Summertime is a great time of year – the sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom, fresh vegetables abound and the high temperatures helps ripen the grapes for the harvest. The downside of summer is not being able to safely ship wine without danger of heat damage.
Being able to manage heat holds is always a challenge, especially with allocated brands. It can be difficult to reconcile inventory unless you have a good plan in place, and good customer service is a must. Limited production is great for creating customer demand but the one concern is “overselling”, so make sure you monitor your inventory carefully, outlining all locations and depletions on a weekly basis. And once you begin to ship, like everyone has in the past couple of weeks, it is important to let the customers know their wine is coming so they are ready to receive the shipment.
Having a good order management system will help with both those processes – knowing what wine shipments are outstanding with the click of a button is invaluable. Being able to easily pull out and email those customers who are waiting patiently for their wine to arrive saves time and promotes good will for your brand. And be sure to send the tracking numbers to your customers – with the increased technology all the carriers now provide, people expect to be able to monitor their own shipments and not have to wait for an answer from the winery. The good news is when all the wine is out the door, you can breathe a sigh of relief and start to plan for the next release.