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Consumer Delivery - Part 25 - Better Late Than Never

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And certainly better late than careless.

Man, for some 200 years, has subscribed to the "Better late than never" maxim-ever since Livy gave it to us in Latin. (According to Bartlett's, it didn't show up in English until "recently"-1546. "

When it comes to furniture delivery, a majority of store owners and managers recently surveyed also agrees better late than never. Even more important for them is the idea better /ate than careless.

Carelessness during delivery is the complaint they hear most from customers. Poor delivery crew attitudes is second, and lateness is third.

Care is also seen by these retailers as a major criterion in choosing a furniture delivery service. On-time performance ranks second, with courtesy a close third.

While both buyer and seller are concerned about careful delivery, their reasons are different. For the customer, damages mean another long wait for her new furniture. For the furniture store, carelessness is always costly.

Damaged goods must go back to the warehouse in the same truck, complicating other deliveries. A second delivery must be scheduled- assuming replacement merchandise is available or the customer is willing to wait. Most customers will wait-if they get a reasonable explanation and the delay isn't excessive.

Care as company policy should begin on the receiving platform-the best place to spot problems and either make necessary touchups or, if the damages are major, start the claims process.

Care continues through the handling of merchandise in the warehouse, pre-delivery prepping and wrapping, truck loading and unloading and in-place delivery.

Damage in transit can be minimized if your trucks are equipped to carry furniture-if they have polished wood or metal floors for easy sliding, slats or D rings to tie off tiers, full height doors and good shock absorbers.

"Potius sero quam nunquam"- better late than never-has been an enduring truism. But, in delivering the goods, better late than careless seems a better idea. You're guaranteed time, effort and dollar savings when you take care to make sure what-and how-you deliver is as impeccable as your reputation.