MBDA – YOUR INDUSTRY’S VOICE
by Frank Pistella
If being in business were only about selling beer and making money this could have been one’s idea of a great spring. People are lining up to come into most of our stores and the inventory is quickly moving.
Of course, while we were fortunate to be able to continue in business with strong sales during these difficult times, this isn’t the business model nor opportunities that we sought. In particular, it surely isn’t one that we ever want to repeat again.
This spring we faced a host of new challenges and, as we were required to confront each one, were often given a huge lesson as to who are our friends.
First, to realize this, we all must look inside each of our own businesses and to our loyal employees. Without them, and their energy, ideas, dedication, loyalty and hard work, we would have been overrun. With the Governor’s wise recognition that we, as the provider of a lot of essential products, were a business that was life sustaining, we would never have been able to serve without our loyal employees. The fact is, it would have been devastating if we were closed while grocery stores were selling our most important product, beer. It would also have been destructive to not be able to protect our employees while safely serving our customers.
Whatever complaints are out there, one that we are not hearing is that we failed to meet the challenges that were imposed upon us. Had we, as a retail industry, failed to perform, there would be calls to send our products to the shelves of other retailers. This is not occurring.
As I talk to others in the business, it is clear that the lesson is that to be in business today we must maintain flexibility. As we move past the Easter holiday, our practices, layouts, and attitudes are different than they were last New Year’s Eve. To succeed, we had to consult with everyone and create an atmosphere in which we worked to keep both our employees and customers safe and comfortable. We are being told these challenges will continue. While we are all in this together with similar challenges, each of us must strive to ascertain what works best in our local marketplace.
My belief is that this has been a window into the future – and this time the changes that came at us were on steroids. Dealing with this required flexibility, willingness to change, and the ability to work with new ideas; this is going to become the hallmark of all modern business people – and beer distributors will be no exception.
Let us all remember how important it is to have friends and to continue as active colleagues in MBDA so we can respond together to new unseen challenges thereby improving our service, selection, and all our lives.