My landed my first internship in Las Vegas for Winder Farms helping their Marketing and Sales team. I was brought on by the Vice-President of Marketing, Brett Bingham who lived in Utah.
History & Company Culture Winder Farms was first started up in 1880 as Winder Dairy. We may remember this company as the “old-fashioned milkman.” Winder Dairy mainly serviced the Salt Lake Valley in Utah by supplying them with fresh milk in glass bottles to people’s homes. Today, 130 years later they still supply fresh milk in glass bottles to people’s homes, along with 300 plus other products.
The business started by John R. Winder. Today the 6th generation of Winders continue in the company’s operation, including company executives Kent Winder and Mike Winder.
Winder Farms is an online grocer providing meats, bakery, dairy, fruit, vegetables and many other grocery products to households in Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Winder Farms was primarily in the Utah area until the executives decided to expand but first targeting the Las Vegas city in 2005. Once Winder Farms services 12,000 customers in the Las Vegas valley they will continue to expand further into southern California and stretching their hands to other areas of the western country.
Product & Services Winder Farms began with only one product, milk. Today they deliver almost 400 products to residents’ homes once a week with on average of 5,000 deliveries 6 nights a week.
It seems every year life gets a little busier than the last. Winder Farms takes some of the load of families’ shoulders by doing the grocery shopping for them. Every week we deliver farm-fresh products. These products are trans-fat free, premium-grade, all natural and often organic.
Winder Farms milk was their speciality 130 years ago. The milk was free of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. There has become an increasing difference between the local grocery store’s milk and Winder Farms’ milk. In the grocery store fluorescent light on grocery store shelves destroys milk nutrients. Winder’s milk never sees a store shelf it arrives with all of its nutrients intact.
Moving along to our meat, they are all-natural, organic, pesticide-free, preservative-free and hormone-free. Our skinless and boneless organic chicken is raised with 100% organic feed and it’s free of antibiotics and hormones.
I received one training session by Mike Dutton and Scott Tanner. This has been an educational highlight. I have learned from Mike about Private Equity and experiences from buyouts and investments including the history of Winder purchases. From Scott I learned about the economics and financial key metrics that drive Winder Farms.
Mike Dutton (CEO) Mike joined the Winder Farms team in August 2004 as part of the Dolphin II investment. A partner in Dolphin II, Mike was the co-founder of Genus Group, a technology media firm he sold to International Data Group. Previously, Dutton was the vice president of Product Management at Financial Fusion where he was responsible for marketing and strategy for the company’s retail banking and capital markets software products. Mike has also held marketing consulting positions with Accenture, Home Financial Network and Microsoft Corporation. Mike earned his business degrees from BYU and Stanford University.
Scott Tanner (CFO) Scott joined Winder in 2008. Scott’s experience includes CEO of Juice-It LLC and 1-800-Contacts, taking that company public as the company’s COO and CFO from 1997-2003. Scott was the CFO and Treasurer of Clover Club, a $100 million snack food company as well as Senior Manager with Apple Computers and Senior Accountant with KPMG. Scott received his degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University.
Enjoyed Most: Most of my internship consisted of me knocking door-to-door and persuading residents to sign-up for the Winder Farms service – a home delivery service of fresh food and milk. Though we did this for much longer than scheduled I found joy in talking to random people every day and getting to know how Winder Farms could benefit their lives.
I believe my outgoing and youthful personality helped Winder Farms produce a great number of sales which in turn will increase revenue to the company over time. Winder Farms has been great to us as sales representatives by taking us out to a 5-star restaurant if we meet our sale goals. This is a great motivation for us to get out and work hard. Working hard lead to great benefits such as bigger pay, free meal, and a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
I also enjoyed working side by side with senior executives and learning from their experiences in building this company through the many economic rollercoaster rides it has been through.
Learned Most: Winder Farms had no events lined up which was part of our internship. Instead they had us keep knocking doors. When I got home in the evenings, I looked up for weekend events, 5k’s, fun runs etc. to see if I could perhaps set up an event with other vendors and sell our service there. This worked out tremendously well. Management was very impressed with the initiative I took in finding and setting up my own events instead of waiting around for one to be given to me. I contacted various companies to try setup booths, open houses, and presentations. These all became great experiences for me and what I would like to do as a career. On the other hand, through this internship I have learned that if something needs to be done, it’s best to go out and search and find it yourself. Being proactive is the difference between being successful or mediocre.
A few other small things I have learned are that in selling. Presentation of oneself and of company is key. Being properly dressed for the job says a lot about you as a person and what you are selling – whether it’s a product, a service, or an idea. The way you talk with customers and clients shows if you really care about them or not. After all, they are the ones who pay me. Having potential clients at ease is the first step. I have to make sure they are comfortable to talk openly with me, share their feelings about our company and bring up any concerns. I have learned that my natural humour goes a long way if you want to bring the stress level down a few notches.
There are many other things I have learned but from a management stand point, probably the most important thing I have learned is that if you treat your sales reps well, then the rest will fall into place. Sales reps are where the rubber meets the road for Winder Farms. If there are no sales, there are no customers. No customers then no revenue. No revenue, no business. It’s that simple. Being a sales rep can be a tough job. When it rains, it pours. One slammed door can spoil the rest of your day. Keeping sales reps happy and motivated pays off in the long run. For one; there are less quits. Two; the more they sale, the better they become.
Needless to say, this internship has been a great experience for me and I have learned a lot from it.
How does this influence Future Career Path: The career path I have wanted for myself is in sports marketing. This will eventually lead into my final goal of organising major sporting events. A PGA golf tournament is a good example of this. With the skills I have developed over time I can find sponsors to help out at the sport events that I would like to do with my career.
Through Winder Farms I have learned a great set of skills in working with other business but has not influenced my future career path except for the fact that I know I don’t want to door-to-door sales as a full time job.
Full Time Job? Winder Farms is a great company with great employees. They base their company on integrity and have blessed them with over 130 years of profitable business in return. However, a career with food has never interested me. I have enjoyed working with them. I had good times, great times, rewarding times, learning times and even hard times. But with that said, there is also a time for me to say thank you and move on. I believe I can do better than what Winder Farms would have to offer me.