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Consumer Delivery - Part 17 - Too Many Cooks...

Furniture World Magazine


They spoil the delivery broth.

Just as too many cooks in the kitchen invariably spoil the broth, too many "cooks" doing too much handling can spoil long-distance furniture deliveries.

We're in fact seeing more "too many cooks" problems, now that a greater number of stores are making sales and deliveries to customers far beyond their trading -areas. One-of-a-kind, antique and fine reproduction-pieces especially requiring skilled handling-are most vulnerable to the problem.

Damages, losses and costs increase dramatically when furniture is over-handled. Pieces going long distances via common carrier generally go through seven or more steps: (1) store or warehouse pickup, (2) terminal unload, (3) consolidation and reload onto a van going part way, (4) second (or even third) terminal unload, (5) reload onto a second (or third) van, (6) destination terminal unload, and, (7) reload onto a smaller local delivery truck.

Stores that make out-of-state deliveries find it pays to call in specialized furniture delivery services that eliminate at least four of those seven steps.

A carrier that is ICC-authorized to operate cross-country, for instance, will usually (1) pick up with a small truck, (2) unload at a central terminal and (3) consolidate and reload onto a van that takes the goods all the way to the customer's home or office.

In some cases a specialized carrier can actually cut those seven steps down to just one. If the carrier makes scheduled runs, the van and crew that picks up the goods en route also delivers them.

Specialists speed up long-distance deliveries and provide reliable delivery dates while minimizing handling risk and cost. Recognizing this, many stores that have used common carriers- risking furniture traveling with a range of wares and getting inexperienced handling-are rethinking delivery.

Many stores with branches in various locations have already gone to centralized warehouse-delivery operations. These often are established and operated for them by specialized furniture delivery services.

You'll always see an overabundance of cooks in kitchens spoiling lots of broth. But in the next few years you'll see far fewer "cooks" spoiling long-distance furniture deliveries-because turning the job over to specialized carriers makes tremendous logistical as well as economic sense.