What’s In It For Suppliers?
Check out the video below to hear why Suppliers recommend working with the IBA to their colleagues!
The Independent Brewers Alliance (IBA) is a purchasing cooperative, sometimes called a purchasing group. The IBA combines the purchasing power of hundreds of independently-owned craft breweries to negotiate preferred pricing and/or rebates with leading craft beer industry suppliers. Supplier-partners get category exclusivity for the country or region, and a terrific opportunity to grow market share with a stable, ever-growing source of new business from member-brewers.
So, if you’re a supplier wondering if working with the IBA is a smart move for your company, here’s a few things to consider:
A Reliable, Steady Source of New Business
Working with the IBA is like having an outside sales force. We’re continually recruiting new member-brewers and every one of them represents a potential new customer for our suppliers. One supplier told us that overall sales grew by 10% in the first year working with us. Another described the IBA as their single best source of new sales leads. And a third said they actually use their partnership with the IBA as a selling point when approaching new breweries.
Looking for the Win-Win
The IBA doesn’t succeed by squeezing suppliers – or constantly changing suppliers. The IBA succeeds by establishing long-term, stable relationships with great suppliers who see value in the added sales and direct access to the large group of reputable brewers that the alliance gives them. If it’s not good for both brewer-members and suppliers, it will never work long-term.
In the past year, over 125 new member-brewers have joined the IBA. That brings total members to over 430 with combined production of almost 2-million barrels. That’s the equivalent of some of the largest regional breweries and over 7% of total independent craft production. In the past year alone, members have made over $14 million in purchases from IBA suppliers, and that growth is only going to continue.
Member-Brewers are Actually Incentivized to Buy More From Suppliers
The majority of the volume-rebate money the IBA collects from suppliers gets returned directly to brewers as profit-sharing based on each brewery’s spending through the IBA. This creates a feedback loop incentivizing greater participation and purchasing. We also have the BrewBucks Rewards Program™ that actually pays members to participate in supplier programs.
For most categories, suppliers have category exclusivity for the country or their region. This means IBA suppliers don’t have to compete against other IBA suppliers for member business.
Opportunities to Market Directly to Members
As a supplier, you get direct access to members. After all, you can tell your story better than we can. And at least once a year, usually at CBC, the IBA holds a networking event where suppliers can meet face-to-face with member-brewers and make those personal connections. Suppliers are also encouraged to have open and on-going communications with all our members to let them know about new products and specials. We also host twice monthly educational webinars where suppliers get the opportunity to let member-brewers know how their products or services can help brewers succeed.
Cooperatives aren’t new, There are some 29,000 co-ops working in the U.S. right now in just about every industry you can name. They succeed because everyone – suppliers and members alike – benefit from working together. As an added bonus, businesses that join cooperatives as members tend to be better-run with better business practices and good payment histories. Learn more about cooperatives and the IBA.
An Even Better Future
In the future expect more member-brewers, more supplier partners and an ever-increasing dollar amount of purchases by members from suppliers. Right now, member-brewers do business directly with IBA suppliers. In the future we will likely become a central purchasing hub for all members. That means a single entity will do all IBA ordering, invoicing and payments.
If all of this sounds interesting to you, and you would like to learn more, contact Peter Licht – a Brewmaster for 28 years – and now the IBA’s Director of Supplier Relations – email@example.com.