Two in a Row for Tennent’s – Supplier’s Survey

THIS YEAR’S SUPPLIER’S SURVEY SEES LITTLE CHANGE AT THE TOP, BUT THERE ARE A FEW ISSUES THAT OBVIOUSLY NEED IRONED OUT. SUSAN YOUNG REPORTS.
Licensees are, in the main, very content with their ontrade suppliers. Satisfaction ratings in this year’s survey either remained the same, rose slightly or dipped marginally. But certainly when it comes to category satisfaction it appears the wine and spirit suppliers have trumped their beer counterparts. The average score across the wine and spirit sector was 89% compared to an average score of 81% when it came to beer.
What is encouraging is that the main beer suppliers are still achieving scores above 80%, albeit not Matthew Clark, who took on Molson Coors distribution last year. That probably doesn’t come as surprise to either their customers or the company who perhaps have found it more challenging than originally thought to meet the needs of their new beer customers. Hopefully by the time this survey comes around next year the operation will be in a much better place.
Over the past month licensees around the country have been called with responses taken from independent operators, who were buying free-of-tie. We asked them to rate their beer supplier and wine and spirits suppliers. All the respondents were aksed to give a satisfaction rating with one being the lowest and five the highest across five different categories. These were sales representatives, telesales, delivery times, product range and promotions. They were also invited to volunteer any other information they felt was pertinent, and this year for the first time we asked five additional questions with regard to their businesses.
When it came to beer, once again Tennent’s topped the poll. It’s the second year in a row that the company has achieved the highest average score. It’s satisfaction rating was 86%, marginally lower than last year, but still ahead of its competitors. The companies sales reps certainly received praise with their average level of satisfaction growing 2% to 90%, while promotions rose a significant 8%. Perhaps indicating how competitive the market is, and emphasising the fact that the company is being pro-active in keeping and attracting market share. In fact this is where competitor Belhaven really missed out. Although Belhaven’s customers were more satisfied with promotions than in 2012 (seeing a 2% rise), it was still trumped by Tennent’s to the tune of 14%. Belhaven came out on top when it came to delivery times and its product range but there was not much in it when it came to telesales and sales reps, with Tennent’s 90% satisfaction level for sales reps beating Belhaven customers levels by 2%, on the telesales front Belhaven was 1% ahead of Tennent’s.
Although it was Heineken, which shared third position with Carlsberg, which had, according to customers the best telesales service with a satisfaction rating of 91%, and its sales reps also did well with 88%. It was a lack of sales reps on the ground that brought down Carlsberg’s overall rating. It only achieved a 65% satisfaction rating for sales reps compared to a 90% rating for telesales, but it did come out on top when it came to promotions.
Says John Gilligan, Managing Director of Tennents, “As ever it is good to be number one. Being the best when it is a quality field is great. Credit must go to everyone involved. And of course credit to our people, we never really stop.”
Charlie Woods, of The Imperial Bar in Airdrie comments, “It doesn’t matter what you ask Tennent’s to do, they are always there in a minute. They give you absolutely no grief. The delivery, sales and the rep are all great.”
While Dennis Forsyth of Cheers in Fraserburgh said, “They have a good portfolio, competitive prices, great point of sale and I also like the continuity that I have had with my rep. He’s been there 20 years, and I think that says a lot about the company.”
On the spirts front it was Gordon & MacPhail who triumphed. They returned to the top spot, after narrowly losing out to Inverarity Morton last year. Their average score a massive 97%. The company has also picked up a further couple of awards for their on-trade service, most recently Best On-trade Wholesale delivered at the Scottish Wholesale Achievers ceremony.
Gordon & MacPhail scored highest when it came to their sales reps, telesales and product range. Dunns Food and Drinks, which has seen an improvement in satisfaction ratings of 10% over the last year, came out on top for delivery times while they also drew with Gordon & MacPhail when it came to promotions.
Batleys was a new entry this year, and some Glasgow licensees had good things to say about Hot Sauce, although it didn’t have quite enough nominations to make it on this year’s list. Allsons appears to have dropped out of the running, with only two pubs mentioning the wholesaler, and even then they weren’t completely satisfied.
Most of the wholesalers product ranges were well received with four out of the six achieving scores in excess of 90%, that really is good going.
Of course, although licensees were differentiating between Forth Wines and Inverarity-Morton, the two companies are now one. Certainly it seems that Forth customers will be pleased at the extended product range and promotions that they are likely to have with the new enlarged company. However Forth’s sales representatives rated more highly than Inverarity-Morton’s as did their delivery times. So there are benefits to be had both ways.
Wallaces satisfaction ratings have gone up 3% and Matthew Clark only dipped 1%, but compared to their competitors, they haven’t improved as much over the year. Gordon & MacPhail saw an improvement of 7%, Inverarity-Morton went up 2%, Batleys came from nowhere with a 90% satisfaction rating, while Dunns increased by 9%, and Forth increased 3%.
They all deserve a pat on the back.
Stephen Rankin, Director of UK Sales said, “On behalf of my fellow directors and all the staff at Gordon & MacPhail I sincerely thank our customers for bestowing this tremendous award on the company. It’s testament to the hard work, dedication and skill of our staff who strive to deliver outstanding customer service. We look forward to working closely with our customers, to enable us to evolve our portfolio of products and services to meet the demands of an ever changing market place.”
Anne McKenzie, of the Forres House Hotel, Forres, “From the beginning to end I order and I get a wonderful delivery service. The men who deliver are amazing, and always go out of their way to help me. They are so professional.”

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