On the homepage of our website, we proudly display the fact that we are into “Craftsmanship Fulfillment.” If you haven’t heard the term before, you might wonder what it means.
One big assumption is that it means “fulfillment for industries where craftsmanship matters.” That is true. We specialize in wine logistics and fulfillment, for example, because we understand the heart and soul that goes into crafting a vintage. We appreciate the attention to detail and the “hands on” work that goes into making quality products.
But, for us, “Craftsmanship Fulfillment” also means a craftsmanship mentality applied to shipping and logistics. We feel that the same attention to detail and love of the process that goes into making a wine should also go into getting the wine to the consumer. We work hard in pursuit of quality, and always look humbly for ways to improve. That’s the crux of what craftsmanship fulfillment means to us. It’s simply a standard for how work–and our work culture– should be done.
So just how does that play out in the wine logistics and fulfillment sphere?
White Glove Service and Unparalleled Customer Service
More and more logistics companies are touting their own “white glove service” in order to woo wineries and makers of luxury items. Indeed, we were one of the first to do so. But what does “white glove service” really mean?
The term itself refers to service that is top-notch or without parallel elsewhere in the industry. It originated because butlers, who oftentimes had to serve very exacting clients from rich and powerful families, needed to make sure that all household affairs were carried out to perfection. To ensure this, they would wear white gloves, the idea being that, when they ran the white-gloved fingers over a surface, they would be able to tell immediately if there was even a speck of dirt. To this day, white gloves are a symbol of service and perfection.
We take that lesson to heart in our own processes. We pay a great amount of attention to detail, because we know that our clients do. And we want to give our clients the same attention that they give their craft. We try to be attentive, reliable, and quick in our support for not only orders going out the door, but for the exceptions that creep into everyday shipping scenarios.
Weather and Compliance Support
There are many contingencies to consider in shipping a product like wine, and also many procedures that must be respected in order to stay in compliance. It often helps to have a partner who can guide you through these issues. After all, good wineries focus on making good wine, not on the complexities of laws regarding interstate commerce.
For example, how do you decide on a weather hold for your products? What are your options for cold shipping, and when do you need them? What sort of license will you need to start selling and shipping, and will you be able to sell internationally? As you can see from our posts, these are exactly the sorts of questions that we stay on top of so we can inform and empower our clients.
When people hear “craftsmanship,” they think of something that is the opposite of technology, especially because “technology” is synonymous with “automation” these days.
But this need not be the case. Technology can be used in a thoughtful way to improve and empower craftsmanship. The trick is finding the right balance: Using modern technology to improve processes where they can do the most good, but also having a human presence when customization, personal attention, and problem-solving are needed.
Embracing technology does not have to mean giving up on who you are. Heck, even the Amish use power tools and telephones!
The other side of the coin from technology is, of course, human solutions. An app or an algorithm can tell you that wine sales spike at the end of November, but it can’t tell you to run a holiday promotion. Likewise, integrated software can let you or your customer track a delivery down to the minute until it reaches their door. But that software isn’t going to help you deal with an irate customer whose shipment was incorrect, late, or damaged.
No, those sorts of contingencies still need human beings in the mix for flexible problem-solving and people skills. The more your products are considered the result of a craft, the more important that human element will be.
Customization to Your Needs
All this talk of white glove service, accessible technology, and human solutions doesn’t mean much if our services don’t fit exactly what you need. The great part about all this flexibility is that customization is easy; for example, we here at Copper Peak combine experience from years of being on the client’s side of things with a deep understanding of the logistics and fulfillment side. We’ve seen just about everything, and we know how to get things done. We try not to over engineer our processes so that, in the end, we retain the full ability to customize a solution.
True, if you’re a craftsman, you probably aren’t focused on “productivity”—at least, not by that label. Quality and service come first. But here’s another truth: You can’t pay close attention to your product, or your clients, if you are putting out fires all the time or worrying about the logistics of getting bottles into customers’ hands. Part of Craftsmanship Fulfillment is taking care of our business so that our clients can have more time to do their job and follow their passion.
Protection of Your Brand
There are many forces in the market that can “dilute” a brand. Maybe items are offered at too steep a discount too often. Maybe the wine club has not provided upgrades or different experiences. Or maybe the delivery of wine was just too unpredictable, leaving customers’ expectations dashed. Whatever the cause, if your customers don’t have a great experience, they won’t come to get that “warm, fuzzy feeling” that keeps them coming back for more, again and again.
Every transaction is also the fulfillment of a brand promise. Helping companies deliver on time, track shipments, protect product, and incorporate marketing and incentives are all ways that we can help brands deliver on that promise. And again, customization has a role to play too: We are delighted when clients think creatively and want to try something new to differentiate their brands.
Connection with Your Customer
Productivity and brand protection are all important aspects of any business. But neither of these will keep a company afloat if it doesn’t also connect with customers. An engaged customer base is a loyal customer base, and they will spread the word about your company—if you can manage to connect with them on a personal level.
Explaining how that can be done goes well beyond this blog post! But we’ve touched on this topic before, in our 5 Marketing Fundamentals of Wineries.
That, for us, is what Craftsmanship Fulfillment is all about. If you would like to hear more about our specific approach—especially with regard to technology, personalization, content, and partnerships—we recommend you see our latest white paper: Subscription Services: Wine Industry Leaders Share Their Insights. Many of the lessons echoed here are at the core of what we do.
And, of course, you can always contact us.