Paul Fuegner, Saxco

The request was the kind that most bottle companies, no matter how well intentioned, would have difficulty with. A high-end wine producer had mislabeled a large run of bottles. Could its bottle supplier remove the labels, clean the bottles, and return them to the winery in 48 hours?

“That we were able to do that shows not only what we can accomplish so quickly, but how important our value-added services are for our customers,” says Paul Fuegner, the head of marketing/CMO for Saxco, which provides packaging, bottles, and services for the wine, beer, liquor, and food industries.

The company, says Fuegner, has instilled a culture of continuous improvement since a buyout in 2018. The idea has been to recognize and adapt to customers’ needs and expectations, so they’ll consider Saxco.

“That’s why I’m very proud that we won this award,” he says. “It shows that the job we’re doing to transform Saxco into a focused, customer-driven organization is paying off.”

The mislabeled bottles being a case in point: That Saxco was able to deliver on such a tight turnaround speaks to what Fuegner called the company’s commitment to “listening to the customer more.” It’s not just about plopping a price list in front of someone, but about doing a better job of understanding the customer’s needs—”getting to the right place at the right time” for them, and emphasizing the fundamentals of customer service that get lost in the shuffle these days.

“You just can’t act like you’re the 500-pound gorilla anymore, even if you are,” he says.