BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW: The Kentucky Distillers’ Association, a non-profit trade group founded in 1880, is the state’s voice for Bourbon and distilled spirits issues. Its 27 members – the most since the repeal of Prohibition – produce 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distillers that are building the next generation of our signature industry. The KDA’s historic mission is to unite, promote and protect the Commonwealth’s iconic Bourbon and distilled spirits industry; to secure the integrity of our timeless craft; and to strengthen Kentucky’s rightful place as the one, true authentic home for Bourbon.
Membership benefits include governmental and regulatory advocacy; technical assistance; international trade development; media relations; private sampling and special events; economic development support; legal defense and integrated marketing strategies. The KDA also owns and maintains the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® experiences, which it created in 1999 and 2012, respectively. These journeys have quickly become major tourism attractions, with more than one million visitors in the last two years alone, and generated significant positive press for the state and the industry. The KDA’s headquarters is in Frankfort, Ky., the state capital, with a satellite office in Louisville, its largest city and home to many distillery corporate offices. The KDA is governed by a visionary and diverse Board of Directors comprised of high-ranking company executives and Master Distillers. Its organizational structure includes numerous advisory committees, a Political Action Committee (Bourbon PAC), a for-profit merchandise and sponsorship arm, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Boutique, and the annual Kentucky Bourbon Affair™ showcase. The KDA last updated its five-year strategic plan in 2009, and has far exceeded its goals and objectives set forth in that document. Since then, the Bourbon and distilled spirits industry also has seen an impressive and unprecedented resurgence in sales, tourism, growth and capital investment, particularly in the last two years. Since 2012, the industry has nearly doubled its workforce, tripled the number of distilleries and set major new benchmarks in payroll, exports, production and barrel inventories, according to an economic impact study released in October by the University of Louisville’s Urban Studies Institute. Kentucky Bourbon is now a $3 billion industry that generates 15,400 jobs with an annual payroll topping $707 million. Distillers have invested more than $400 million in the last five years, and expect to spend another $630 million in the next five as the Bourbon boom continues its momentum. In addition, at least 18 new distilleries have either been announced or are underway in Kentucky, and state leaders are working with the KDA to make the Commonwealth more attractive and competitive with other states that are vying for these new jobs and investment.
OBJECTIVES: With the Kentucky Bourbon renaissance in full swing, and with the successful completion of the last five-year plan, the KDA Board of Directors is requesting an updated strategic roadmap to take a renewed look at the future of the Association, its programs and initiatives, and the industry as a whole. To that end, the KDA is now soliciting proposals to assist the Board, its members and staff in crafting “Bourbon 2020,” a five-year strategic playbook with realistic goals and objectives involving all aspects of the Association and its membership. The specific objectives to be met with this RFP are to: Develop a comprehensive plan to align the organization and budget structure with priorities, missions and objectives. The document will include updated vision, values, goals, objectives and expected outcomes, among others. Answer five fundamental questions: (1) Where are we now? (2) Where do we want to be? (3) What does winning look like? (4) How are we going to get there? (5) How will we know we’ve arrived? Develop a rollout “action plan” with specific implementation steps, including a detailed timeline, process and evaluation and performance metrics. Develop the marketing and outreach plan that will identify innovative approaches for promoting Bourbon worldwide, including managed growth and coordination of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® experiences. For this project, we expect the winning firm to examine the many facets of the industry and identify the needs of the Association, including those of each member and key stakeholders, so that all participants will benefit from a cohesive and comprehensive plan. The Association also expects this process to include individual member interviews; a Board retreat or similar private strategic planning session; meetings with KDA advisory groups to develop key action items, specific tactics, cost estimates and timelines; and a final workshop to convey all findings and information to members and partners.
TIMELINE: The Association would like to begin this project during the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 (January – March) and have a report to the Board by its third quarter meeting in early September.
INSTRUCTIONS TO RESPONDERS: Responses from interested firms should be received no later than 5 p.m. EST on Friday, February 20, 2015. Packets should be delivered to the attention of: Eric Gregory Kentucky Distillers’ Association 614 Shelby Street Frankfort, KY 40601 Packets should contain your formal response to the RFP, including your strategic approach to this project; qualifications; previous related experience; at least five references; work samples; estimated costs or budget; and any other pertinent information you believe to be relevant. Respondents also must disclose any previous or existing clients that involve alcohol and/or tourism promotions. This will not be cause for exclusion from consideration. Please send 12 copies in addition to your original packet or a computer disc with an electronic copy that can be printed.
METHOD OF SELECTION: The purpose of this RFP is to identify a professional firm that has the experience and knowledge necessary to help plan and advance the KDA’s mission and interests. Responses will be evaluated on comprehensive planning, fiscal responsibility, situational and political analysis, strategic vision, measurable results and fairness. Selected firms may be asked to make a presentation to the KDA Board. The budget for the 2009 strategic plan project was $25,000. The KDA Board does not anticipate this project exceeding that amount. For clarification to these specifications, contact KDA President Eric Gregory, only via e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “KDA Bourbon 2020” in the subject line. Questions should be submitted by e-mail no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, February 6, 2015. Questions submitted after the deadline or directed to other KDA staff or members will not receive a response. All questions received in reference to the RFP, along with their responses, will be timely distributed to all RFP recipients before the official deadline. It is the KDA’s intent to review proposals and make a final selection in March.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OWNERSHIP/DISCLOSURE OF RESPONSE CONTENTS: The KDA shall retain ownership in its intellectual property. All materials that are submitted in response to this request for proposal and all work on the five-year strategic plan that is completed by the successful respondent or those acting on its behalf (collectively “work”) shall constitute work made for hire owned by the KDA. The work shall be considered specially commissioned work in which the KDA is the sole and exclusive owner of all rights, including without limitation any and all copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and any other proprietary or intellectual property rights arising out of or embodied by the work. Without limiting the foregoing, to the extent any of the materials created by the respondent may not, by operation of law or by agreement either express or implied, be considered work for hire, the respondent agrees to assign, transfer, and convey to the KDA all of its worldwide right, title and interest in and to the work, including but not limited to any and all intellectual property embodied by or arising out of the work. Nothing shall prevent the KDA from using the work in any manner, to be determined in its sole discretion, regardless of whether respondent’s proposal in accepted by the KDA.
Click Here for the full RFP: KDA Bourbon 2020 RFP