Dec 9, 2019

Fish Ticket Repricing: How To Set Expectations With Your Fishermen

Fish Ticket Repricing: How To Set Expectations With Your Fishermen Blog Image

Let’s face it, your Alaska fishermen have their choice of processors to sell their fish to and you may not always be the processor offering top dollar for their catch, so what can you do to keep them happy and fishing for you? You may be surprised by how much people are willing to sacrifice for better communication, clarity, and consistency. So, even if you aren’t offering the highest dollar amount, you can make sure you’re offering the highest amount of communication, clarity, and consistency and that can help you SEAl the deal [we had to]. And it all starts with setting expectations around repricing.

1. Set Expectations Around What Will Happen When the Repricing Does

For your fishermen to stay happy fishing for you, they shouldn’t be wondering about how they’ll get paid and what the amount they’ll get paid is based on. So, you need to tell them what they can expect before they’re left confused and concerned. You can do this by explaining to your fishermen the following:

How do you determine your reprices?

The amount you pay your Alaska fishermen likely depends on the region, species, type of fishing gear, and global market conditions – so tell your fishermen that! Maybe you also offer bonuses for various chill techniques, delivery methods or are open to other agreements to be made with specific fishermen – you should tell them that, too. Any information you can offer up front to your fishermen will help them put their mind a little more at ease among the pricing uncertainty of waiting for the fish to be sold at wholesale, determining the final market price.

How do you pay your fishermen?

Equally as important as understanding how the amount they’re being paid is determined, your fishermen should understand how they’ll be paid. Should they expect a check in the mail or do you offer ACH/direct deposit? Should they expect to have to pay their crew members themselves after being paid or do you offer split payments? Don’t leave your fishermen wondering.

2. Set Expectations Around When You Reprice

Once your fishermen understand how you reprice, you need to be clear about when you reprice and therefore when they’ll get paid. Provide clarity to your fishermen by explaining:

When do you reprice & when do you pay your fishermen?

Do you make all your price adjustments at the end of the season when the market hits or do you periodically reprice for a gear or chill type bonus in the middle of the season? If you do periodic reprices do you pay your fishermen each time you reprice or all at once? These are questions your fishermen shouldn’t be asking because you should be clear with them from the beginning about when they can expect to get paid. For example, when your fishermen make a delivery they should know if they can expect a percentage paid to them upon that delivery and then the rest at the end of the season once the price adjustments are made or if they should expect all payment at the end of the season, after reprices.

3. Set Expectations Around Communication in the Meantime

Regardless of when your pay your fishermen, they shouldn’t be wondering why they haven’t heard from you or when they can expect to get communication from you next – they should know. You should be clear with your fishermen about:

How do you communicate with your fishermen & when?

Communicating with your fishermen can mean notifying them of their current balance, providing fishermen statements, communicating about items they may need and purchasing them on their behalf, etc. For any type of communication, you fishermen need to know how they can get ahold of you, when you’ll be available, and when they can expect to hear from you. For example, if you’ll be providing them fisherman statements they need to know how regularly they can expect to receive them, in what format, and how they can reach you if they have questions about it. Or, if you offer fisherman loans so your fishermen can be charged for purchases you make on their behalf during the season before they’ve been paid, your fishermen should be aware of their loan balance and that’s on you to communicate it with them.

4. Set Expectations Around How They Can Get More Money

An essential piece of communicating with your fishermen is letting them know how they can earn the most for the catch they bring you. You can do that be answering:

What bonuses and premiums do you offer your fishermen?

Imagine you got paid for a job after it was completed only to find out you could have been paid more if you had done the job with different tools or using a different method. You’d probably be pretty frustrated and if not, you’re a better person that we are because we definitely would be! Well, that’s what you’re doing to your fishermen when you don’t let them know before they fish the premiums and bonuses you offer for certain chill types, gear, delivery, etc. For instance, the first landings of the season traditionally fetch the highest prices – so should your fishermen expect to get paid more if he or she provides one of the first landings? Or, maybe you pay more for iced or RSW fish, or for hook instead of net, or for chilled/bled or floated fish. If so, your fishermen should know that before they fish so they know the expectations they need to meet to earn the most – it’s a great way to encourage them to keep fishing for you. And, if you’re like us and like a little healthy competition, maybe you rank your fishermen based on delivered weight and pay out more to your top ranked fishermen, not only is that important to tell your fishermen up front, it’s a great motivator for them to keep delivering to you all season so that all their delivered weight can be tracked with you, increasing the likelihood that they’ll rank number one.

Communication, Clarity, & Consistency Around Repricing Are Key to Keeping Your Fishermen Fishing For You

To offer your fishermen the most communication and clarity, you need to set expectations around what will happen when you reprice, when they can expect to get paid, how and when you’ll communicate with them, and how they can actually make more money when fishing for you. Then, once you’ve set these expectations, you need to follow through on them in order to provide consistency. By being clear and transparent with your fishermen they’re more likely to keep coming back (with more Alaska seafood!).

Check out the NorthScope features that can specifically help you with repricing, split checks, ACH/direct deposit and providing clarity to your fishermen.