Distell Pours It On

DistellwarehouseDistell Namibia  has doubled their revenue growth from 2008 to the end of July 2015, steering an innovative flow of business through established distribution practices, home-grown expertise and considerable local investment.

According to managing director Leon Fouché, Distell Namibia has become the second-biggest liquor supplier in the country; providing over 200 brands and more than 400 stock-keeping units to the thirsty Namibian market. Also it is associated with the global-reaching South African Distell brand which enjoys robust growth and market advantages throughout Africa.

“We have advanced in the business,” he explained, adding that, “in the last three years the number of front-line workers such as our pickers and forklift drivers have almost doubled. This is directly related to growth,” he said. The growth is attributable to high demand, a better distribution network and upgraded sales force, he said. Over the last eight months the company concentrated on sales force effectiveness using real-time live data sharing. Across the range of their group of distribution centres in Keetmanshoop, Walvis Bay and, since 2006, the N$9,5 million Oshakati plant, as well as at the headquarters in Windhoek’s northern industrial area, the 115 staff members are brisk about their business of getting drinks to the populace.
As Stella Louw, who has been with the company for 25 years, puts it, “Distell is a very good company to work for. I have spent my whole life here, they really looked after me well,” she said. She relates that she started at the company as a filing clerk and worked her way up to being a sales consultant before settling on her current first-contact position on switchboard and at reception.The company benefits from internalised staff empowerment practices like succession planning aimed at high-performance candidates. Another is the owner-driver initiative which empowers specific drivers to operate and own their own trucks and businesses. According to operations manager Gerhard Beyleveld, the efficiency gains of this initiative are apparent since, “the drivers provide Distell with a valuable service, whilst ‘owning their business’.

We have come to appreciate that this provides for  quick pick-ups, less breakage and less loss or shortages. Results have exceeded our expectations, and will contribute to many success stories for Distell and these entrepreneurs,” he said, adding that typically owner-drivers employ three to four more people to work on their trucks, therewith further contributing to sustainable job creation in support to the NDP4 objectives.

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