Growing with the client is one of the ways in which Exsulting remains firmly anchored in reality. Thus it can support and help companies to use sustainability to improve their performance in practice.
A continuous flow of feedback
We don’t just provide services, as if we were the only ones with knowledge: we engage in a constructive dialogue. Already in the analysis and consulting phases, but also afterwards, we maintain mutually beneficial relationship with our customers. We like to investigate the client’s experience with our services, be it a Preliminary Report or a Company Adjusted ESIndex®. Or strategic advice or operational assistance on developing new processes, business models, additional revenue streams. We do this in many ways: one is by asking for testimonials, which we openly share with our stakeholders. Even when they indicate areas for improvement.
The most diverse sectors
If growing together with the customer is the goal, it becomes very important to be able to work with customers from very different industries. There are two important aspects to this: the first is that variety feeds our enthusiasm. It satisfies our curiosity and allows us to gain new experiences and skills every day.
The second is that having experience in different areas enables our people to bring innovative ideas, born from original inspiration and integration of multiple experiences. This aspect contributes to the high innovative level of our proposals, which is very much appreciated by customers.
It’s the turn of wine, but excellent!
In the spirit of variety, this time we asked a truly exceptional customer to testify to his experience with the ESIndex® and the Analysis Report we have developed.
Today’s witness is Jean François Ott, co-general manager of the French wine “Maison” of the same name, Domaines Ott S.A. This is a company that has been producing excellent Provencal wines since 1896, with two AOC designations: Bandol and Côtes de Provence. Marcel Ott, the founder of Maison Ott, was the initiator and “noble father” of the process that brought Provence’s rosés to the fame they enjoy today, and the achievement of the Cru Classé status in the 1950s. Growing with the client, with a company of this prestige, is truly a unique opportunity
First of all the ESIndex® self test
We ask Jean François Ott, first of all, how was the experience of completing the test independently.
JFO: First of all, it was a good exercise. I realised that daily life leads me to do a lot of things, but that I have difficulty in catching up with and doing what would be a priority in my role and what interests me most. I think it’s important to fill out the test knowing what the purpose is. It is very generous of Exsulting to make it available free of charge and independently to anyone. However, I think that to get the most out of the test experience you need the “induction phase”, which in my case I skipped. So I would recommend taking advantage of the self-assessment training session that is available.
Then the Preliminary Report is very comprehensive, but I admit that I had some difficulty in distinguishing the different “Factors” referred to in the analysis and in the document in general. The Report arrives about a fortnight after the test had been completed. Add to that the fact that I had to find the time to read it calmly… I could not remember each single Factor well even though there is a summary table as an appendix.
The importance of customer feedback
Feedback helps us understand how to improve the customer experience. Then, of course, we want to know what the impact was like with the Preliminary Report.
JFO: Sure: I’m quite impressed with the quality of the report, in the sense that it touches on sensitive points of the company’s strategy and it is clear that it is based, in addition to the “questionnaire”, on extensive research carried out elsewhere on your part. Even if the results are not all positive for the customer, they say things well and objectively.
Value for money?
JFO: The price of 5500 euros seems to me to be consistent with the level of quality of the Analysis Report. However, I think it is necessary to emphasise well with the clients the part of in-depth and personalised analysis that is behind it. That wasn’t my case: I knew what it was. But I think some people might think that if there’s only an algorithm behind the ESIndex® it’s just a “final judgement” and there’s nothing more to be done! I think it is essential that the client understands from the outset that the Report is the starting point for a path. And that he will be accompanied and supported to improve his performance in each of the areas suggested. That is why, in my opinion, it is important to meet the client with targeted questions to refine the analysis.
The Preliminary Report for Domaines OTT :
JFO: Obviously, I read the report carefully and had several feelings that I share with you:
- I appreciated the great quality of the analysis
- I found many things that I myself think are true
- I put a bit of pressure on myself by saying… How can I do all this?
I think the analysis is a great foundation but then in my business, if I’m going to go further, I need someone to do this work from start to finish. I found it reassuring to know that Exsulting doesn’t just offer a simple rating, as so many others do, but a tool that prepares and supports a company’s journey towards sustainability.
ISO: stumbling block or great opportunity
JFO: The part about connecting to ISO standards is, for me, very heavy and kind of “rigid”. I need to have a certain agility. I think this is probably a distorted view of reality, but it’s still the image I had when I had to approach the world of Management Systems. It seems like a difficult mountain to climb!
Exsulting: Growing with the client also means coming across comments like this one about the ISO world. For us at Exsulting, linking our tool with ISO management Systems was a very strong investment, made to meet the needs of the majority of our customers. We wanted to ensure that they could in any case use processes with which they are familiar. Objectively speaking, the ISO world is the basis of the management systems of most of our target companies. In this case, the customer experienced, for his own and very respectable reasons, the reference to ISO management systems as a danger of rigidity. We will have to take this into account.
In reality, we are not asking anyone to become ISO certified, nor are we asking anyone to abandon the standards with which they are certified. We only use the ISO structure as a common basis for the language and, eventually, the embedded sustainability management system that we offer. Clarifying this has allowed the client to relax on the point. Maybe one day, left free to adopt them to the extent he is comfortable with, he will become an ISO fan…
Critical points and suggestions:
JFO: Let’s come to some points to which you have drawn our attention with the Report. At first there is the question of logistics, but here there is a particular aspect due to our integration with the Roederer Group. Today we sell to the distribution of the Group upon leaving the cellar, so this is a part whose management is not in our control.
Then we are fully in the certification process of Organic Agriculture, even if Domaines Ott has always practiced systems that are completely in line with this approach. If not even better. We will be at the end of the trial for the year 2022.
Finally, in the new organization I am working on, there is an R&D department with several of the objectives you have suggested to us: to seek solutions to adapt to climate change; set up a storage system for empty bottles; take stock of the major sources of environmental impact in the company’s activities in order to be able to reduce them methodically and effectively.
JFO: Overall, both the experience of the test and the reading of the Report were very useful for me. Especially because they allowed me to take a step back and see how far we still have to go. After that, knowing that there is someone who can assist and support us on this long journey is even more important!
We can only thank Jean François Ott for this open sharing of his experience and the feedback he has given us. Growing together with the customer is a huge value for us and it is precisely this type of testimonial that we need.
We are very proud to have worked alongside Domaines Ott – curiously this is our second client founded in 1896, after the Beltrame Group of Vicenza. Perhaps those who have a great past know how important it is to equip themselves to have a future. For our part, growing with the client when the latter has such a prestigious stature is always a golden opportunity.
We give an appointment to our readers at the next releases of the Exsulting Blog for other stimulating sharing.
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