Outsourcing Responsibility

We got a call on Monday evening that changed our schedule. The event manager for one of Six Sigma Ranch’s best customers announced that the wine for an event hadn’t arrived as promised. The event was to begin in Las Vegas at 8:30am the next morning, and our customer meant to use the wine as welcome gifts for his own top customers. He was, justifiably, disappointed.

The glitch was caused by another company, one that Six Sigma Ranch relies on for part of the shipping process. Our own team had executed perfectly, and so it wasn’t our fault.


That’s the trouble with outsourcing. We can’t tell our customer “so sorry, someone else messed it up.” Why? Because OUR customer trusted US to get him the wine. And so WE are responsible when it doesn’t arrive.

In fact, the title of this blog post is an oxymoron:

You can’t outsource responsibility!

Thus, our only options on Monday evening were to apologize and take responsibility for the error, or fix it. Fortunately Rachel has a real sense of adventure, so we put the sleeping kids in the car along with the wine, and drove all night to Las Vegas. We got there at 8:15am, 15 minutes before the beginning of the event.

As an unexpected bonus, the event organizer mentioned this gesture to our customer, who mentioned it to everyone else. Conveniently for us, we got to turn a bad deal into a real crowd pleaser.

But, the trip delayed our weekly blog post, a situation for which I apologize and take full responsibility =)



One thought on “Outsourcing Responsibility

  1. Good for you Christian, I would of done the same thing but more importantly, when your client told his audience what you did for him, you will certainly reap the benefits of going above and beyond the call of duty as a supplier of premium wines. This “FREE” word of mouth, positive advertising from your client to all of his Event participants has the potential to come back to you in new future business customers at a rate of 100 to 200 times the costs of your round trip drive to Las Vegas from Lake County, California. Who knows for sure what the exact return will be to you and in what form it will be in but you just racked up so many positive points it might even be incalculable to tell for sure. Good for you Christian and Rachel, I’m really proud to be able to call you two a friend.


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