chill-n-go Playbook

chill-n-go, Inc. has been manufacturing its trademarked line of goods for over four decades.  Our unwavering commitment to the wine and spirit industry is embodied in the quality of the solutions we manufacture and the personal service we provide.


You're certainly free to skip all of this - simply call Lisa, Bill or Ben at 800 323-5013 or 916 631-0101. Additionally, emails to info@chill-n-go.com will be promptly addressed.


Already have a general idea? Click this button to begin an interactive quote workflow. This exchange of questions and answers provides precise product, adornment and quantity pricing; with your step by step approval results in account and order creation as necessary. You're free to quit at any time - no harm, no foul.

Products

Products are generally defined by capacity and portage;

  1. How many bottles do I want/need to carry
    1. Insulated bags are manufactured for 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 ,9 and 12 bottles
  2. How do I want to carry them?
    1. Shoulder carry – capacities from 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6
    2. Wine On Wheels (WOW) - capacities 6, 9 and 12 bottles
      1. Hi-profile bags in 6 and 9 bottle capacities
      2. Low-profile bags in 6, 9 and 12 bottle capacities

Insulation / Style

Design methods for insulating and protecting bottles generally take two approaches;

  1. Sleeves – a separately insulated and sealed bag.  Each sleeve contains 1 or 2 'swing pockets' sewn to the inner wall.  Correctly placed, these pockets house the supplied chill packs and act as bottle separators.  The most prevalent example is the Six Bottle Salesperson's Bag (item 1260).  It utilizes 2 three-bottle sleeves, each with 2 swing pockets and 2 chill packs.
     
  2. Full Insulation – bags where the insulation is within the outer shell.  Bottle separation in these bags occurs via heavily insulated dividers that are removable.  These bags have inner wall pocketing housing chill packs, and usually other pocketing or features accommodating user needs.  Prevalent examples include all WOW bags and the Traveler series of 2, 4 and 6 bottle capacities.

Fabrics & Leathers

We carefully select high-denier (600 to 1600) nylon and polyester fabrics for their resilience, durability and longevity.  Of all, we believe that domestically woven 1,000d nylon offers the greatest value; we love working with this fabric, and believe the final result is as attractive as it is an enduring life-long tool.

All of our leathers are processed in Italy and obtained through their US distributor.  The broader market for these leathers is the US upholstery and automotive manufacturing sectors.  Hence, the leather selection and tanning processes yield the weight, strength and durability characteristics we require in making a tool.

Art / Adornment

While not a requirement, it is rare that a chill-n-go® product is made absent adornment.  Adornment takes the following forms:

  1. Embroidery – fabrics and leathers
  2. Laser etching – leathers
  3. Sew-on patches

Embroidery: simply defined as the process of 'over-sewing' a design or lettering on a base fabric or 'substrate'.  Its root attribute is dimension; embroidery is three-dimensional versus two-dimensional printing.  The result presents an image that reflects light in infinite variations, as well as adding body and substance.  More so than print, It portrays the result of work, which in turn conveys a statement of higher value.  Things to know and consider:

  1. Embroidery machines are computerized sewing machines with multiple needles.  There is a universal file format that all embroidery machines read - .dst.
  2. In this regard, digitization is the process of converting an art file into a .dst file.  There are limited software programs that facilitate this process.  It is important to understand that the skill and experience applied at this stage will largely dictate the result of the sewing process.
  3. chill-n-go vertically integrated digitization decades ago and utilizes Tajima DGML Pulse software.  Today, a portion of that work is outsourced, but each file, regardless of origin, is edited, sized, color corrected and thoroughly quality checked for the specific application intended.
  4. Art is generally created/designed for print.  Printing generally depends on laser beams or piezo nozzles and a relatively smooth application surface.  Under magnification, paper is analogous to a calm lake with perhaps the slightest breeze; while high-denier fabrics are analogous to an endless mountain range; constant elevation changes yielding huge surface variation.
  5. Not all art translates well to embroidery, in particular, 'line art' - or art that consists of a large amount of very 'small stroke' lines, or serif and script lettering with very small stroke elements.  This is easy to understand when considering the surface analogies above coupled with the attributes or physical characteristics of a laser beam versus a needle and thread.

Laser Etching:  simply defined uses the heat generated from a finely focused laser beam to 'burn away' a layer of material.  Common with wood and metal, laser etching leathers is a relatively new application of the process.  Things to know and consider:

  1. Unlike the world-wide common .dst file, laser machines operate from differing base file formats.  However, at the root, a true vector file is required and is formatted according to the machine requirements.
  2. Not all leathers etch well.  Much of this has to do with the particular leather and the particular chrome tanning process it underwent. 
  3. Laser etching is colorless – it yields the leather under the surface that has been affected by the heat process – somewhat akin to a hot brand but absent the slightest effect outside its bounds, and absent any charring or hardening created by duration of heat application.
  4. We have successfully dyed laser etching – but with limitations:
    1. The leather must be 'masked' before etching.  In effect, this creates a stencil allowing the technician to hand apply the leather dye and then remove the mask yielding perfect dying of etched area.
    2. Not all leathers accept the masking process.  It fails either because removing the mask distorts the leather surface, or the leather surface is so porous that masking still allows dye bleeding.
  5. Where and when it works – the result is remarkably impressive.  Adjectives would include extremely rare, distinctive, one-of-a-kind, everlasting, enduring – we'll help you find your own adjectives if you wish.

Sew-On Patching: Some clients provide leather or cloth patches that are sewn onto the product to their specifications.  Patching provides consistency regardless of the fabric to which applied.  Things to know and consider:

  1. Leather patches should be designed with a 'gutter' - a recessed line around and close to the patch edge in which sewing occurs to affix the patch.  This prevents abrasion from breaking the thread and loosening or losing the patch.
  2. All patches present edges when affixed – a patch is usually not seen as an integral part of the item – rather an addition to.  Depending on the desired look, this aspect may be relative.

Shop....... or Talk Shop

Shop our site, select a product.  The detail page provides specific product dialogue as well as product details, fabric selection and care information.

  1. Pricing – is available on line but with limited visibility.
    1. The price list is in table format to display, by item, both the available fabric variations and quantity discounted pricing. 
    2. The unit pricing does not include adornment costs.  Adornment costs vary based on their own attributes; are calculated separately and then added to the unit cost.  The price list does show adornment pricing  parameters.
  2. Let's talk shop.  Every wine-professional product we make is the result of one or more discussions with a wine or spirits professional.  We listen, we think, we cut and sew.  Four decades instills experience and knowledge and a big part of our service concept is sharing; to work with you, never at you.

Ordering / Account Creation

Initial communications usually start and coalesce around email. Email facilitates the sharing of art and documents necessary to create your account and build your order. We're available and amenable to phone conversations - in many cases this is more effective and expedient in dealing with the necessary details and questions.

Portal.chill-n-go.com is now the internal and external facing application software used to facilitate and manage customer and order information. Portal was designed to facilitate as much or as little customer interaction as the customer desires - it is not mandatory that a customer use Portal - it is simply a transparent digital extension of our manufacturing services.

  1. Re-Orders: If your company has placed an order with us in the past, an account was created and history stored. This history includes our correspondence, your orders and order item details, shipping details, art, embroidery and etch files, and more. If a Portal account has been created re-orders can be generated by you from within Portal, or we can do it for you as we've historically done. If a Portal account has not yet been created a re-order will generate account creation.
     
  2. New Orders:  Will generate portal account creation and simply requires the information exchange normally occurring in a business to business transaction.  We will ask for the business contact, billing and shipping information you wish us to record.  This may include your CA Resale License number, lists of shipping addresses, or other information allowing us to provide optimal service.  In turn, you may wish business information from us - i.e., W-9, payment terms, bank information, etc. From within Portal, new orders can be created using the Quote tab on your Company home page. This interactive process allows submission of new art to be placed on any chill-n-go® product and generates a complete quote including digital mock-up and pricing table.

The Process

Every order goes through a set of processes designed to meet or exceed your expectations, as well as guide production allocations and scheduling.

  1. Define the order:  In many cases you have already decided which product(s) and how many are required.  In other cases we work with you in answering  questions and sharing experience that results in selecting the right tool for the right job.  For example, a bag that works right in urban sprawl may not be the correct choice for New York City.
     
  2. Crunch the art:
    1. In cases of re-orders, this is a minimal process normally requiring a simple re-affirmation. This occurs via the email exchange of a .pdf image of the digitized art. This exchange may not be necessary for Re-Orders within Portal as the art and adorned product is present and visible.
    2. New art is submitted, usually via email attachment, for appropriate processing either for embroidery or laser etching. Any common format is acceptable; we appreciate art that is 'label' size, or larger. Once submitted, all of the art's cost elements are conveyed; including one-time digitization or vectoring costs, as well as the unit embroidery or laser costs. Within Portal's Quote workflow new art can be submitted via an upload module. This interaction will yield the same cost element results - for both the art and product(s) identified.
  3. Confirm the order: All orders, re-orders or DSOD commands generate a confirming email. This email summarizes the project and provides a link to Portal and the specific order or command details.
    1. New art may require further proofing, but is initially confirmed via email or within the Portal quote workflow.
    2. Order details, including costs, are confirmed via email or within Portal.
    3. If there are any questions or concerns - at any time, a CNG team member will prioritize your call or email and respond promptly.
  4. Go ahead, prove it!  We believe in proofing, and here's why:
    1. Proofing insures you are getting exactly what you want and are ordering;  that your expectations are met or exceeded.
    2. Proofing sets the benchmark; you now have a correct and reasonable expectation that all product that follows meets the standard set.
    3. Proofing is due diligence and good business logic: we absolutely guarantee your satisfaction.  If you receive an order that fails to meet your expectations we take it back – you pay nothing.  We work hard to avoid this.
  5. There are three general levels of proofing:
    1. Pre-Production Proof: required on orders in excess of 24 units.  We prefer pre-production proofs at any order quantity if there is the slightest concern or doubt.  Things to know and consider:
      1. A proof is usually made within 24 hours of request. 
      2. Proofing does add time to the overall process; usually 3 days (shipping time).
      3. An approved pre-production proof normally counts as '1' of your order, e.g., you order 24 units and approve the pre-production proof – we make 23 more.
      4. A rejected proof is retrieved at no cost to you.  A corrected proof is made and shipped immediately and the process resumes.
      5. The cost for shipping the approved pre-production proof to you is invoiced at job end.  Costs for shipping/retrieving rejected proofs are not invoiced.
    2. Swatch Proof: is simply taking a swatch of the intended fabric and either sewing or etching the art.  The swatch is sent to you for approval.  Things to know and consider:
      1. A swatch is made and send within 24 hours of request.
      2. The process does add time – usually 3 days (shipping time).
      3. Swatch proofing is not possible for large format embroidery (tablecloths and banners).
      4. The swatch itself incurs no cost. 
      5. The cost for shipping the approved swatch to you is invoiced at job completion.  Rejected swatches incur no shipping cost.
    3. Email  Proof: in most cases this is simply sending you the .pdf file depicting your embroidery or etching. Most common with re-orders, it simply confirms the art.  This method is also common for orders of 1 or a few units.  Things to know and consider:
      1. First and foremost – we are not going to send you anything that doesn’t meet or exceed OUR expectations.  Your approval of a picture on your screen doesn't grant license to produce anything short of excellence – we're working with you, not at you.
      2. In our view, 'mock-ups' pose problems and should be used within limited values.
        1. They are not color accurate; our camera, our monitor, your monitor – none are color calibrated to present the true shades of over 300 embroidery thread colors.
        2. At best they show an approximate spatial relationship of art to bag or cloth – but even that process is not exact.
        3. We're happy to provide mock-ups on request, accompanied with the above cautions.
  6. Confirmed and Proven – Get to Work!  Your approved Order Confirmation is one 'sheet' of many – the others driving and then following the processes and materials on the production floor.
    1. A cut sheet provides data driving computerized fabric cutting of fabrics, linings, insulation, zippers, webbings.
    2.  An art sheet provides the exact approved art data – an operator retrieves your art file from the network and double checks fabric and thread colors.
    3. A production sheet awaits the sub processes and then drives the assemblage process correctly and quickly.
    4. Shipping result and packing sheets are in queue to join the products as they leave their final QC checkpoint.

But of course behind all of this is a team of professionals – people who are dedicated in every sense to simply doing the right thing – consistently.

  1. Shipping – Federal Express and DSOD: chill-n-go has a 20+ year history with Federal Express.  Over this time we've acted as a 'pilot company' testing their introduction of 3-Day Express Saver Service, FDX Ground Service, and the CAFÉ computerized shipping software in use today.  All FedEx Service Levels are available at highly discounted rates.
    1. FedEx air and ground domestic services.
    2. .FedEx Trade Network (FTN) - used for larger Australia bound shipments.
    3. FedEx International Express Freight (IEF) - a new service with exceptional rates for shipments to EU countries

We also work with logistics companies where your efforts extend beyond just our products and/or unusual shipping or consolidation is required.

DSOD – Drop Ship On Demand: This service meets two key goals; it saves money and enhances customer service. In addition, the program has no added costs. While DSOD is fully intergraded within Portal - that is, a User can command DSOD shipments at will; were happy to do it for you through email or phoned requests. Here's how it works:

  1. You place an order for a quantity of one or more products (there are no minimums).
  2. We manufacture your order and place the completed product in our warehouse (minus the chill packs).
  3. We invoice the order as normal (morning after shipment, or in this case placement in warehouse), under your payment terms.
  4. On demand, we ship to recipients you designate.  We retrieve the items from your inventory, double check each, insert fresh chill-packs, and ship.  Your command is executed on that or the next business day.
  5. Unless shipments are on your FDX account, shipping costs are invoiced either the morning after shipment, or monthly if shipping is frequent.

This program offers the following benefits:

  1. You ship one time – to the end user.  This often results in savings larger than any possible product discount.
  2. Your products are shipped with most recent chill-pack formulation.
  3. You have no warehouse or back-room space usage/loss.
  4. You have no inventory administration costs other than commanding shipments – we handle all the numbers and provide reporting monthly or on demand. Portal Users can see inventory levels at any time.
  5. You have no product loss.  You no longer wonder why there are 9 left in the warehouse when you thought you had 11.
     
  1. Paying the Bill: Under unusual circumstances we may ask for a deposit or payment before production begins.   Normally your job is not invoiced until we've completed and shipped your order.  This philosophy and practice is at once counter to the normal purchasing of most on-demand custom manufactured items, but is demonstrative of our commitment to service excellence – we have 'skin in the game' - we're not playing with someone else's money.  Likewise, we are not a bank – we do not have (or want) a 'credit department'.  We offer terms because we respect and appreciate the challenge of cash flow management.
     
    1. Under normal circumstances, we ask that you pay for your first two orders on invoice receipt.  The email that conveys your invoice has a secure payment link to Intuit, Inc. who will process your CC or ACH payments.  You may 'check out as a guest' and leave nothing behind, or store your information for future convenience.
    2. Your third order is invoiced under Net 30 terms.  Within that timeframe you may use the link in the email or send a check.
    3. CC payment is not available for invoices totaling more than $3,000.00 - ACH only for these transactions.
    4. Delinquent accounts revert to "Due At Shipment".  Future orders will require payment in full before shipment.  In addition, normal late fees will be assessed on any outstanding delinquent balance.

The Finish

In reality – it never occurs.  We continue to work for and with you, whether in assistance to any problem that may arise, listening to feedback on product use experience, or continually striving to improve durability and aesthetics. 

With respect to DSOD, again, paying the bill is not the conclusion of our work in any sense.  We continue to care for, manage and insure your products are delivered correctly, timely, and in top shape ready to perform.

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Chill-n-go, Inc. is a B2B enterprise. Are you in the wine & spirits industry or are you purchasing for a Business?
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