Shaun: (very excited) "They want to use CartonCloud to deliver stock using snowmobiles in the mountains!"
Me: "... .... what?"
Shaun: "They have a whole bunch of snowmobiles that they use to do deliveries all over a ski village down south, they need sign on glass for their PODs, and traceability over who did which delivery!!!"
Me: "... are you serious?"
I'll be honest, I'd never heard of Falls Creek, and wasn't even aware that a ski-in, ski-out village existed within Australia, so the concept of an Australian business delivering parcels using snowmobiles struck me as something made-up... turns out it was very real.
A week after signing up, we hadn't heard anything from 4Site, so we called Clare to check how she was going.
Us: "Clare, we haven't heard from you, is everything ok?"
Clare: "Yeah, we're going fine... why?" (surprised we were calling)
She and her team had done an amazing job, they'd literally set the whole system up without ever reaching out to us, in a couple of days.
Several months later, still confused as to what was actually going on at Falls Creek, I jumped on a plane to Albury to go out and see with my own eyes.
When I arrived, apart from being bitterly cold, needing to attach snow chains to my rental car and it being almost a white-out, I was blown away by the equipment they had running.
4Site is the managing body for the ski village. They manage everything in and out of the various restaurants, hotels and shops located on the ski slopes. They pick up and drop off anything from parcel deliveries to rubbish collection. Because courier and delivery companies can't physically get up the ski field to deliver, they hand over everything to 4Site at the base. Clare and her team then distribute across Snowmobiles, PistenBully's, ATV's with Snow tracks and some other crazy looking monster-truck style forklifts.
From there, it works pretty much like a regular 3PL transport business - they split the stock up into areas, load it onto the various vehicles, and off they go! Delivering ingredients and kegs to restaurants and bars, parcels to people who ordered them, clean bedding to the hotels, you name it - it's loaded onto a snow-something and off it goes.
I really enjoyed my day at 4Site. Not only was I very impressed with Clare and her team for the awesome job they had done in implementing electronic pods in such a short time, but also how friendly and accomodating the whole team was toward Andre and I.
It can get frustrating when you're trying to get a job done and you're being told to "Slow down" or, "Hold on... Do that again" while we position everything for the best possible shots. Add to that the hundreds of questions I was asking about the various machines and we would have come across as possibly the most annoying people they had ever met - but the 4Site crew really got into it. They took us around the mountain in the various machines, aided me in laughing at Andre's terrible choice of footwear for the snow (white, fabric street shoes), and really made us feel at home for the whole day.
Thanks so much to Clare and her team for the amazing experience!