Could you talk about how your company got started and your position now?

Wolfgang Sump: My grandfather, Richard Sump, founded the company in 1925 as a distributor for poultry and eggs. Over the decades, the second and third generation developed the company to be one of the leading food suppliers to the cruise industry. In 2015, Transgourmet, Europe’s largest catering industry operator, acquired the majority of the company to gain access to the cruise industry. Now, we combine our traditions and values with a modern and creative management approach.

What are the challenges of supplying food to the cruise industry?

The obvious challenge everybody mentions is that we have a moving target. In other words, we always have to supply everything our customers need on time. But this is not the real challenge. This is just something all suppliers have to deal with. The ultimate challenge is that our work is all about the passengers. We support the cruise lines constantly – to find new, high-quality products, always deliver what we promise and find solutions for every request, no matter how exotic. This really is a 24/7 business, and we are committed to finding the solution to any challenge.

We support the cruise lines constantly – to find new, high-quality products, always deliver what we promise and find solutions for every request, no matter how exotic.

How does your experience and skill help you overcome these challenges?

Our employees are vital. Their operating experience and service attitude, twinned with their precision, ensure they exceed customer expectation. By combining experts from different professions, we not only ensure we stay on top of supplies, we can also foresee problems before they arrive. We always have a ‘plan B’, and we understand that saying ‘no’ is not an option. We just have to make sure our tools – our facilities, software and working environment – are state of the art. Furthermore, our clients involve us early on to discuss the best way forward for even the most difficult challenge. This is because they trust our know-how and track record.

Could you discuss your state-of-the-art ERP at your new facilities in Hamburg and how it helps your business?

Our fully electronic warehouse management system (WMS) is supported by barcoding and allows 100% traceability of goods at all times. We are directly connected to customers, health and customs authorities in order to make communication as smooth as possible. Our brand-new facilities in Hamburg are built for storage at any temperature. And in order to guarantee the best prices, we use bonded and excise stores as well as special veterinary facilities. In addition to handling our own products, supported by the WMS, we offer third-party logistics and inventory-management services. Our in-house shipping department takes care of all import and export customs, and veterinary documentation.

In general, why should cruise operators choose Sump & Stammer?

Now part of the Swiss Coop group of companies, Sump & Stammer combines the personal commitment of our staff with the continent-spanning power of Coop, a leading food and beverage supplier in Europe. Our robust experience with the latest technology enables us to make a huge difference. We deliver, and we never compromise on the quality of our products and services. We ensure all their passengers have the time of their lives on board, whichever cruise they choose.

What plans does your company have to improve your service even more?

Now that we have moved to our new facility, we will make new products available, including a range of nonfood- based merchandise. We plan to proactively offer additional logistical services to our customers. This will be continuously supported by maintaining our authorised economic operator status and our high-level IFS certification. Customer satisfaction and safety will be of paramount importance at all times.