As the last dates for guaranteed Christmas delivery draw near, we go behind the scenes to speak to the man responsible for ensuring thousands of customers receive their watches on time: Logistics Manager George Kelman.
Hi George. How long have you been working at CW?
It was actually my four-year anniversary on Sunday! I started off as a Christmas temp, packing and shipping watches. After a couple of months I was given a permanent role in the Customer Services team, and did that for a couple of years before being promoted to Logistics Manager. That was at the beginning of 2016.
What does the role of Logistics Manager entail?
Primarily, I oversee the despatch team, whether that’s providing training and supervision or helping with presentation and efficiency. I also look after the logistics contracts with our delivery partners, ensuring that we’re on the same page when it comes to standards.
Preparations for Christmas begin earlier in the year. From September we’ll plan staffing levels, our choice of delivery carriers, and ultimately how we’re going to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers.
For our UK customers who choose next-day delivery, why do we insist they order by 1pm?
We pick those deadlines so we have adequate time to put our watches through quality checks – it’s one of the most important parts of the despatch process. Every outbound watch goes through them, and they take some time to complete properly. We want to get it right.
Similarly, why are there last cut-off dates for our international customers?
Those are the dates whereby we can guarantee that an order will arrive in time. It’s possible that gifts will reach customers in time for Christmas if ordered after the cut-off date, however there are mitigating factors – customs, or outside influences including the weather or political circumstances – which can affect imports and exports. The cut-off provides us with the leeway to ensure customers have watches on wrists come Christmas Day!
You mentioned mitigating circumstances?
As I’ve learnt over the years, disasters can happen. In 2013, there was a fire at a delivery office in southern Moscow – huge delays were readily confirmed to us by many Russians on social media! We got around it by sourcing an alternative supplier who used a different entry point into the country, meaning we could confirm deliveries in time for Christmas.
It’s all part of the fun, I guess!
Last delivery dates before Christmas
Last International Delivery: 1pm Wednesday December 14
Last International Express Delivery: 1pm Tuesday December 20
Last UK Standard Delivery: 1pm Wednesday December 21
Last UK Express Delivery: 12pm Friday December 23