Insights & News

​They Aren’t Buying Our Stuff. They’re Buying Crate Boy.

Posted On December 12, 2016

Flat World Holdings encompasses a bunch of different companies:

Flat World Supply Chain

Flat World Hospitality

Ram International

Ram Custom Crating

Prologue Technology

Those companies do a bunch of different—though related—things within the supply chain and logistics sector. Our companies build software that increases visibility within your supply chain, manage major logistics projects for hotels and resorts, provide international freight forwarding services, build custom crates, provide warehousing, and do just about anything they can to make your supply chain more efficient and effective. It’s a lot. But a lot of other companies do those same things. Every one of our companies has competitors. Some of those competitors are more expensive than we are, and some are less expensive. Some of our competitors are bigger, and some are smaller.

We don’t provide a product or service you can’t find somewhere else. Kind of a weird thing to say, right? It’s true. So why would anyone choose to do business with us? Why would anyone select our software, or buy our crates?

Because our customers really aren’t buying software, or crates. They are buying relationships, service, and excellence. Ram Custom Crating is a great example. At its most basic level, Ram Custom Crating makes wooden boxes. Sometimes those boxes are big, expensive wooden boxes that carry big, expensive things—but they are boxes. And our boxes are not the least expensive (or the most expensive) you can find. So why do our customers choose Ram Custom Crating?

One big reason is Steve Raetz, Jr.

Or, as he is known to the people who buy our crates, Crate Boy. Granted, “Crate Boy” is not the most intimidating superhero name. It’s hard to imagine the Joker being intimidated by Steve leaning closely and whispering in a gravelly voice, “I’m…Crate Boy.”

But what isn’t hard to imagine is why our customers value working with Steve. He literally grew up in the crating business. His father owned a St. Louis-based crating company, and Steve worked alongside his dad to learn the crating business for seven years.

In fact, you could say Crate Boy learned alongside Crate Man the way Robin learned alongside Batman. (You might think that’s a stretch, but in the world of custom crating, it’s a pretty accurate analogy.)

Steve grew up in the business—and growing up in the business is a pretty common trait across Flat World Holdings. The team driving our companies has hundreds of years of combined experience in the logistics, supply chain, and freight forwarding sector.

It’s what we do. It’s who we are.

And it’s why our customers choose to work with us. When you are shopping for a cheeseburger on the dollar menu, you probably aren’t buying the expertise, service ethic, or operational excellence of the person making the cheeseburger. In fact, chances are you are putting very little thought into the purchase of the cheeseburger. After all, if you don’t like it you’re only out a dollar.

However, our customers are moving significant amounts of valuable product across the world. Our software gives our customers visibility on millions of dollars of goods traveling through a complex supply chain, and our crating customers depend on Steve “Crate Boy” Raetz, Jr. to build the crates that protect those goods. When our customers choose us, they choose the human being shaking their hand, not the end products and services we sell. We’re proud of that.

And we’re proud of Crate Boy.