Posted by Rose and Steve @ 11:02 AM EST [ Comments  ]
Seasonal ramblings about Farm activities, trends, and Nature's occurrences.[ Member listing ]
19 Jan · Tue 2010
How to Encourage Planning and Ordering
One of the problems we face here at Emma's Family Farm is customer disappointments. Those customers who have learned to plan either order well in advance or order in large enough quantities so the products will be available when they wish to eat them. Of course, fresh eggs and produce are much harder to hold on to, but the meats we raise can be frozen and held for quite some time. The customer who wants a chicken or two each month, or the customer who wants a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey often seem to want the product at the last minute. We're guessing this is a result of the "supermarket mentality", in other words, the expectation that the product will be on the shelf to meet customer demand as needed. Unfortunately, this makes planning for a small farmer very hard. How can we know who will want what when? In the past few years, we've encouraged early ordering, with limited success. Regular customers have started to understand that our products sell out and so, if they want something they must order. However, newer customers still operate with the "supermarket mentality" and we struggle to meet their demands or, as happens at this time of year, to explain to them that our supplies are limited and that we do, in fact, sell out. We would be interested in any ideas others might have to make this process easier for all. It is disappointing for us, and for our customers, when we can't fill wants or needs for products. However, the expense and risk of holding lots of extra product all add to the cost of our operation and, we must admit, to the stresses of doing business. Any thoughts?
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