I was just wondering as a general consensus if any other coffee roaster check up on wholesale customers to check quality control with your product, especially if they advertise the use of your product?

 

 

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I've found many obstacles with this myself.

 

Yes!  I've found that our customers appriciate the attention.  A quality coffee program is a partnership between the roaster and the retailer/end user.  Theoretically your customers have decided to go with you because you have the best coffee at the best price.  There are lots of places to get cheaper coffee than a specialty Micro-roaster and they have chosen you.  They should be open to what you have to say regarding how they are doing.  You just have to be open to understanding their needs on the operational side.  If they are not cleaning their dispensers or significantly underdosing to "save" money then that is a conversation that needs to be had.  Don't call them out.  Just try to understand why they are making certain decsions and taking(or not taking) certain actions.  It's a relationship that is built over time.  Expect to put a little elbow grease into the endeavour.  But it is 100% worth the effort!!
I think roasters concerned about their reputation should invest the effort to make sure their clients are properly handling and ordering their beans. If the roaster sees old inventory, perhaps a suggestion to order less would be appropriate.

I've seen beans from some TOP companies, on the shelf in a shop, with a roast date over a month old! That's just not good.

After having this issue in our bakery, I changed my order frequency, and now order only enough for 2 weeks. This way, if I have a slow week, then the inventory still runs out within a month. Also, since I don't pay a different price for bagged and labeled coffee beans, I use beans off the shelf in our drip brewing, rather than ordering bulk bags.

We pay a bit more in shipping, but the tradeoff for quality was worth it. And my roaster was cool with it, as well.

Hey John,

so I'm the sales director for a small roastery in NC. And what I'm about to dish feels like stuff that I ought not to, but I think it needs to be said. To answer your question, yes... I like to keep in touch as much as possible and we're trying to make customer service and support as much of a focus in our sales and marketing team as gaining new accounts and partners. It's essential to our company but my biggest  obstacle comes from ego...both mine and theirs.

 

Truth be told, some accounts have been brewing coffees and pulling shots for a long time and have an attitude of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". And while I'd like to smack them for that attitude, I think we all need to admit to thinking that from time to time or at least being tempted to think that way. Some people, especially small business owners and entrpreneurs who've put their entire lives and finances on the line for their business, simply don't take any criticism well no matter how positive it is. Couple that with them not wanting to take advice from a 29 year old "newbie" (I'm only 6 years into the industry).

 

And there's your truth. And it's really hard. Because I know that those shops are doing a disservice to the quality of the coffee that comes from our farmers and our lead roasters. But I also see the huge potential in those shops and so it comes back to relationships. If I don't have a decent relationship with those shop owners then they're never going to even give me the time of day.

 

 

I do on a regular basis, but not just for quality control
If you are letting them use your trademark, then the quality of your brand is in their hands. I think that's important to think about.
Thanks man, that seems to be a pretty good perspective, ego checked.

jonathan bonchak said:

Hey John,

so I'm the sales director for a small roastery in NC. And what I'm about to dish feels like stuff that I ought not to, but I think it needs to be said. To answer your question, yes... I like to keep in touch as much as possible and we're trying to make customer service and support as much of a focus in our sales and marketing team as gaining new accounts and partners. It's essential to our company but my biggest  obstacle comes from ego...both mine and theirs.

 

Truth be told, some accounts have been brewing coffees and pulling shots for a long time and have an attitude of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". And while I'd like to smack them for that attitude, I think we all need to admit to thinking that from time to time or at least being tempted to think that way. Some people, especially small business owners and entrpreneurs who've put their entire lives and finances on the line for their business, simply don't take any criticism well no matter how positive it is. Couple that with them not wanting to take advice from a 29 year old "newbie" (I'm only 6 years into the industry).

 

And there's your truth. And it's really hard. Because I know that those shops are doing a disservice to the quality of the coffee that comes from our farmers and our lead roasters. But I also see the huge potential in those shops and so it comes back to relationships. If I don't have a decent relationship with those shop owners then they're never going to even give me the time of day.

 

 

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