The purchase planning process, step by step:
- Meet (in person or on Skype) and go through your annual needs according to the origins where we currently source coffees.
- Figure out what coffees you would like to have for longer periods, your needs for your seasonal filters, espresso, blends, etc., what kind of coffees and producers you would like on a permanent basis, and what could be seasonal spot coffee purchases based on flavor profiles or other considerations.
- Most clients will have a mix of some fixed coffees they buy annually, and some general idea of profiles, volume, and price that could vary on their seasonal coffees or micro selections.
- Estimate volumes, make a spreadsheet according to your estimated range of products, volumes, and price. This will be the MOU (Memorandum of understanding), which is not binding at this stage.
- Payment terms at arrival of coffees will be discussed. Warehousing, financing, and deadline for release of the coffees will be determined up front.
- Based on all of the above, we can look at different volume discount options.
- If you have other ranges of products you are interested in sourcing with us, we can discuss and customize according to your needs and price levels.
- If you are interested, you can plan travel to origin with us during the harvest or post-harvest to cup.
- As soon as pre-shipment samples starts to come in, we will forward them to you for your approval. We can also do the cupping and quality control on your behalf if we know your profiles and criteria.
- You can approve coffees and confirm the reservation. (At this stage the sale will be formalized).
- When coffees are arriving to Europe we will notify you and send an invoice. Coffees can be released from our warehouse based on the agreed terms.
- We will always cup the coffee at arrival to check the quality. We will still guarantee the quality at arrival and be your insurance against default.
We are already working with many roasters of different sizes to plan purchasing, and so far the feedback has been that planning can add value to their business and lead to positive feedback from customers. If you don’t have your own purchasing department, can’t travel to origin as much as you want, think that your flavor profiles and qualities are a little too random, or simply feel that you want to focus more on other parts of your business, we can help you out.
We have the same quality criteria for all coffees sourced. We will always have a range of great, seasonal offerings on our offer list, so you can plan some coffees in advance and decide on others from the list.
We will always be able to do this as a general service to you as a client, no matter your size. You can plan with us if you are ready to pre-book coffee in advance of the season, or if you want to buy coffees from our seasonal offerings.
Advantages of planning
Whether you are small or big in volumes, you will still have many of the same challenges and uncertainty if you generally buy only what is offered spot. You will never know exactly what will be available at the time when you need coffees – or, if you stock up to avoid being short, the coffees might get old before you use them all.
Through years of experience in roasteries, we know that purchase planning can help you access higher and more consistent quality and at the same time keep your average prices at a reasonable level.
By pre-booking coffees you will be able to manage your seasonality and freshness better. You can secure certain coffees (with potential exclusivity in your market) and communicate their return every year. You can have more time to focus on your marketing material — among many other advantages.
How to plan
The most important thing is to arrange meetings at least 4-5 times per year, either via Skype or in person. In these meetings, we can easily go through your inventory and future needs. If you are willing to share with us your philosophy, your product range of single origin/estate and blends and the volumes you need quarterly and annually, we can advise and suggest several options based on your needs and price range.
From our end you will get up to date information on what’s in the pipeline of products and producers, estimated arrival times, availability of our products, etc. We will normally make a spreadsheet that we share with you as a MOU (memorandum of understanding). This is NOT regarded as a contract or binding agreement.
It would also be good to cup together annually to get calibrated so we can get a better idea of the profiles you’re looking for. You are always welcome in our office, and we will always be able to arrange private cuppings at your convenience. Ideally, we are also aiming to visit you at your roastery at least once a year!
There are different ways to plan, and we can adjust to your preference. For instance, we can plan based on specific coffees, i.e. a cooperative coffee like Wottona Boltuma from Sidamo, Ethiopia that you have previously bought. Or, we can plan based on the origins and volumes you need, i.e. 50 bags of washed Southern Ethiopian coffee (Yirgacheffe/Sidamo), and when you cup you can choose from the different coffees we are buying that year.
Prices and discount
If your volumes throughout the year are reaching a level that qualifies for a discount (4000kg per year), we can lock that in based on the MOU and our mutual commitment. The discount given is 7%. As for Nordic Approach, we can afford to go down on our margins because we have less cost of financing and risk of keeping coffee in stock for too long, and it helps us to plan our liquidity and cash flow. (Read more about our pricing). This enables you to get the same qualities as before at lower prices. Financing terms can be discussed on an individual basis for volume clients with a solid buying history.
Producer relationships and travels
We know that direct relationship buying is an important factor for many roasters. You will always be welcome to travel with us to producing countries, visit suppliers, cup coffees, develop personal relationships and make your own marketing material. We aim to build bridges between our producers and clients, and are more than happy to contribute to a longer-term relationship. We are visiting every origin both during harvest to visit farms and post-harvest to cup and purchase, and there will always be trips that suit your needs.
We believe that seasonality is great, and we’re doing what we can to have fresh coffee arrivals throughout the year. Even if we always try to improve by controlling the processing, drying, warehousing and shipping, there are some differences in how long coffees tend to hold up in freshness before they slowly start to lose some attributes and develop some aged flavors. In general, we think this is impossible to completely escape as a roaster or importer — but some advance planning helps a lot. We are trying to cover the seasons accordingly with our selections and origins to always make sure there will be availability of great fresh coffees in stock.
If the above seems interesting for you don’t hesitate to contact us for an informal meeting with no obligations.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
(+47) 45 97 45 00 / firstname.lastname@example.org