Well, it’s official. The trip is over, but with every ending comes a new beginning. New friends, new foods, new places and new memories. All I’m extremely grateful for. This trip has taught me so much especially in terms of the supply chain, specifically service. During my adventures, I learned just how service is impacted by the farms, the exporters, the roasters and even the customers. There was a lot of info on this trip in such a short amount of time so let’s start from the top!
Service in the farms comes through many different forms. The most obvious is their branding. When it comes to service one of the main goals is trying to give the customer a unique experience in hopes to gain their loyalty. If Costa Rica taught me anything it’s that these tours are doing just that. The farms are trying to make you feel special. They do this by letting you try the product, telling you facts, and letting you understand the product first hand. This may not seem like a lot, but these little factors add to the companies brand. This leads me to my first takeaway, branding is crucial for a farm’s success.
Following this, coffee roasters are important to service as well. Coffee roasters are the part of the supply chain that actually make the coffee into the product that it is. Their role in service is to ensure that the customer gets the best possible quality product. They are an important part of the quality control aspect of service. Quality control is exactly how it sounds, a product must meet a certain standard and pass certain tests to get there. This is why once a batch of coffee is already made it is tested. In this case, coffee tasters will come to taste a batch. They look for certain characteristics like aroma, color, and most importantly taste. If the product meets the criteria the company wants then the product will be good to go. This step is the biggest part in making sure that the service of the company satisfies the customer.
Last but not least, the customer. These are the people in the supply chain that will buy the product. They affect service greatly. Customers are the end all be all, and prove if the service of the product paid off. All the branding and quality control mean nothing if a customer doesn’t like a product. Branding is made in hopes to draw the customer back with experiences, while quality control is made to bring back the customer through the actual product. Service is made to please the customer! In all, I felt like us (the students) were like customers of this trip and the service that Professor Teeter provided us is exactly why I would do it all again.
P.S. Thank you all for the lifelong memories and once in a lifetime trip. You all are so awesome. Pura Vida!