Is Business Getting Harder and Harder? It Might Be If You are a Winery Doing DTC Wine Shipping In-house
09.21.2018  |  by The Copper Peak Team

Let’s face it, the business world is changing quickly and it is sometimes hard to keep up.  Advances in things like technology, robotics, solar, drones, and AI are creating new fields and new ways of thinking every day. Exciting stuff for sure, but what does that have to do with the wine industry? Well, that depends on how you look at things.

We sometimes think the wine industry beats to its own drum, and it certainly has its own rhythm, but it is also not hard to get lulled into a passive approach, and simply say were different so let’s not worry about what goes on elsewhere.  Just look at what our industry futurists say about social and big data; moreover, who would have thought we needed drones – think again how valuable they are to the wine industry today.

We contend that these advances were because people and businesses were not happy with the status quo, and sought ways to push the envelope and become better and better, creating new industries along the way.  

Which brings us to wineries that perform DTC wine shipping in house. There are many good reasons wineries have chosen to take this approach; in fact, we have written about them in the past. Things like control, we can do it cheaper, and we have special needs, or we have space available are all good reasons, but ask yourself today if they still apply? Are you ready to challenge your status quo by evaluating your operations and ask yourself is this our core function or not? Are you being lulled into thinking things will remain the same? Think again. Business is getting harder and the consumers expectation level continues to rise.

As we recently wrote, there are trends emerging that will have a direct effect on wineries performing in-house, DTC, wine shipping. Let’s examine them.   

Labor Shortage – We can’t stress this enough, there just won’t be enough workers to go around during harvest and peak shipping season. Temporary laborers will be in short supply.

Rising Wages – When you do find workers, it will cost you more money than before, and that sometimes means having to pay your full time employees more too.

Heavy Regulatory Environment – Do you have a plan to implement Prop 65, which requires some form of notification on the outside or inside of orders shipping to CA addresses?

Then add these other issues to the mix:

Increase in DTC Wine Sales – The winemaker did his/her job, marketing did its job, and the wine club manager is telling you get ready for a huge holiday shipping season. Do you have room?

Weather Holds – How will you get pent up demand out the door in addition to clubs and daily orders? You know Murphy’s Law will apply and the weather will change for the better the week before your club drops.

Functional Redundancy – Are you far too dependent upon a few key individuals that if one of them is sick it stops your shipping altogether?

Time Management – The most precious commodity we all have. What is your personal and professional life going to look like when it is consumed with getting packages out the door on-time. Many, many long days.

Any winery running an in-house, shipping operation, should be bracing for a much harder time this holiday shipping season. Now is probably the worst possible time to make a switch to a fulfillment provider, so that option should be off the table because it is excessively risky for both parties. What you can do is start farming for the future now.  CPL has analysis tools that can help you determine your fully loaded internal cost, and to examine your shipping cost for using one and two shipping locations.  Just knowing there may be a better way forward could be all you need to stay charged up and go the extra mile during the busy season ahead.

Want a free consultation and more information on outsourcing your in-house shipping function?  We’d love to hear from you, and have made it easy for you to each us by using this link.

The Team at Copper Peak