A custom certification solution provides added value for international wine services firm

msis-isp-2016-FICOFI warehouse1

Client name: FICOFI

Client background: FICOFI is an international fine wines and services firm. FICOFI stores and manages more than 380,000 bottles of wine for its Members in a few specialised warehouses around the world. Started in 1990 in France, FICOFI now has offices worldwide (Bordeaux, Paris, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sao Paulo), offering wine advisory services along with more than 200 tasting events, seminars and trips to Chateaux and Domains per year. 

Project background: In 2005 FICOFI launched Le Club FICOFI®, an exclusive, members-only program that manages the personal wine cellars of its clients. FICOFI not only stores its Members’ wines, but it will also buy wines and ship them – a sort of global wine concierge. The goal is to provide a secure, humidity and temperature-controlled space in which to store its Members’ prized wines. 

“Le Club FICOFI® is a wine club that aims at offering unique wine experiences to its Members. They are private individuals, who share the same passion for wines,” said Philippe Capdouze, founder and chairman of FICOFI. “They are very demanding. We realise the trust they put in our service, and we do not take it lightly.”

Business challenge for the client 

msis-isp-2016-FICOFI warehouse2As FICOFI expanded its warehouses and storage program, it was important to make sure that the same level of standards were applied to each warehouse. It also wanted an independent organization to provide a high-level of assurance to its Members that their wines were stored consistently and securely.

“Our clientele has the highest of standards,” said Capdouze. “We required an independent provider that shared those same high standards and values as we do at FICOFI - rigour, excellence, professionalism, and a commitment to the customer.” 

How Lloyd’s Register helped 

Lloyd’s Register’s technical staff draw on a long history of independent assurance, certification and auditing experience in most commercial and industrial sectors. These experts were able to assess FICOFI’s requirements and discovered three areas in which it could provide independent verification:
 
  • Procedural consistency: How are local warehouse staff conducting the procedures of checking in inventory? How can these procedures be standardized globally? How can their implementation be assured?
  • Quantity verification: With hundreds of thousands of bottles of wine, how are the quantities owned by each member verified? How are new wines accounted for?
  • Certification: LR would provide an inventory certificate per collection for each warehouse site – Geneva, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Lloyd’s Register began by spot quantity verification in a single warehouse. After that, LR surveyors with their knowledge, expertise and experience extended the service to various sites. Finally, surveyors issued independent third party certificates for each collection/owner to guarantee the quantity and the quality storage.
 
Now, each year, we carry out more than 25 days of physical inspection in the strategic FICOFI sites.
 
“In addition to providing a clean certification, it reassures our Members to see that their wines are audited by a trustable independent third party,”  said Anthony Lanhouet, Operations Director, FICOFI. “It is something pretty rare, as most ‘wine actors’ do their own wine inventory. This way, our Members can be absolutely sure that the inventory we share with them reflects the reality of their cellar.
 
“We are extremely satisfied that Lloyd’s Register was able to provide the flexibility and expertise in order to deliver this unique service.”

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