Managing Special Inventory Needs, Responsiveness to Changing Business Needs, Collaboration toward Independence In 1989, a wine company based in St. Paul, Minn., sold high-quality domestic and international wines by both the individual bottle and the case to restaurants and retail locations.
Dealing in smaller quantities of wine at the time, the company approached Murphy for help in managing and expanding their sales operation. In designing logistics solutions for the young company, Murphy had to first consider the unique storage requirements for wine, which must be stored on its side to ensure the corks stay wet in temperature-controlled settings that preserve the character of the wine.
Murphy created special storage conditions and established a rotating inventory based upon the type of wine, the vintage and other factors. The inventory changed frequently because of retail demand. On a typical day, Murphy employees prepared each customized order for collection by route sales people from the company, who would self-load small vans and deliver wines to local liquor stores and restaurants.
Murphy also provided emergency order filling and transportation assistance as needed. By 1991, the company moved its corporate and sales offices to a Murphy campus because its distribution had increased to a busy 34,000 cases of wine a year. By 2003, the company decided to set off on its own to manage its own warehousing and distribution. Like a student graduating from college and landing their first job, the time had come to let go. Though sad to see them leave, Murphy was pleased to help with that transition.
Murphy management located a 50,000 square-foot warehouse facility in St. Paul for the customer, recruited its own labor force to help with the relocation to the new facility and suggested storage layouts for the new location. Today, while most of the company's logistics operations are self-managed, Murphy still continues to assist them with overflow wine storage when necessary. And while Murphy has lost a valued partner, there are no sour grapes for us. Murphy is pleased to work with small, entrepreneurial customers, helping them grow into a financially strong, self-sustaining business.