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Quality Wine & Spirits Inc.: Georgia’s Fastest-growing Wine & Spirits Wholesale Distributor
It’s a well-known fact that even during economic downturns certain industries are recession-proof. People need to eat, even if they go out less and instead purchase goods from supermarkets. Cars still need to be driven, and fuel is consumed. There are basic necessities and services that will always need to purchased or consumed, and sectors that hold off decrease. What’s interesting, however, is data showing that during economic downturns, alcohol consumption actually increases.
According to the financial information company Sageworks, alcohol beverage sales grew by 10 percent in a 12-month period between 2010 and 2011. Joe Best, owner and founder of Quality Wine & Spirits Inc. (Quality), says that his Georgia-based company – headquartered in Atlanta with sales territories in Athens, Augusta, Macon/Columbus, coastal Georgia and more – has easily topped that, averaging growth between 17 and 20 percent annually every year since Quality’s founding in 1999.
It’s not just the increase in the alcohol beverage industry fueling growth at Quality, however. The company – which specializes in the distribution of non-mass-marketed spirits, wines, malt beverages and saké – has been growing at an accelerated rate because Best has assembled a sales team that has positively represented the company and its vast line of products all across Georgia. This team specializes in knowing what their customers need, whether they are on-premise hotels and restaurants, wine and liquor stores or large-scale chain stores. Quality is especially proud of maintaining a portfolio that represents nearly every wine region in the world and showcases authentic, artisan spirits. Additionally, the company can be a one-stop wholesaler for any restaurant or retailer, supplying not only wines and sprits but also bitters, glassware, mixers, syrups, waters and more.
Committed to Excellence, Dedicated to Our Partners
Quality’s customer partners have come to expect a level of service that is unparalleled in the industry. The company’s wine and sprits consultants have an average of 15 years in the industry and its distribution team expertly supplies its customers and vendors with the highest level of service and commitment in the purchase, storage and delivery of wine and spirits in Georgia. The company currently employs 94 people and Best estimates that the company will approach $50 million in sales in 2011. The company has amassed its outstanding team of professionals by creating an environment where all of its employees can succeed. Discussing this, Best has been quoted as saying the following:
“We encourage and welcome creative contribution outside normal job responsibilities. We don't set any limits to potential growth. We offer incentive programs offering cash bonuses, international and domestic travel that are related to business, and other bonuses throughout the year. Annual awards are given to top performers in every department at our annual Christmas party.” Best further states, “Maintaining our sales team has been a challenge to the organization. Our sales professionals receive offers from our competition and other national companies, but they remain loyal to Quality because of the culture we have created.”
In spite of its relatively young age, the company has garnered several national awards and achievements including being named as a Top 20 Winner in Atlanta on the “101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For” list at 101bestandbrightest.com; one of the 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America four years in a row by Inc. Magazine; and was recently featured in Food & Drink Magazine.
The company’s sales personnel and management staff utilize Microsoft Dynamics Navision software to for its day-to-day operations, but one of the major drawbacks was that in order for its mobile employees to access the software, the company’s current data needed to be synchronized via a live link. Quality worked with Microsoft Dynamics’ certified partner ArcherPoint LLC and the two companies created a solution that allowed Quality’s employees secure access to Microsoft Navison from any computer, drastically increasing productivity and saving company resources as well. As a result of this combined effort, Quality was a 2010 recipient of the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Excellence Award for “Excellence in Innovation.” Quality was the only company with less than $1 billion in sales to receive this prestigious award from Microsoft.
Searching For the Best Products
With its robust product offerings and award-winning software that tracks its customer’s preferences and purchasing habits, Quality is able to offer each customer a customized experience that cannot be matched by Best’s competitors. In its continual search for the best products, Quality looks for wines that offer value to price point, as well as spirits that do not have generic flavor profiles, have real family heritage and are made with real ingredients. Virtually all products are shipped, stored and delivered within a 100-percent temperature-controlled environment to ensure they evolve stably and naturally from the producer’s front door all the way to the consumer. To validate the product selection process, Best refers to The Wine Spectator Top 100 for 2011: with 40 wholesalers operating in Georgia, Quality had 22 of its wines selected.
Best is excited about the company’s future in the industry. The company has plans to expand its market base beyond Georgia’s borders, and will continue to attract the best and the brightest employees with its human-based approach to company management. “We truly understand the craziness of life. We do understand that our employees have many needs outside of work,” Best has said. “We approach and evaluate personal challenges that our employees experience and we do everything we can to accommodate with time off, financial assistance and anything else that might be needed.”
In 12 short years Joe Best has grown Quality into one of Georgia’s most respected companies. As Best continues to expand the company’s market, product lines, people and services, Quality Wine & Spirits Inc. will continue to mature like a fine wine.