The Ins & Outs of a Young Coffee Warehouse
We've grown, and we know we NEED in-house logistics. What is it like to be a coffee start-up with a Warehouse? Here's a little insight into the reality, challenges and rewards.
What's prompted our decision to bring logistics in-house?
We had a huge push at the end of 2018 to let as many people as possible know that we had 500 new Berlin machines arriving, and they were available for free to our Backers in Germany.
The problem? Well, this created a huge spike in logistics -- volumes we haven't really seen -- so to help our logistics partner before we take over, we all packed into a van and took a road trip to Köln to lend a hand with production.
Packing 3,000 pouches & 208 Origins Box's was, frankly tough, but greatly insightful. We also managed to have a couple of laughs on the way!
A real motivator was knowing everything we were doing would directly help our coffee changer community.
Bringing logistics in-house means we'll have better stock management, be able to offer same day delivery in selected regions as well as take ownership of same day delivery!
BUT, it's not all glitter and gold, so here are 3 little 'nuggets' we share with you in case you ever find yourself in such a position:
- CARE. You really have to want a quality product that you can be proud of. You need to want to make customers enjoy it as much as anyone enjoys
- LEARN. Be willing to fail - learn - fix - and repeat. This is the best way to remain positive, tackle any hurdles and maintain continuous improvement. It sounds simple, but too often people see mistakes as failures with repercussions - which to an extent is true. But, the repercussion should be understanding the breakdown and ensuring it becomes a validated learning (taking a learning and turning it into process improvement).
- DUE DILIGENCE. Never underestimate the amount of effort it takes to hold your distribution chain in-house. Yes, you do get more control and remain agile, however, for that to be a benefit you truly get added-value from you must have the basics in place. This means investigating your local compliance standards, knowing the in-house workflow, setting clear policies, not over hiring in fear of not delivering, finding a location which is a best fit - not because it's the first you find - and the list goes on. It's not sexy, but that's just the tip of the iceberg to be able to really create a great brand and consequently, a great customer experience.
As always, thank's for the read and drop us a comment here or on social media @coffeechangers!
All the best from Berlin,