The DABS (formerly the DABC) released their new strategic plan today. Here’s our take on a few of our discussion points addressed in the plan.
There’s no question that myself and every distiller that operate within the confines of the state borders have dreamed of a better inventory management system that would allow for better product representation from the local distillers. At issue is that once the products are on the shelves, and this is no small feat, they are held to the same standard as more globally recognized products. Meaning that a locally distilled/produced rum is held to the same sales standards/metrics as say a Bacardi rum.
It appears that this issue may be addressed at some point in the future as the strategic plan included this statement, “Upgrading current inventory management systems to provide item-specific settings”. My hope is that the phrase “item specific settings” will allow for the difference in sales and not automatically remove local products in favor of large commercial brands. Shelf tags identifying local products would go a long way. Just saying.
Without a doubt the DABS is one of the largest income producers for the state but has struggled with employee retention in the last few years. Again the strategic plan identifies this along with establishing a quality workforce in the following statement, “Provide staff with manuals and training materials for easy reference. Make updates to manuals quickly and efficiently when something changes”.
From a consumer’s perspective, we know that many of the past and current store employees not only are not familiar with the products that they are selling but also don’t consume them. Anecdotally, this would be much like my mother selling computers. Not only does she not own one but she has no interest in them whatsoever. That said, I would never go to her for advice on which laptop is best. Largely the same is true for anyone wanting to support locally owned businesses by purchasing their products. This is because many store employees have no idea which product is produced/distilled locally. Maybe, just maybe this training program will include the identification of local products. We can only hope.
Our local distilled community is screaming for help! Will this new strategic plan correct years of the uncompromising degradation of our local distilling industry?
Only time will tell.
Here’s a link the DABS Strategic Plan