Something I noticed very quickly when I started in this industry is a kind of rivalry amongst the tiers in the beer, wine, and liquor industry. I have seen a lot of head butting and arguing, especially between the retailer and distributor. We must all work as a team! Three tug boats puling a ship (the consumer base) in three directions won’t get that ship anywhere. Three tug boats working together can pull the mightiest of ships very easily. First, let me point out that everyone working, regardless of their tier, is a person. When one makes an appointment one should keep that appointment. When one is having a bad day that bad mood should NOT be taken out on an industry partner just because of a position of power over another. To be rude or inconsiderate to someone also trying to earn a living, and one you do business with on other days, deserves the respect any person is due. This goes for drivers and everyone else that works with, around, and for us. Most people want to do their job well. I have found that the more time I put into helping my drivers the better my beer is taken care of, which means in respecting other people I have provided, ultimately, a better experience to the customer. Again, more prosperous for everyone. Of course, people can lose respect if they are dishonorable for one reason or another. My point here is that everyone deserves respect. If you start a conversation with someone your buying from or selling to with disrespect it will not be a prosperous conversation regardless of the perceived outcome. After the respecting people point I am making I also, then, want to make the point that we must work as a team. If I nickle and dimed my distributors every time I talked to them they aren’t going to enjoy dealing with me. Guess what, I’m probably not going to be the first in line with that distributor to find out about specialties and deals; the VERY things that help a business prosper. At the same time if a distributor nickle and dimes a retail buyer the same things goes for wanting to continue buying from them. This goes right on, hand-in-hand, for a distributor-producer relationship. On the other hand, if we all worked together, openly and with respect, then we would all win. The ultimate goal is to get the right drink in the right customers hands in the right moment. When we work as a team we will be successful in that, which means we all prosper. So here is my six tenant challenge to everyone in the industry; charge a fair price, pay a fair price, treat each other with respect, be open, and always consider the end customer in every decision.