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27, 2023

Mark Gmur, CWE


Let’s reflect properly about our post-Covid world we are living in; there is a lot of good news recently. The overall supply chain bottlenecks are mostly gone, or soon to be gone, prices have stabilized, grape supply has improved, things are getting back to the way they were before.

Let’s hit the pause button for a second and reflect on where we have been. At one point in the post-pandemic supply-chain Armageddon we lived in through 2021 and 2022 – we faced some of the worst harvests in Napa, Oregon and Burgundy on record, coupled with unprecedented rising costs, global supply challenges on a scale never before seen before, shortages in containers and trucking and overall supply chain chaos. Rising prices. If you were an On-Premise operator, you were also faced with labor shortages, the likes that have never been seen before.

Remember what it was like before all of that? The standard expectation was that wine suppliers were required to fulfill a pretty simple mission – to provide the right wine, at the right time, in the right place – and at the right price. Not rocket science by any stretch, and we are certainly not rocket scientists.

However, in the past two years, that seemed like a bit of a pipe dream to most in our industry. We were all forced to sacrifice our minimum standards of supply. The good news is that many indicators have improved. What better time than to reflect on the ABC’s of On-Premise Supply?

Always Be Calculating – don’t leave this up to someone else, do the math yourself. Figure out what your customer needs exactly, and put it into plan into action, and execute it to make that a reality for them.

Always Be Communicating – communication is the key to success in the wine business. If your supply and distribution partners know what to expect, they can be successful. Set everyone up for success. Make sure that the finest details are communicated, so there is little room for error. If you have any supply chain blips, don’t bury your head in the sand, bring it up to your operator before it is an issue and be a great partner to resolve it before it a big problem for them. Allow them to have a chance to get in front of it with you.

Always Be Checking – so a program is up and running? Make sure it is happening according to expectations. Remember you don’t know what you don’t know. No one is going to knock on your door to give you an update until it is too late. Set yourself up for success by having an accurate data source readily available at all times. That way you can quickly evaluate the overall situation and plot the right course for supply chain bliss.