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Sip, Sip, Hooray! Agforce and Fastbreak Collaborate on Warehouse Expansion

Agforce has doubled down on its longstanding partnership with Fastbreak Consolidators, Inc, the leader in Northern California wine consolidation, to increase warehouse space by 10,000 square feet. This extra space, plus investments in additional drivers and tracking technology, means we can pass our unique experience and understanding along to more customers who need us. 

Fastbreak Warehouse

“This is the first foray into warehouse space for Agforce,” says Andy Tuley, Vice President of Business Development. “It not only signals the growth and evolution of our business, but the lockstep relationship we have with Fastbreak. No other consolidators in the industry have honed in on their expertise like Fastbreak, and they’ve done it intentionally so that makes it easy for us to treat our customers right.”

Distributors across the United States rely on the Fastbreak and Agforce partnership for quick, efficient wine deliveries no matter the situation. “Let’s say your sales rep has a wine vendor coming next week that nobody told you about. Or someone scheduled a wine dinner for next week, and you don’t have the product. You can call us in a panic at 3 p.m. on a Friday, and we’ll make it happen,” says Chris Stranckmeyer, Manager Business Development Wine & Spirits. “We’re not even going to argue. We’re going to get off the phone as quickly as possible so we can send a driver to get the product you need and get it to you on time. We get it, and that’s why we get it done.” 

The Agforce and Fastbreak partnership eliminates partially-filled truckloads, maximizes the use of all capacity and includes access to proprietary technology that provides visibility into all aspects of an order. In short, it’s airtight. 

“Together, Fastbreak and Agforce are able to show customers exactly who is taking care of their product, its status and its estimated delivery time, from our warehouse door to the customer’s door,” says Kathy Edwards, Fastbreak Office Manager.

Fastbreak Warehouse

“We pass the baton back and forth so quickly that our customers don’t even notice it happening,” says Tuley. “All they notice is that we can meet their needs – no matter how crazy, last-minute or specific, in a way no other 3PL can.”

Both companies are committed to customer service, customer retention, growth and laser-focus on what we do best. As the wine consolidation industry grows and shifts, Fastbreak remains the leader, even amid other companies’ mergers and acquisitions. And it appreciates Agforce’s contribution to its growth, viewing us as an extension of its company that it can trust to treat customers in the same way it would. 

“Fastbreak has been committed to its core values for more than 30 years. While others change, try to diversify, or get bought out, we continue to stay true to ourselves and what we do. We’ve found a true partner in Agforce – they support and complement our firm foundation,” says Edwards.

We’re so confident in our continued growth that increasing our warehouse capacity by 25% was a no-brainer.

“In 2018, Fastbreak and Agforce consolidated more than 3.5 million cases of wine, a number that will only increase this year and into the future,” says Brett Eckinger, Director of Sales at Agforce. “We are thrilled at the additional volume our new warehouse space will allow us, and the additional value we will be able to offer our customers based on this investment. We are proud to celebrate our continued growth as a Fastbreak partner.” 

A toast to Fastbreak, Agforce and our customers!

Want in on the amazing agility Agforce and Fastbreak provide? Give us a call at 877.367.2324 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.

Case Study: Intermodal v. Boxcar

An Operations Manager’s Win

Meet Jerry

Our friend Jerry is the operations manager at a large beverage distribution company. He was frustrated and unsure of his department’s efficiency when we met. You see, the logistics behind the wine and spirits industry is nothing to sneeze at. Jerry was jumping through hoops (picture the kind with fire) to keep the beverages flowing, and to be honest, he didn’t know how long he could keep it up.

All Boxed In

Cash flow and inventory management. Those were Jerry’s biggest concerns. He was using a boxcar process that made Einstein’s Theory of Relativity seem like child’s play. Product was coming in from multiple suppliers, to be placed into a single boxcar, then being warehoused and loaded onto four different trucks for distribution. That’s a lot of loading and unloading — which meant a lot of unnecessary risk.

It also meant the challenge of ordering enough from suppliers to get that boxcar full, but not ordering so much that you can’t sell it, and Jerry’s company couldn’t sell that extra product. So, they did not meet this efficiency challenge and the costs were adding up.

That wasn’t the only expense. Low visibility of the supply chain and having to use a crystal ball to predict what might need to be ordered in 45 days meant Jerry’s availability was limited. His time was spent manually checking into the moving parts of the company’s sensitive supply chain. He couldn’t risk an unforeseen missed delivery appointment that could blow timelines. Both Jerry and his team were putting in unbudgeted overtime just to keep up.

Jerry knew if he didn’t get things on track fast, he and his team would burn out.

A Helping Hand

While Jerry was seeking solutions, he met Adam with Agforce. Jerry knew he wanted to partner with a company built on honesty that he could trust and, above all, they would meet his expectations (effectively lowering his stress level).

Before Jerry ever talked about his burdened supply chain, Adam asked him about what he found important. Jerry was tickled with the direct and forthright communication as their relationship developed. Confidence grew in Adam and the Agforce team. Commitment to truly serve him as a client was apparent in the knowledge Adam shared and interest he showed in Jerry’s personal success.

The Partnership and the Plan

Once Jerry and Adam finished their initial discovery, the Agforce team went to work designing a plan to simplify processes for Jerry. He was asking for the ability to feel good about the decisions he made so he could dive into other operational areas in need of attention.

To get him that level of confidence, we encouraged him to consider intermodal. With Jerry’s boxcar experience, it did not take long for him to be comfortable with the idea. The Agforce team proposed a new intermodal process that eliminated the need to fill an entire boxcar and nixed a warehouse stop. The plan also included broader cost savings than transportation alone. It would eliminate the need for excess inventory, in turn boosting cash flow and reducing the need to pay interest to the bank on net 30 terms.

Crisis Averted

Jerry took the proposed solution back to his team. With all stakeholders on board, he set to work with Adam to get the plan underway. He was pleased to find his new partners steadfast and true to their word. Implementation was an organized, smooth transition with world-class customer service supporting him through the entire process.

He was no longer frustrated and enjoyed compliments for seeking out a solution with a solid transport service.

Successful Partnership

The partnership between Jerry and Adam and the Agforce team freed up Jerry’s time:

  • Provided better visibility to freight
  • Allowed some inventory flexibility
  • Sured up capacity
  • Decreased lead time for ordering
  • Decreased transit time

It also eliminated long lead times and long transits. In time cash flow improved. The company’s overtime payout, to Jerry’s now incredibly efficient team, became almost non-existent. Jerry had saved his company’s bottom line and most days now resembled a walk in the park.

The Agforce team also celebrated the way they worked together. They had saved Jerry’s sanity, and did it in a manner that reminded them they work with the smartest people in the industry. Adam sure knows that without those hard working experts by his side every day, his friendship with Jerry may have faltered.

 

Curious where your company could you find efficiencies? Let’s partner and create your business’s solution. Give us a call at 877.367.2324 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.

 

Business Logistics: Key Trends That Are Here to Stay


Technology

Technology is already playing a significant role today. We will continue to see this trend throughout the coming years. The reason technology greatly impacts businesses is that customers are demanding more visibility, and their expectations are changing. Today people want product delivery reliability and within their budget. Companies are looking for a trusted transportation and logistics provider to meet consumer trends.

The additional benefit of technology is the integration with customer processes. Collaborating to share real-time data strengthens relationships and increases visibility. Customers rely on their transportation and logistics partner to provide the best service and technology solutions.

Logistics Management’s State of Logistics 2016 reports that technology, operational regulations and requirements will impact how businesses work with their 3PL partners. The featured in this article indicates that companies adapting to these changes are coming out ahead. The report also supports what top experts in the logistics field are already seeing take place in the market.

Crucial Relationships

Leveraging 3PLs continues to evolve, and it’s a necessary trend for supply-chain partners and customers. Open communication, understanding business needs, and collaboration are critical in establishing a successful relationship between customers and 3PLs. The results that businesses see from a productive relationship are improved efficiencies, cost savings and customized services. When working with a 3PL, it’s important to ensure that they are not only proactive and consultative, but can also meet the demands of business customers today, which include:

  1. Providing the right facilities and mode solution
  2. Technology + real-time data and communication
  3. Ability to understand needs and collaboration
  4. Thought leadership
  5. Ease of doing business

At Agforce, we’d love to discuss your current needs and find ways to help support the trends featured in this article. Contact us at 844-713-6723 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.

Industry Articles


Fortune

Why Craft Liquor Is the Next Big Thing

Forbes

Future Of Logistics: Five Technologies That Will Self-Orchestrate The Supply Chain

Inbound Logistics

3PL Partnerships. How to Ink the Deal

Food Logistics

Leveraging The Power Of Your 3PL

No Secret Ingredients: The Importance Of Transparency In Food Manufacturing

Holiday Logistics – Behind the Scenes


It’s September, which means holiday merchandising is right around the corner. Along with it – third-quarter reviews that sometimes drive last-minute strategy tweaks. In a heartbeat, months of holiday planning can be upended.

Hail Marys aren’t uncommon in this industry, although the act of getting product to shelf can at times seem nothing short of miraculous. We wanted to lift the curtain a bit and share our approach to getting the job done in what can be the most stressful shipping season of the year.

Communication

We can’t prepare if we aren’t asking our clients questions and listening to the answers. The same goes for our carriers and our warehouses. VP of Business Development at Agforce Transport Services Andy Tuley puts it this way: “We want to minimize stress on our clients. That means going behind the scenes for them, talking to truckers early, setting appointments in advance. We want to be as easy as possible for people to work with.”

Technology

Next to our people, technology is the most important investment we can make. Technology helps make our work more transparent and efficient. Managing Director of Agforce Transport Services Michael Preisinger says, “It’s absolutely crucial. We’re committed to offering our customers and our carriers the best there is, so we’re constantly evaluating what’s available in the marketplace.”

Perspective

Whether it’s fourth quarter or first quarter, we try to learn something new every day. “We’re always looking for ways we can add value behind the scenes, whether that’s buying pizza for the warehouses that stay late or tracking shipments early on a Saturday morning,” says Tuley. “No two situations are ever the same, and we come to work every day on our toes. It’s not a glamorous business, but it’s a lot of fun,” Preisinger added.

 

We’d love to hear about your needs and find ways to help you get where you’re going. Give us a call at 844-713-6723 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.

 

Industry Articles


Food/Beverage

Technology is critical for the cold chain – Food Logistics tells us more here.

Wine/Spirits

The economic impact of California wine. Beverage Daily tells us more.

Agriculture

Fast food + Fresh Food = Ag supply chain and logistics challenges.

Plastics/Packaging

From Forbes: Amazon is part of the solution, not the problem.