We don’t hide the fact that we are intrigued by the Independent Brewers Alliance, a fledgling brewer-owned and managed purchasing cooperative that was just in the idea stages at the last Craft Brewers Conference. Original #longread on the concept here. The goal is to provide a strength-in-numbers group to improve the overall buying power of the craft brewing industry and level the playing field a bit compared to the economies of scale afforded to the big guys.
Anyway, there is some progress. The Independent Brewers Alliance has just negotiated two new programs that offer members savings on almost every kind of shipping need.
Tell us about the deals
These two freight programs — both from major national suppliers — join an existing savings program from UPS on parcel shipments. The group says these promise to save most members 10 to 20 percent on what they’re now paying for LTL, partial and full truckload shipments. They also offer brewers the opportunity to manage and save on inbound freight.
“The alliance works by leveraging the collective buying power of the group to negotiate discounts on operational expenses and raw materials. And it’s working,” said Dean Palmer, the alliance’s executive director. “So far we’ve brought bottom-line savings opportunities to our members in 20 categories of expenses.”
Other savings in place — and what’s next?
Existing IBA savings programs include:
- Up to 25 percent off payroll processing from ADP
- 40 to 70 percent percent off office, break room and tech supplies from Office Depot and Staples
- Thousands in annual savings potential on credit card processing fees through Ignite Payments
- Discounts on fuel from Exxon Mobile and
- Discounts on wireless services from Sprint
“That’s just a partial list,” added Palmer. “Our current focus is on negotiating programs for raw materials including malt, glass and corrugated.”
I’m going to need more info
“One of the most common questions we get asked is do members have to participate in every program? The answer is no,” Palmer noted. “Participation is encouraged, but we realize that not every program is right for everyone. Most brewers can easily recoup their membership costs by participating in just one or two programs.”
Brewers interested in learning more can head here or sign up for the alliance’s March 30 introductory webinar at 3:30 pm EST.