, my favorite podcast is How I Built This, right? How I Built This is about entrepreneurs who built companies and only you with three specific episodes. My favorite episode on there is the one, the guy that did OtterBox, right? OtterBox is that you know, the thing you put on your iPhone. And I know in this industry as beer distributor salespeople, we had to be like the biggest OtterBox consumers, you know, of the early or mid two thousands in the last 10 years. I know not everybody uses them now, but when distributors start rolling out iPhones around 2014, I got to imagine from 2014 to 2018, every distributor had their phones in OtterBox. So there's an OtterBox episode on How I Built This. There's another one about Boston Beer with Jim Cook, and then there's another on on Sierra Nevada, which might be really appropriate if those are brands you're interested in or brands that you represent. So, again, that podcast is called How I Built This. It's really good. My second favorite podcast is Revisionist History. Revisionist History is done by this author named Malcolm Gladwell. And I've got two favorite episodes there. The first one is called McDonald's French Fries. And it talks about the myth and the misunderstood challenges of taking McDonald's French fries in the 1970s from an animal fat product to a vegetable oil product. And the ramifications that that's had. And since I grew up on McDonald's, you know, I was there for the invention of the Happy Meal. And I'll never forget the day the Chicken McNugget was invented. It was like the greatest days of my life because I was seven. But anyway, I really relate to this because about McDonald's French fries, another one that I loved on Revisionist History was the episode called Hallelujah. And it's about that song, Hallelujah. And how many times it's been remade over the last 30 years and the different people that did it and the creativity that went into writing it versus the creativity that goes into writing other songs. So if you're of the creative type check out Revisionist History and episode of Hallelujah, also, if you like McDonald's, listen, the one about French fries. Another podcast. This one is, I got this one off of Jimmy Fallon show, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and it's called S-Town. So S-Town is only seven episodes. It's a story I don't I wanna say it's fictional, but I don't think it is. Don't Google S-Town, by the way, if you're gonna listen to this, don't Google, spoiler alert. Don't Google. Just go on and find. S-Town. It's fascinating. It's entertaining. It's really good. It's called S-Town. Another podcast I love is and this is probably my single favorite episode ever on a podcast. I think I've referenced it before, and that is The Tim Ferriss Show, episode number 2-8-7, 287 when he interviews Terry Crews live in an auditorium in Los Angeles. Right. So Tim Ferriss interviewing Terry Crews on Episode 287 of The Tim Ferriss Show. Check that one out. There's also another great one. This guy is actually a friend of mine. I was able to meet him personally and let's see, early 2018. His name is Cal Fussman. And Cal Fussman has a podcast called Big Questions. And when Kobe Bryant chose to retire, he actually called Cal Fussman. Cal Fussman told me this story. Kobe call him. He said, hey, it's Kobe. And Cal said, Kobe who? And Kobe said something like, you know, it's Kobe Bryant. They did not have a previous relationship. But what Kobe knew about Cal was it Cal had interviewed people like Muhammad Ali and Mother Teresa and some of the greatest, you know, Mikhail Gorbachev. Some of the greatest names of the last hundred years have been interviewed by Cal Fussman and Kobe Bryant said, I'm retiring. I want you to do my exit interview. So if you're a basketball fan, you wanna learn more about Kobe Bryant. That is called, the podcast is called Big Questions by Cal Fussman. That's C-A-L, and Fussman, F-U-S-S-M-A-N. Great episode. Let's see what else. There's another one called My First Million. My First Million. That's a podcast called My First Million and talks about how you made your first million bucks. My favorite episode on there is called is about the guy who invented 1-800-GOT-JUNK. So if you listen to that one, My First Million, 1-800-GOT-JUNK. A really good story about how the guy just made, you know, millions and millions of dollars picking up people's junk in front of their house. So 1-800-GOT-JUNK. There's another one. Another favorite podcast called Office Hours by Daniel Pink. So Daniel Pink is an author, one of my favorite authors. He writes a lot of good books and he's got a podcast. It's kind of old. It goes back to 2013, but it's called Office Hours and in 2013. This is before they numbered episodes. So the date is August 5th, 2013. He interviews the two guys who started Honest Tea. Right. The Honest Tea brand. And those Tea brands originally started with some beer distributors up in the Northeast so I thought that might be of interest to you. So those are the podcasts. And then I've got one e-book. Right? I love podcasts. I have a hard time getting into audio books. Right. But if you're somebody who likes audio books. One of the hottest audio books out there right now is called Bad Blood. Right. And this is the Theranos story of Elizabeth Holmes. Right. So this is in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley. Elizabeth Holmes duped everybody and raised 900 million dollars in venture capital funding for her company that she called Theranos. And she promised that it would revolutionize blood testing with only a drop or two of blood, that we would all be able to find out all the diseases that were going to haunt us later in life and everything would be gone. And we'd never have to draw blood with a needle again. She collected 900 million dollars on this thing, had a company valuation of nine billion dollars and was getting set to go public. And the whole thing fell down like a house of cards because she was a big, fat liar about everything. She lied about everything. And there's a really good book about it. It's called Bad Blood: The Theranos Story. So those are my podcasts. I've been walking to work and back about three point three miles from my house to my office. I've been walking there and back every day during this quarantine period, getting my exercise and my steps in. And I've had podcasts and like crazy in terms of finding new ones and listening to them. And if you give me feedback on this and you like this, but if I don't hear anyone say anything, they don't like this, I won't do it again. But if you want more feedback and you like more ideas on podcasts, I'll do it again. Don't forget to go join the iSellBeer Nation, our Facebook group. Find us on Instagram. Find us on Twitter. And stay safe out there. Have a great time. And sell more beer.

So what's the best tasting beer in America? Who cares? That's for the consumer to decide. And until they do, you will keep selling them new brands every day as a distributor sales rep. You can become a part of the iSellBeer Nation by subscribing to this podcast and using the #iSellBeer in all your social posts. Also, be sure to join the iSellBeer Nation Facebook group and visit our website. Our industry is an up and down the street business where local relationships matter. I want to thank you for making me a part of your day and wish you good luck on the objectives for your next account call. In fact, I know you're gonna crush it.

Automatically convert your audio files to text with Sonix. Sonix is the best online, automated transcription service.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Get the most out of your audio content with Sonix. Are you a radio station? Better transcribe your radio shows with Sonix. Rapid advancements in speech-to-text technology has made transcription a whole lot easier. Are you a podcaster looking for automated transcription? Sonix can help you better transcribe your podcast episodes. Better audio means a higher transcript accuracy rate. Sonix converts audio to text in minutes, not hours. Create better transcripts with online automated transcription. Here are five reasons you should transcribe your podcast with Sonix.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2020—it's fast, easy, and affordable.

If you are looking for a great way to convert your audio to text, try Sonix today.

Wait! Before You Go

FREE DOWNLOAD: A deck on Motivating Generation XBOX (your employees who spend all night gaming)