The Most Improved Supplier award was so closely contested in last year’s Advantage Engagement Survey that two winners were chosen: Taylors Wines and Bacardi-Martini Australia.
The Most Improved Supplier award was introduced in 2018 to celebrate suppliers who have successfully set and executed a plan of improvement and been acknowledged by retailers for improving their professionalism and delivery across the entirety of their commercial relationship.
The Advantage Engagement Survey provides members with favourability ratings and qualitative retailer feedback from the off trade, on premise and wholesale channels.
What the award meant to Taylors
Taylors Managing Director Mitchell Taylor said winning Most Improved Supplier was great recognition for the teamwork at Taylors Wines.
“It was excellent to celebrate the achievement with both our customers and our sales and marketing teams on the night,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of the focus and hard work that our team has put forward, and the award recognition is a testament to their efforts.”
Taylor attributed the win to the company’s focus on its core values.
“One of those values is partnership, so it is terrific to see this attribute being celebrated in such a major way with the award,” he said. “Our sales leadership emphasises the importance of genuine support and partnership between our sales team members and customers, and not just relying on transactional interactions.”
Taylor also noted that the Advantage Survey was a vital tool for the company, as it provides customer feedback that is “honest and direct”.
“It enables us to use this information in a proactive manner to improve performance,” he explained. “At Taylors we are constantly seeking ways to improve our performance. Just like making a wine, there is no ‘perfection’, just a continuous pathway to learn and improve on quality.
As for the challenges faced during the recent shutdown, Taylor said his team have quickly adapted to the new ways of working during the past few months.
“Beyond finding new ways to connect and develop our customer relationships, we have thought of other innovative ways we can support the industry, namely through our ‘Local Night In’ initiative,” he said.
“This has given us the opportunity to engage in a meaningful dialogue with our customers on ways we can adapt and work together through this crisis. It’s been fantastic to see so many other examples of how the drinks industry has come together, despite the challenges, and we will be a stronger industry for it.”
What the award meant to Bacardi
Mauricio Vergara, Managing Director of Bacardi-Martini Australia, said the company was very pleased and honoured by the recognition of winning Most Improved Supplier.
“Delivering against our customer’s needs is at the core of our strategy, so receiving this award is a great indication that we are moving in the right direction,” he said.
“We believe that sustainable growth comes from making sure we genuinely care about helping our customers grow their business. We believe building long-term, value based, strategic relationships. As a family owned business, we believe in the power of human connections and partnerships that are built and strengthened over time.”
Vergara said the Advantage Survey helped Bacardi-Martini better understand how it is performing in delivering against what its customers consider important and against their needs.
“Equally critical for us has been making sure we support our employees and customers as much as possible through these tough times,” he concluded.
Celebrating the virtual awards event
Both Vergara and Taylor said they were looking forward to attending the 2020 Australian Drinks Awards, which will be livestreamed on July 30 due to current restrictions.
“It should be an interesting and fun experience to be a part of the awards in a virtual sense,” said Taylor. “A bit more relaxed and certainly a sign of the interesting year we’ve all had to face. These award events always present a great opportunity to get together as an industry and celebrate and reflect on our achievements, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out as a virtual experience.”
Vergara added: “It will be great to connect with our customers and peers in the industry. At Bacardi our Purpose is “Celebrating Moments that Matter” and this event is one great opportunity to do exactly that.”