Developing Purchasing Relationships, Habits with Vendors & Suppliers

When searching for new equipment, or prospecting suppliers for a multitude of ancillary products to help your winery grow, online searching can only take you so far. But vetting each one you come in contact with can be time-consuming, although necessary.

Kim Aliperti, the owner of Billsboro Winery in Geneva, NY, told Vintner that currently there is a rash of vendors and manufacturers out there trying to connect with new businesses.

“If anything, there are too many,” she said. “Whenever possible I tend to use recommended vendors or manufacturers.

“It can be a process to set up with a new vendor and if I am going to put in the effort, I’d like to know that someone I trust has worked with them and has had a good experience.”

Billsboro does try to be very environmentally conscious, and that is also something that goes into Aliperti’s decision-making process when looking at new vendors.

Many vendors see local, regional, and national trade shows as an opportunity to connect with wineries to show new products and get facetime with those looking to make purchases.

But Aliperti said, personally, she rarely finds new vendors at such events.

“When I do go, I find myself talking to the ones I already know,” she said.

With the pandemic hitting the US after the 2020 Unified Symposium​, there is still a chance that the 2021 event set for January in Sacramento will still be a go. But many wineries may not make the trip, so online information may become even more important than it has in the past. Connecting via social media, a refresh to a website, and being more readily available via a phone call or email could mean better sales in the coming year for vendors and suppliers to the wine industry.​ Like Aliperti noted, being recommended by current clients can help connect with new customers, so have a healthy relationship with current clients and encouraging them to share experiences can be vital as well.

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