Most departments here at TWS have a blog where they share updates and interesting bits and bobs with the rest of the business. We recently had one from Alex in our Operations team which I thought my interest you guys (especially those of you who buy en primeur!) so I’ve got their permission to post it here. It’s a couple of weeks old (you’ll see that from the first line!! ) but I hope you enjoy it.
Wine, wine everywhere!
Posted on July 9, 2018
On my walk into work last Friday (6th) I was thinking about two things. The first thing was ‘Is it really coming home?’ The second was what lies ahead for the team today when I arrive at work knowing that the first load due contains 39 different en primeur clarets to offload and check. A mean feat indeed and not the greatest thing to look forward to on a nice sunny Friday morning. I then had the idea of blogging the whole thing because well, why not.
These types of loads are not that unusual for us but they do require a lot more planning and a heck of a lot more time to sort than your average load. We know what goes on but do you? So here’s an account of what’s involved in receiving Duty & VAT loads and what we do down here when they arrive…
The first of two loads arrives in the yard, slightly later than the booked 8am slot but just half an hour late due to traffic.
The calm before the storm
Guided into the yard by Ben (arguably the best looking member of the warehouse staff) the trailer is parked up and the seals broken. This particular trailer uses telecontrolled opening for extra security. The driver has no keys to open the doors and has to contact his company for them to open the doors remotely when it’s confirmed he is at the correct destination.
During the summer months, and particularly for D&Vs, a refrigerated trailer is used to transport the goods from France direct to The Wine Society without any stopovers.
Nice & secure
Refrigerated trailer (reefer)
Pallets begin to be offloaded and placed in the goods in area. Due to the large number of wines, all pallets have been pre-mixed and stacked by the supplier to maximize space. It’s now our job to separate the wines and run a number of checks to make sure that everything received is correct and in good condition. Ben, Ross and Steve are the lucky ones to do this and they have the experience to handle such a delivery with high value goods.
Spot anything you like?
The sorting & re-stacking begins
This can take some time but is essential to make sure that everything is spot on for receipt into the warehouse.
During these checks the other load arrives and is off loaded alongside the first. This is also a D&V load but just three wines - ‘Nice and easy this one,’ the guys say.
Trailer no.2 arrives
All separated and checked it’s now time to process the receipt onto our system. This too takes some time as each product is again checked and details added to comply with HMRC regulations. Stock cards and pallet labels are then produced to identify the wine and locate into the warehouse.
A full yard. Quite a difference from first thing in the morning.
Put away cards & pallets labels.
We are currently receiving around 320 different purchase orders containing about 381 different lines (132 different wines split across different suppliers) for the D&V clarets alone. Friday was just a small sample of what we do and I hope you are now a little more enlightened as to what goes on in the yard.
Thanks to Ben, Ross and Steve for your great work.