Expanding your brewery’s distribution area and securing more stores, and hopefully chain placements, over time comes with a trade-off – increased paperwork. Handling paperwork can become quite a task, especially when dealing with multiple distributors across different states and counties.
The never-ending queries about who covers which county, zip, or city, and the chain-level complexities of distributor-store associations can be overwhelming.
Take, for instance, Walmart, who sends you an Excel form (see below) to update their system with required information, requesting the distributor details alongside the store’s address.
Completing this process repeatedly – a hundred times and counting – can be quite monotonous. Initially, I tried using territory and county maps created by my marketing team to identify which distributors covered specific areas. However, when I was only provided with the city information, I found myself endlessly googling addresses, figuring out the corresponding counties, and cross-referencing with the map.
Fed up with the inefficiency, I decided there must be a better solution. Thus, I came up with the idea of a comprehensive city-county database. This Excel sheet encompasses every city in the US, featuring essential zip code and state information. By transforming this data into a table, I was able to create an additional table for the distributor details. I then invested time in filtering by state and county, meticulously inputting the distributor information.
As a result, whenever I encounter a form similar to the one above, I simply filter by the given city, and the sheet promptly reveals the corresponding distributor.
Now, I understand the frustration of dealing with such intricacies, so I am delighted to share my solution with you. You can easily download my Excel sheet here, saving you time and effort. Just remember to add your distributors and the respective counties they cover, and voilà! Your brewery now boasts a well-organized distributor database, tailored to meet your needs. Happy brewing!