Its official name is Liberation Distribution ™ (LibDib ™), and it calls itself “ the first technology company to offer a three-tier compliant web-based platform to sell wholesale alcohol .”
Founded in 2016 in San Jose, California, launched in March 2017, the eight month-old LibDib is an online distributor of alcoholic beverages. In an attempt to rectify what LibDib’s analyses refers to as a system that “…favors distributors and large producers while limiting the ability for small and mid-sized wine, beer and spirits producers to sell their products,” the company operates through a proprietary desktop and mobile-friendly platform that joins producers with wholesalers/distributors.
LibDib claims to change the industry by “leveling the playing field” for every producer and wholesaler/distributor involved in a beverage alcohol transaction within the three tier system.
In that regard, the company boasts having recently received the Wine Industry Network’s WINnovation Award for excellence in wine industry innovation, which was presented to LibDib on November 28, 2017.
The company also announced additional tools and features intended to increase access and reduce friction between wine producers and wholesalers/distributors. According to the company’s press release, the new features create seamless direct connections between producers and buyers through LibDib’s online platform.
LibDib’s engineering team, “is led by Richard Brashears, a Silicon Valley veteran with more than twenty years of experience in defining and developing complex software, mobile and web applications and machine learning tools.” Brashears is also company co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO). He manages six engineers focused on users of the LibDib software. The latest tools and features engineered by the team include:
• Heightened flexibility and control over LibDib’s marketplace experience.
• New search tools that provide buyers (wholesaler’s) with easy discovery of small producers of wine, beer and spirits by type, variety, ratings, price, region, vintage, and brand.
• Producers can set desired territories by zip code and county, for easier distribution targeting.
• Sophisticated pricing tools that allows producers to easily facilitate quantity discounts in states that allow such discounting (Oh yes, there are states that frown on certain discounting).
• Tex messaging notifications allows wholesale buyers to coordinate orders and shipments among their various locations. Text messaging is also available for producers to make personalized suggestions to buyers and to schedule both future and recurring orders.
Like the original LibDib Web site, the new features are accessed easily through LibDib’s interface after a producers and licensed wholesaler creates an account and signs up on the LibDib site. In addition to seamless discovery and e-commerce, LibDib pomises wholesalers “invoicing, payment processing, collections, and taxes, allowing both producers and retailers to do business in a more open, efficient and cost-effective way.”
Generally, LibDib makes it simple for producers to set up distribution in a new state; does not need to enforce certain limiting franchise laws in certain states that prohibit producers from leaving a distributor for non-performance; speeds payment time and provides timely sales reports; reduces the distribution margin on product sales; offers restaurants, bars and retailers a wider selection; makes direct communication between producers and buyers easier; eschews incentive and price break competition; eliminates the :middle-man” on the street.
That’s what LibDid can do for the alcohol industry. What can it do for consumers?
LibDib’s extensive operation connects small producers with wholesalers throughout the country. Because of their size, many of those producers have trouble gaining distribution access—they simply do not offer land-based distribution companies a reasonable return on investment in sales staff and inventory warehousing.
The overall theory behind LibDib’s interface is to allow restaurants, bars and retailers across the U.S. to legally and efficiently purchase so-called boutique wines, craft spirits and microbrews from producers of any production size, many that may not have been available before in a particular market. Consumers in many markets would benefit through better access.
It’s supposedly that simple.