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Tag: 3PL

Michael Ridlen
Home Delivery and Inclement Weather Planning
2010.03.17 21:26:10
Snow, snow, snow, and more snow. The winter blasts over the past few months presented a number of challenges across the country. For 3PL and home delivery providers, these challenges become some of the focal points that your company's reputation is built upon. It's not just a matter of how good your delivery service is when there are no obstacles, but how good your service is when you have to overcome obstacles, and double digit snow fall can certainly present one big obstacle!

While customers will understand why deliveries cannot be made while the snow is falling outside their window or their driveway is piled up, there is still the expectation to be informed. They have a significant financial and emotional investment in the delivery product, so they need to know what is going to happen next with that product. This point is where the "disconnect" usually occurs. The customer does not need to know and does not want to know the whys and wheres of your operation. They just want to know when they will receive their item. Keeping the customer informed of the basic information without any other "clutter" will go a long way in preserving customer satisfaction. 

Utilizing available technology to inform the customer as early as possible of the new delivery date helps you maintain control of your delivery scenarios and capacities while keeping the customer in the loop. Additionally, most customers will have their own additional aggravations brought on by the inclement weather, so having one less call to make will usually be a plus for them. When customers do have to call back in, if you do not have a live person answering the phones, make sure that your voice mail systems have been updated with your company's latest information regarding the weather and that you are consistently clearing and responding to messages. Preventing or quickly resolving any uncertainties in your customers' mind is one way of preserving the level of service that your customer expects, especially during a trying time.

In addition to communicating with the end customer, 3PL companies also have to maintain good client communications. The client needs to know when/if you are going to be open, will you receive merchandise, what information is being communicated to their customers, and other vital items.

It's imperative to have your weather response plan developed and presented to your clients as early as possible. Once finalized, work with them to determine how the delivery product will be handled. One major point that is often overlooked here is to plan for each equally important phase of the pre-, during, and post-storm. Delayed product will be arriving in a surge after the roads have cleared, and there are possible changes to your normal delivery schedule that should be determined in advance. Finally, continual updates to the client's designated contact is essential. Just because you know what your team is doing does not mean your client is clear on the matter. Do not assume! It is your responsibility to make sure they are informed.

With spring drawing near and the possibility of further snow events decreasing, it would be easy to minimize the importance of having inclement weather action plans in place. However, this is the best time to develop and refine your plans - before they are needed again and after going through a significant snow event. Reacting to a weather event is something you do not want to do on the fly. Being proactive and taking the time in advance to do some serious brainstorming on these issues will reap tremendous benefits for your company, your customers, and your clients the next time the snow is piling up to the windows.


Tags: Home Delivery America | customer service | home delivery | business relationships | 3PL | snow | planning

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Michael Ridlen
Trucking Carriers Seeing Shift from Private to Dedicated
2010.03.04 22:19:18

Considering outsourcing your delivery and/or logistics options?  Here is some food for thought - 
An excerpt taken from:
The Journal of Commerce (note: login is needed to access the rest of the article at www.joc.com)

"More than ever, companies are looking to outsource their fleets so they can focus on their core competencies. A DCC (Dedicated Contract Carrier) solution frees up capital and management to work on more strategic issues, which is where many companies feel their focus needs to be right now. We've seen a definite increase in prospects this year," he said.


Schneider's Jadin also has seen an uptick in inquiries. "As the economy has worsened, companies are deciding to concentrate on their core competency rather than continuing to operate a private fleet," he said. "Outsourcing to a transportation provider whose core competency is transportation makes good economic sense from the standpoint of a preservation of capital to their core competence, and also from a risk-mitigation perspective as it relates to the potential liability associated with running a private fleet."



Tags: furniture industry loans | 3rd party supplier | logistics strategy | business relationships | 3PL | logistic | in home delivery | Home Delivery America

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Michael Ridlen
Cash for Appliances - A Quick Primer
2010.02.17 10:58:49
Given the recent publicity from different channels regarding the "Cash for Appliances" programs, there is a definite possibility of confusion regarding what actually constitutes the program and what appliances are eligible.

Unlike the prior automotive Cash for Clunkers, this program is administered by the individual states resulting in a wide variance of dates, criteria, model eligibility, and procedures depending upon where your customer lives. Being properly informed on the particulars of your state's program will help you better take care of your customers' needs - before and after the sale. There is also a good resource database
here.

Each state received funding in proportion to its population. Some states such as Kansas and Delaware ran out of money much sooner than expected. If possible, stay up to date on how much money is left in your state's program and keep your sales staff informed (New York still had nearly $11 million left in its program as of 2/16). 

Additionally, make sure to show your customers how to file for their rebate (and any deadlines) as well as providing any forms for haul away and recycling of the old unit. A few minutes of review with your delivery teams on these important topics can avoid any customer misunderstandings.

Finally, check for any additional energy or recycling programs available that can be added to the federal rebate (New Jersey and California are examples of this). There is a potential for increased sales by utilizing the availability of these programs.

Here are some highlights from a few states:

California - Program begins April 22, 2010 with $35.2 million allocated. Appliances included are washers, refrigerators, and room air conditioners. The rebates will be in addition to existing California energy initiatives.
Click here for more info

New York - Program started Feb. 12th and is currently slated to end on Feb. 21st with applications having to be postmarked by March 15th. Appliances included are refrigerators, washers, and freezers with a extra rebate for providing proof of recycling the old unit. There is also an option for an appliance bundle purchase that has a $500 base rebate plus an extra $55 for recycling.
Click here for more info.

New Jersey - Program will be part of NJ's existing Clean Energy Program which already offers rebates on selected Energy Star products. The national program will not start until April (probably around Earth Day), and details have not been posted yet.
Click here for updates.

With the amount of local publicity accompanying each new roll out, there will be expected spikes in business. However, the better informed your sales and delivery staffs are, the better positioned you will be to take advantage and generate additional immediate sales as well as future repeat customers.


Tags: appliances | 3PL | customer service | positive news | home delivery | cash for appliances

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Michael Ridlen
Largest High Velocity Cross Dock in the Nation Now Open!
2009.12.09 21:58:01

We are proud to announce our recently launched cross dock facility in Elmwood Park, NJ is fully functional and that almost 5,000 pieces of big-ticket merchandise are currently being unloaded daily

"We are getting the merchandise in the consumers home faster than ever for our clients", said Richard S. Merians, Chairman.  "HDA's investment in service to our clients is backed by proven success and top performance to ensure continued growth, this facility has convenient access to all major highways allowing us to reach a larger radius in a shorter time."

Measuring 120,000 square feet, with 30 bay doors will handle over 100 trucks daily, this is the largest high velocity cross dock facility in the nation.  Large line haul trailers are unloaded, merchandise staged, inspected, than re-loaded onto delivery trucks, for a successful white glove in-home delivery and assembly all within a 24-hour period.  "We're excited to be on the forefront in an industry that continually requires new thought and innovation," said Joseph Renaldi, Vice President Operations.  For more information on how this great facility can help your business or other delivery options we can offer, click here to contact us.




Tags: warehousing | distribution | 3PL | New Jersey | logistic | warehouse | in home delivery | white glove delivery | cross dock | new warehouse | Home Delivery America

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Michael Ridlen
100% Inventory!
2009.11.12 23:58:39

We just finished the yearly physical inventory for a major client, and we are pleased to report that we achieved 100% inventory accuracy.  This means zero shrink and zero surpluses.  We are very proud of this result and achieved it through a combination of systems management, rigor during product picking and return, and a constant attention to the various details in working with the inventory.  We have a common belief that we must follow best practices 100% every time because it is that one time in a hundred that you deviate from a procedure that will come back to haunt you.

Thanks again to everyone involved with obtaining this tremendous result, and let's continue it into the next year.  If you are having issues with your current inventory, contact us or call 1-800-449-4723 ext. 3009 to see how we can help with your warehousing and delivery solutions.



Tags: white glove delivery | positive news | warehousing | 3PL | 100% | inventory | Home Delivery America

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