How Automation Can Help Retailers Build a Better Alcohol Business

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Learn how technology can help simplify your operations and make managing alcohol payments and invoices easier. 

2020 was a year that rocked the world and changed many businesses in the blink of an eye, and the alcohol industry was no exception. Throughout it all, we saw the three tiers come together and create a sense of community unlike anything we’ve seen before. We saw distributors donate resources to struggling restaurant employees and essential healthcare workers, transport medical equipment, and shift production from spirits to sanitizers. Across the country, retailers successfully campaigned to their state legislatures to make much-needed changes, such as allowing alcohol to-go. 

Technology has allowed retailers to stay afloat during these unprecedented timesOn-premise establishments have embraced platforms to allow customers to place and pay for food orders online, adopted online scheduling and communication platforms for staff, and even used technology to manage nationwide shipping for their products! In the off-premise segment, we spoke to some of our convenience store clients who shared how they are using technology to simplify payments both in the store and outside at the dispensers. 

After investing so much time and technology to make your stores safer and improve your customers’ experience, have you really considered what advancements will benefit your business behind the scenes? It has never been more essential to protect your high margin products, like alcohol. Automation helps you do that by alleviating the challenges that come with managing a beverage alcohol program, such as prepping payments, manual reconciliation, and calculating optimal pricing to maintain margins. The best part? You can start automating your beverage alcohol business for free. 

Keeping up with invoice payments is huge, time-consuming hurdle in the world of alcohol. You may have to pay the delivery driver directly, or write and mail a check to the distributor, or some combination, depending on what state you operate in and what products you stock. By automating payment for all your alcohol invoices, you are able to save time and administrative costs around prepping cash or writing checks; all payments are made electronically on the date printed on the invoicesBecause you’re able to rely on timely payments, compliance with state liquor laws is also automated, and the risk of ending up on the no-sale list is minimized. And, with a program like Fintech’s Distributor Autopay, you can begin seeing the benefits of automated alcohol invoice payments at no cost. 

When you elevate the technology used in your beverage alcohol program beyond just electronic payments, you can start benefiting from automated alcohol purchase data to improve your ordering habits and simplify reconciliationWhen you have your purchase information translated into easily digestible reports, you gain a better understanding of what’s moving off your shelves at each location so you can meet consumer demands. You can also utilize in-depth pricing reports to identify price discrepancies and pinpoint where you may be paying unnecessary fees. These powerful reports help ensure you’re meeting your margins and maximizing profitability. Having timely pricing information also helps keep your P&L statement clean and accurate by allowing you to make timely corrections and pivot quickly. Gone are the days of long hours in the office thumbing through paper invoices to identify problems and struggling to figure out how to recover margin errors the following month. 

Using an alcohol data and payments company like Fintech also gives you access to an online portal. Through this portal, you can view all your alcohol invoices digitally with line-item detail and use this to extend efficiency into your reconciliation processes. You can easily research invoices in one place without worrying about missing or illegible paper copies and even communicate directly with your distributor partners through the portal to request credits or correct discrepancies. To maximize automation, you can integrate your alcohol invoices into your back-office system, like QuickBooks Online. This seamless data transmission takes away the time and errors that inevitably come with manually typing each invoice into your accounting softwareWith alcohol invoice information imported alongside the rest of your data, you gain better insight into your business and can be confident in its accuracy, making budgeting and planning a much smoother process. 

Fintech automates beverage alcohol programs for over 150,000 retailers nationwide and is dedicated to providing affordable solutions that fit any business’ needs and budget. Contact us to start automating beverage alcohol management today.  

Aurelia Shears, Marketing Specialist

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