Call it what you want – “work-withs,” “ride-alongs,” “crew drives,” or maybe even, “hitting stores” – whatever your term is, those who have been in the alcohol beverage industry for a while know the value of working in the market with distributors. The insight that comes from visiting retail accounts, meeting customers, helping sell-in, throwing cases, educating, and even something as simple as buying lunch for the hardworking distributor reps is unmatched. I used to do this all the time while working at Heineken USA and enjoyed every second of it. Unfortunately, those opportunities were dashed by the pandemic shortly after joining Fintech. That is, until recently.
As a quick backdrop, we have now partnered with hundreds of distributors across the country, providing them with innovative support tools to help drive more retailer adoption of automated invoice payments through Fintech. One of these distributors is the legendary Bernie Little Distributors here in Florida. They invited us to work in the market with their Area Managers to help kick off a big incentive, assist with overcoming customer objections, and educate them on an exciting new solution, the Fintech Distributor e-Vite Tool. This tool gives distributors the ability to invite their customers to join Fintech easily and securely with a custom link via email or text.
We focused on independent small-format stores. These can be challenging, as most often the decision-maker is running the register, multi-tasking, and generally managing organized chaos. Once we were able to speak to them and explain how our automated payment platform works, all understood the value of its benefits. It was great to get an understanding of the daily challenges and obstacles they face. I identified improvement opportunities that will simplify the Fintech retailer enrollment process for the distributor.
This market visit was very rewarding, and I can’t wait to get back out and do it again! The overall national results speak volumes. In 2021, the adoption of retailer invoice payment automation has grown over 36% compared to 2020 and 118% over 2019! Meeting and listening to our customers at the street level is a great way to keep that momentum going.
Thanks to Bernie Little Distributors for the opportunity to get back on the road. They are an integral part of shaping how Fintech can bring value to its customers.