27 January, 2020

Why the Australian Drinks Awards expanded the Supplier category

Why the Australian Drinks Awards expanded the Supplier category

Winning Supplier of the Year at The Australian Drinks Awards has always been a huge accolade. This year, two additional supplier awards have been added to the ceremony: Most Improved Supplier and Supply Chain Partnership. Like Supplier of the Year, the winners will be determined via Advantage Australia's benchmark surveys of on and off-premise retailers. Advantage Australia's Steve Andrews gives the lowdown. 

How credible is the Australian Drinks Awards judging process? 

The information sourced to support the awards comes from Advantage’s in depth research across all major retailers and wholesalers in the Liquor Industry.  Our research exceeds the standard of statistical rigour applied by research companies to quantitative results.

Why were two new Awards – Most Improved Supplier and Supply Chain Partnership – introduced to the ADAs? 

The Most Improved Supplier Award was introduced to recognise suppliers who may not have the resource capacity to exceed the leading companies in overall engagement, but who have successfully set and executed a plan of improvement and have been recognised by retailers for improving their professionalism and delivery across the entirety of their commercial relationship.

The Supply Chain Partnership Award was introduced to place increased focus on the vital connection between suppliers and retailers in supply chain engagement beyond just the hard service level results

Judges know the award winners by early August. How difficult is it to keep these under wraps until the Australian Drinks Awards on September 13? 

We have a commitment to not release any results until the 13th, so pretty easy really. Because there are so many respondents inputting into the result, no one person is able to guess the winner, so it’s going to be a surprise announcement!

How does a business win Supplier of the Year and what does it mean? 

A business wins Supplier of the Year by having the highest Net Favourable result from the combined, total retail/wholesale network across all the important aspects of business engagement.  A high Net Favourable result means that the supplier has the biggest difference between having Promoters in the industry, or those retailers who rate the supplier as best or better than average, less the Detractors, those retailers who rate the supplier as worst or worse than average.  The performance areas which make up the rating are:  Business Relationship & Support; Personnel; Category Management; Consumer Marketing Support; Customer Marketing / Promotion Practices; Supply Chain Management.

How does a business win the Supply Chain Partnership award and what does it mean? 

A supplier will win this award based on the highest Net Favourable result by combining selected supply chain engagement measures.  These are:  Aligns with our key supply chain performance metrics; Builds strong relationships with supply chain teams; Proactive in implementing practices and processes that improve total supply chain efficiency; Proactively works with us on forecasting to prevent out-of-stocks; Provides timely, proactive communication about order status, adjustments, and changes; Provides easy to reach, responsive customer support service.

This award means that the supplier has been recognised by all retailers as having the best overall integration into their supply chain management.  Because it does not include hard measures such as Service Levels, it deliberately recognises behaviours which are highly valued by retailers, such as how well a supplier handles issues when things go wrong, how well they communicate issues, and how proactive they are in finding solutions.  This is analogous to the Supplier of the Year not necessarily being the one with the highest sales or sales growth.

How does a business win the Most Improved Supplier award and what does it mean? 

A supplier will win this award based on the highest increase in Net Favourable result across all performance measures.  Recognition as above in point 2.

How does Advantage Australia conduct its benchmark study measuring how favourably a supplier is regarded by retailers in both the on and  off-premise? Will there be any changes to the process this year? 

Advantage conducts hundreds of surveys at all levels of seniority and with all supplier-facing functions (e.g. Merch, Supply, Marketing) with every major retailer in the Liquor Industry.  Surveys are conducted with On Premise and Off Premise retailers.  These responses are then combined to provide an overall score across all the performance areas.  There are no changes this year.