Georgian Bay Spirit Co. receives 2020 LCBO Supplier of the Year Award

Connection is a word we use a lot at Georgian Bay Spirit Co. In fact, it’s written into our purpose as a company – we build connections. Our products connect people through social occasions and, as a business, we place a premium on building meaningful and lasting connections with our colleagues, partners and suppliers. It’s for this reason that we are so proud of our recent 2020 LCBO Supplier of the Year award at this year’s Elsie Awards. The Elsie Awards were developed by the LCBO to recognize excellence within our industry. Supplier of the Year award recipients are nominated by the LCBO so it’s kind of a big deal to win one. After all, the LCBO is one of the largest liquor distributors in the world. So how did we manage to stand out from all the other beverage alcohol suppliers and agents out there? It comes back to connection.

A big reason for our win was how we handled challenges last summer related to a new warehouse management system the LCBO implemented. The switchover to the new system resulted in a host of prolonged inventory and product delivery issues, with empty shelves in stores across the province. Customers, suppliers and the LCBO were all understandably frustrated. However, instead of focusing on the negative impacts, we quickly turned our attention to how we could work with the LCBO on solutions. With special permission from the LCBO, we pivoted our business to focus on distribution of our product to LCBO stores ourselves. We took manual orders from stores. We rented vans and trucks. We mobilized our team, in many cases using personal vehicles, and we hit road. We managed to keep our thirsty customers stocked up with our products through the heat of the summer. In fact, as a team we hand delivered over 34,000 cases of product in 6 weeks.

Just a few photos of the Georgian Bay Spirit Co team delivering cases during Summer 2019.

In addition to getting our products on shelves, our efforts strengthened our relationships with LCBO staff and store managers – and it brought us closer together as a team. In other words, we built connections, which is what our business is all about.

The summer of 2019 will never be forgotten as our team went above and beyond to assist in a time of need.  But throughout the year, our marketing, sales, innovation, finance, and supply teams consistently worked hard to build meaningful connections and relationships with the various team members at the LCBO.  We came to work day-in and day-out to be the best partner we can be for the LCBO, and being recognized with this reward means we’ve done a pretty good job. 

Here’s to a long and meaningful relationship.

Thank you LCBO for the recognition, and cheers to you!

Click the images above to see the full list of Elsie winners

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