Case Equivalents

I want to talk about case equivalents.

Let’s start off with a definition of CE. 

CE is case equivalent, and this is the language of distributors. Start introducing this verbiage in sales meetings. 

And to quote our friend Kary Shumway:

“The case equivalent, or CE, is a standard unit of measure for a beer wholesaler. A CE is 24 12oz servings of beer. That is 24 12oz bottles or cans. This used to be the standard package size for beer.”

A BBL of beer equals 13.78 CE. So 1 BBL of beer is just shy of 14 cases of beer. A standard half BBL keg of beer is 6.89 CE and so on. 

Before we get into CE goals, we need to consider if you are self-distributed or are working with a distributor. 

The tasks and goals are very different for the two models. 

Our CE recommendation for a self-distributed brewery is 8,000-12,000 CE per rep. Broken down into BBL that is roughly 600-800 BBL of beer per rep, per year. This averages out to 58 BBL of beer sold per month.

Our CE recommendation for a brewery working with a distributor is 20,000+ CE per rep. Broken down into BBL that is roughly 1451 BBL of beer per rep, per year. This averages out to 121 BBL of beer sold per month.

Now let’s pause for a minute and let that sink in.

There are a number of factors that will affect these goals. 

Production capacity and market size are two that immediately come to mind. 

These benchmarks were designed for a production brewery producing 7500 BBL or more per year, but can be scaled down to accommodate a smaller operation.

At the end of the day a sales reps compensation should be between 10-15% of their gross annual sales. 

And here’s the beautiful part… 

Once you set CE goals there are so many ways to go about slicing and dicing that information. 

You can look at it per month or even week. You can look at it per packaging type. You can use this as a base number to set future goals. Or determine if it is worth expanding your territory to meet those goals. 

Do not be afraid to set high CE goals for your sales team. 

You need to get while the gettin’s good. 

See you next Friday.

-cf

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