It’s that time of year again, the thinking time. I haven’t forgotten about those shy steaks we’re talking about, but I’ve been doing some thinking:) I want to hear more from YOU, our customers. How are we doing? How is the service, does the website work? I try hard to suss out all the places we fall short, but feedback really helps. So i’ve designed a survey. It only takes a few minutes, and if you finish the survey you’ll get a coupon for $5 off your next order. PLEASE, take a few minutes, click on button below and fill out our survey:
If you’re wondering to your self, as I have often done, “why should I spend the time to fill out this survey…” Let me offer you two examples:
1. In 2020 we packed an average of 10 orders per week and let’s say for easy math that each order has 10 items in it. That’s over 5000 individual packages. We try to be good about sorting out any packages that have a broken seal, but how do I tell how many slip through the cracks? I have to ask YOU!
2. We make many management decisions on the farm every day, in part it is why you, the customer purchase from us: how we produce your food right?! But we want to hear from you, so we know which decisions matter most to you. So I have to ask YOU:)!
Ok, that’s enough of that. I’ll put a link to the survey in the footer and I hope you’ll fill it out. My second request of 2021 is: Leave us a review! Think about it, when you’ve never bought a product online, or are new to a website/company, what do you do? You look at the reviews, I do it. It takes just a few seconds and helps us a lot!
In other news, we did a trial last week to try to expand our shipping radius for 1 day transit times. This is important because of the expense and trouble of getting dry ice to ensure stuff stays frozen for a box that is in transit for longer. Here’s the story:
I love a research project, especially one that involves complex systems. The inter-workings of the UPS and FedEx distribution system is just that. So I set out to see if there was a way to easily reach more folks in 24 hours than we currently do. I started by looking at how the packages are handled and shipping zones are calculated. In short, it has to do with hub that your local driver goes back to. In our case our drivers go back to Plattsburgh, NY, which is pretty darn close to the Canadian border…not the most centrally located hub.
As I looked more closely at the distribution network, I realized that our next UPS hub south was in Albany, NY, which is in a much more convenient location. So how far North do the UPS trucks drive? They go as far north as exit 29 on I-87! I figured this out by looking at UPS Ground Transit Maps and entering different zip codes to see how it changes transit times. Exit 29 is just 35 minutes down the highway for us, not bad to be able to reach all of NY, MA, VT, NH, ME, NJ, CT, RI, DE and eastern PA in 24 hours.
Now the question was, where to meet a UPS driver? Exit 29 is basically the little town of North Hudson, NY. There’s a gas station, a brewery, a motel, one antique shop and a small mechanic. So I tried calling the brewery, maybe they would be interested in hosting a UPS pickup for us? Nope. Not interested. I called the antique shop, John answered the phone, was very friendly and helpful but he said they are only open seasonally so he didn’t think he would be much help. He suggested I call Willy, the mechanic. Willy was open year round, and likely knew the UPS driver.
So I googled Willy’s phone number and called him out of the blue. He was immediately interested and kind. He even thought there would be local interest for our meats if we’d be making the trip anyway. So we setup a UPS account, had a few willing customers and set out to ship on Monday…but then the snow, so we moved it to Wednesday, and it kept snowing. So finally we made the maiden voyage on Thursday, which is a risky day to ship packages it turns out, because if anything is delayed past Friday we ender the black hole of the weekend. (Saturday evening update: I had a giddy sentence here saying how the experiment went off without a hitch…well it was a learning experience. We had some delays and I did not know that in order to have a package delivered on a Saturday, you have to first select and purchase the add on of “Saturday delivery.” Darn. Why we had the delays in the first place will have to wait until Monday. In the mean time, if you’re waiting for your order, I apologize. If you receive your order and it is still cold to the touch, it is safe to eat! We have seen no loss in quality when re-freezing. However, if you’re dissatisfied in any way we will always replace an order or credit your account for the order value.
When I get all these logistics figured out I’ll be updating our shipping radius in the weeks to come. For most folks who have had to wait for dry ice once a month, you’ll soon be able to have your order delivered every week! I’ll let you know when I have entered all the zip codes into our system and its ready to go. Thank you Willy.